Academy of Model Aeronautics, Best Buy Educate Buyers on Drone Safety
A model aircraft association and Best Buy are working together to keep the skies friendly as interest in consumer drones takes off.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) has partnered with Best Buy to offer membership and safety information to customers purchasing drones this holiday season.
“Safety has always been our number one priority. By teaming up with Best Buy, we hope to help even more new drone operators learn how to fly responsibly,” AMA’s Executive Director Dave Mathewson said in a statement. “We have long said that education is the best way to promote safety, and that’s why we’re excited to enter into this relationship with one of the nation’s leading retailers.”
In addition to providing AMA-created safety brochures and printing safety information on drone purchase receipts, Best Buy is encouraging further education for new drone flyers by adding AMA memberships to its inventory.
The technology retail giant began selling yearlong AMA membership in the last month. Customers can buy a $75 gift card good for the membership, but during some promotions Best Buy also offers a membership bundle deal with certain higher-end drones.
“They [Best Buy] help educate their consumers because, of course, they realize that it’s important that we all fly safely in the airspace, so in return for our help in this initiative, they offered to put AMA memberships on their shelves,” Mathewson said in an interview with Associations Now.
Best Buy sales associates also are required to take online training courses in drone safety to better inform customers of the AMA materials and memberships available in store and online.
Drone enthusiasts who become members of AMA will have access to liability insurance protection, training and education programs, and clubs where they can fly their drones or receive flying lessons from instructors.
AMA memberships have been available for sale through a program with hobby shops for several years, but this new program makes membership purchases available to a larger consumer base.
As a founding association of the “Know Before You Fly” campaign, which launched last holiday season, AMA is highly involved in informing drone users of safety and responsible flying regulations. While this new partnership continues those efforts, AMA has created standalone brochures especially for Best Buy that focus specifically on hobbyist and recreational use.
“AMA has created these safety and training materials that we need to get in the hands of the end user,” Mathewson said. “We believe the best way to do that is to work with companies that have a large consumer base like Best Buy.”
A $75 Academy of Model Aeronautics membership gift card. (Associations Now Illustration)