NFPA’s new small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) standard takes flight

Blog Post created by michaelwixted Employee on Dec 5, 2018


NFPA 2400®Standard for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Used for Public Safety Operations has been released to help public safety officials integrate drones into their emergency response.

The new body of knowledge supports police, fire and EMS authorities as they put forth sUAS programs that are based on industry standards; and connects with groundbreaking UAS integration advancements identified in Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Aeronautics and Space.

Whether you are applying for Part 107, “Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems” Waivers or taking the path of Part 91, “General Operating & Flight Rules” with a Public Operator Status & Certification of Authorization (COA), the FAA will have questions. As a public safety official or an emergency responder in the field, how are you going to demonstrate a truly integrated sUAS program? How are you going to show that you have considered a variety of fly operations? How will you demonstrate that you have considered the associated risks to you and the public, and most importantly your methods to lessen or mitigate those risks?

That’s where NFPA 2400 comes in - the first public safety-centric, ANSI-accredited standard to support your wholesale integration of sUAS. In short, NFPA 2400 will help public safety leaders meet FAA expectations and effectively deploy sUAS programs.

Developed by dozens of representatives from NIST, the fire service, law enforcement, emergency medical services, manufacturing, transportation, aviation, and consultant organizations, NFPA 2400 is a clear, concise, all-encompassing standard that addresses everything from program criteria to Con-Op to training, and so much more. It applies to all public safety departments that operate sUAS, and breaks down SUAS program into three key areas:


  1. A section devoted to sUAS organizational deployment, which includes, program criteria, deployment, sUAS selection, and both general and multiple aircraft operations.
  2. A professional qualifications component with minimum JPRs for both the pilot and observer so that they can be trained in accordance with public safety and emergency responder-specific requirements.
  3. An area that identifies maintenance responsibilities such as record keeping, discrepancy reporting, routine cleaning, upkeep, and storage.


The consensus process for NFPA 2400 was fairly quick. Over the course of 27 months, a request for the standard was submitted; a Technical Committee was established; public input and comments were sought and received; the Standards Council approved the standard; ANSI accredited NFPA 2400; and the new roadmap on sUAS was released on November 25, 2018 to help authorities establish safe, swift emergency response protocol from up above.


To learn more about NFPA’s new public safety drone standard, visit www.nfpa.org/2400.