Sunday, April 14, 2024

Introducing Airwards: a unifying global accreditation scheme championing groundbreaking drone work

LONDON 20.10.20: Today marks the launch of Airwards: a unifying global accreditation scheme recognising best practice drone work. Launching in association with ARPAS-UK, this digital awards scheme and not-for-profit will champion a wide-range of UAV work which is positively advancing human capabilities. Covering more than 20 different disciplines, Airwards will recognise the very best UAV projects, companies and individuals leading the way in innovation, responsibility and real-world solutions.

The brainchild of digital entrepreneur Richard Nichols, Airwards has been established to bring together the drone community and raise awareness of positive drone uses with the wider general public. The independent awards platform will champion UAV projects that are pushing boundaries, creating innovative solutions and transforming industries. Winners will be selected by a panel of expert judges who will be announced in the coming weeks.

Airwards founder, Richard Nichols, comments: “The drone industry is doing incredible work but much of it flies under the radar and deserves recognition. Having been involved with UAV companies for a number of years, I felt it was time to do something that brought the drone industry together and recognised the positive ways this technology is improving the world we live in. The Airwards vision is to have drones recognised for leading the way in every industry.”

ARPAS-UK CEO, Graham Brown, comments: “Airwards is a great initiative to promote the positive impact of drones. Drones help multiple industries and provide many solutions to businesses that are safer, faster, cheaper and greener than current methods or alternatives. We are delighted to support an awards system that recognises the work of the drone industry and the talented people who work in it. With the launch of Airwards, we hope to see examples of safe, professional operation of drones, innovative uses and projects which continue to break new ground and deliver significant benefits to the industry and the wider public.”

How the awards work

Airwards is open to a range of companies, including UAV specialists disrupting an industry, start-ups using drone technology for creative solutions, and large corporations driving innovation. There are more than 20 awards in total, spanning a wide variety of uses and sectors including technology, operations, supporting services, industry specific and giving back.

Entrants will be able to submit their work from 1st December 2020 until 12th February 2021. Award submission costs vary and winners will be announced by late May 2021. For full details on how to enter and more information, visit

Entrants must successfully meet the Airwards criteria to be shortlisted. Amongst others, the three main criteria are:

Innovative: Promoting pioneering ideas that are successfully challenging the perception of what a drone is and can be.
Responsible: Recognising the key aspect of safety in every drone flight to advocate legitimate behaviour as a standard best practice.
Real-world: Asking the question: ‘How are drones making a difference?’ by demonstrating quantifiable outcomes and tangible solutions.

Wiebe de Jager

Wiebe de Jager is the founder of Dronewatch (available in Dutch and English). Wiebe is an experienced drone pilot (EASA Specific category certified) and has published a number of bestselling books about drone photography and cinematography.

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