In an industry predicted to be worth $42.8 billion by 2025* and with drones continuing to transform a number of industries, a unifying global awards scheme - Airwards - recognising best practice drone work (also called UAS or UAV) has been launched, providing a not-for-profit awards platform which champions the breadth of pioneering work accomplished with drones.
Image courtesy Airwards
The first digital awards scheme of its kind to recognise the wide variety of positive drone use cases, submissions to Airwards are open until mid-March 2021, with winners announced in May. The award categories span a number of uses and sectors, including Technology, Operations, Supporting Services, specific Industries/Fields and Giving Back, with a People’s Choice category voted for by the public. Airwards will be looking for outstanding examples where drones are leading the way in innovation, responsibility and impactful real-world solutions.
Airwards founder, Richard Nichols, said: “We’re on a mission to advance the drone industry by championing the broad range of positive drone use cases from across the globe. 2020 proved a pivotal moment for the drone industry, so we believe the time is now for companies to come together and share their impactful drone work. Airwards was established not only as a way to bring the drone community together in one place, encouraging cross-industry collaboration, but also to raise awareness of positive drone uses with the wider public - ultimately working towards greater public acceptance of drones. We’re really looking forward to finding some incredible drone projects in our inaugural year and showcasing the inspiring stories behind them.”
As a global drone awards platform, Airwards, is open to a range of individuals and companies, including drone specialists transforming an industry, startups using drone technology for creative solutions, and large corporations driving innovation. Awards are grouped by discipline, with entries to the ‘Technology’, ‘Operations’, ‘Supporting Services’ and ‘Industry/Field’ categories starting from £49 for startups. ‘Giving Back’ is free to enter and ‘People’s Choice’ is by nomination-only and voted for by the public. For the full category list, visit the Airwards website.
Airwards Eligibility & Criteria
Entrants must successfully meet the Airwards eligibility to be able to enter, which includes relevant permits and licences for the project in the country of origin. Amongst others, the three main criteria the Airwards judges will be looking for, are:
Innovative: Promoting pioneering ideas successfully challenging what a drone is / 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.
Airwards launched in 2020 in association with ARPAS-UK, the not-for-profit trade association for the UK drone industry. Judges will be revealed in due course. Entrants will have from until 12 March 2021, with winners announced late May 2021.
For more details on entering, eligibility, pricing, judging criteria and FAQs, visit