Obligatory Year-End Recap + Sneak Peak

It’s the end of another year and, while it’s tempting to just keep pressing ahead, we wanted to take a breath and look at what we have accomplished in 2019 and where we are going in 2020!

Changes in 2019

New Courses

We had a lot of people asking us about waivers so we put together a 107.29 – Daylight Operations Course to help members get their 107.29 Waiver. The FAA wants to ensure that all crew members have received documented training on the unique challenges of flying at night. The FAA has accepted the completion of this course as evidence of that training!

In addition to our Daylight Operations Course, we have also added several new lessons and sections to our Part 107 Initial and Recurrent Training Courses based on student feedback! New sections, new quiz questions, and more engaging lessons. We’ve never been more confident that our courses will help you pass the FAA’s Airman Knowledge Exam!

New Membership Options

This was a big one for us! Most drone training programs require a large upfront payment and often cost more than the exam itself.

We want everyone to experience drones which is why we got rid of the big, upfront prices and moved to very reasonable monthly, annual, or lifetime membership options to get access to all of our training, community, and instructor help.

Now, you can get started for just $1.07! It’s never been more affordable to get all the training you need to get into drones.

New Design

We are always trying to create the best learning & social environment for our members. That’s why we gave our site a complete overhaul this year.

Everything from more intuitive menus to a cleaner, less confusing lesson design for all of our courses. We also improved our user profiles, user photo albums, group pages, and forums just to name a few.

New Features

With the full redesign came a whole host of awesome new features, some really useful and some just fun! Here are the three that I’m most excited about.

Dark Mode for Courses

Dark mode is everywhere these days and we were excited to include it in our lessons. Quite a few of our students requested this since nothing soothes the weary eyes while training like sweet, sweet, dark mode.

Hello, darkness my old friend.


We want our members to be able to express themselves! As part of our Community Overhaul, we have added quite a few features to our community thread and forums. Users can now post GIFs, Emojis, Photos, and can even embed videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and others. We’re working on direct video upload in 2020 as well!

P.S. We know this isn’t earth-shattering, but who doesn’t love GIFs?

I Communicate Entirely in GIFs.

Improved Groups & Messaging

The great thing about building an online community is that it allows people to connect as a group and individually. Our Private Message feature is an awesome way to speak directly with others who share your passion for drones. This year, we improved the security of our messaging tool to eliminate SPAM and ensure that you only get messages from people you trust.

We also improved our Groups, making it easier than ever to find and connect with other drone pilots who share your interests!

Our YouTube Channel Hit 1,000 Subscribers

It’s a far cry from MKBHD’s 10.2 million subscribers, but the Drone Academy YouTube Channel just hit 1,000 subscribers and we’re pretty excited about it!

We want to invest some more energy in that so, expect some fun new content coming there soon.

What’s Coming in 2020?

More New Courses!!

We know you want more skills, and we’re here to help! You can expect some awesome new courses like Drone Basics, Drone Photo & Video Basics, Build Your Own Drone, and more!

Of course, all these new courses will be included at no extra costs for all paying Drone Academy Members!

New Member Blogs!

We know that we aren’t the only ones with ideas about the world of drones. That’s why we want to open up our blog to our members to let you get your thoughts out there! Starting today, all members can build their own blog posts on Drone Academy and submit it to our main blog page!

Who knows, you might be our next featured contributor or full-time blog writer?

We’ve Got Game!

All the new courses and activities will give members more to do than ever and we wanted to give them an opportunity to show off all their hard work and engagement. That’s why we are incorporating a new point and reward system called Drone Academy Props!

Finish a course, earn some props. Post an awesome photo or video, earn some props. Invite a new member to join the site, earn some props (and some cash.)

Earn Drone Academy Props, Badges, and Flight Status!

In addition to Props and Badges, you can even cash in your Props for sweet Drone Academy swag or even a discount on your membership!

New & Improved Refer A Friend Program

We love our members way more than we love Google and Facebook. That’s why we have decided to stop giving them ad money and give it to you instead!

In addition to getting Drone Academy Props for each new member you send our way, we’ve increased our referral payout from 6% to 25%! That means way more money for every friend you refer!

So Long 2019, Hello 2020!

This last year had us busy adding new content, features, and learning tools (as well as a few silly things) but we still had time for our real passion: working closely with students in person and online!

So, here’s to an awesome 2019 and an even better 2020! If you’re hoping for something you didn’t see on this list, feel free to let us know so we can get it on the roadmap!

Have Fun & Fly Safe!

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