After two people were cited for flying drones in military airspace last week, the president of a company that trains law enforcement to use drones said greater awareness of the guidelines security was needed.
Art Dawley, president of Aviation Concepts, said one of the first things a person should do when buying a drone is visit the Federal Aviation Administration website.
Dawley said the website offers specific training for recreational and commercial drones that should be completed before flying a drone. The site is also where the drones are registered with the FAA.
“I would say, with relative certainty, there are a number of people buying drones who completely ignore this requirement,” Dawley said. “In most cases…there is a reference to check with the local authorities, but I’m not sure it’s very accurate.”
On June 11, Andersen Air Force Base authorities encountered a drone piloted by two individuals near Ritidian Overlook. Both received federal citations.
Asked about the incident, Dawley said the Ritidian area was completely off-limits.
“It’s a very specific airspace over Ritidian that’s closed until March next year,” Dawley explained.
The Air Force said in a statement that flying drones within 5 miles of military and civilian airports without proper FAA approval is against federal law and could result in the seizure or destruction of the aircraft. drone.
Dawley said that despite the complexity of Guam’s airspace, you can fly drones in most places with the proper approval.
Getting clearance to fly in areas around airports and military bases is one of the few things that recreational drone users in particular should be able to find out when visiting the FAA website.
“For the typical guy who buys a drone for recreational purposes, the very first place he should start is to go to the FAA website. faa.gov/UASand they should read the step-by-step process to legally fly the drone,” Dawley said.
“In this online training, you will generally be introduced to these types of restrictions, space restrictions, and regulations,” Dawley added.
‘No other way’
The FAA has no way to enforce the rules and find potential violators, so Dawley is confident the only way drone users can stay safe is to check the guidelines online.
“Contact someone who operates drones on the island who can give you this type of advice, lead you to this resource, because not only is it an educational resource, it’s also an online repository to register your drone and maintain records for the FAA,” Daley said.
FAA guidelines are designed to prevent worst-case scenarios from occurring.
“I mean, imagine a recreational pilot just got a drone as a gift who lives a little bit near Guam International Airport, takes the drone off, accidentally flies into Guam International Airport airspace and that the drone collides with or is ingested into a commercial airliner that takes off with 200 passengers on board and causes an engine failure,” Dawley said.
“It’s the worst-case scenario and that’s the job of the FFA – to keep the national airspace system safe, which is why we have these requirements for recreational and commercial users.”