MacDill Air Force Base in Florida would like to remind it’s airmen to leave the drones for Creech.
In a post to the base’s website and Facebook pages, it reminded troops that small personal drones that are commercially available are illegal to fly on base grounds.
“Are you thinking of buying a drone for the holidays? You may want to rethink this gift idea,” the post said. “As drones increase in popularity and decrease in price, it may be tempting to purchase a drone as a gift for the holiday season. While it may be fun to own a drone, drones are not allowed to operate on MacDill Air Force Base.”
The Tampa Bay Tribune noted that MacDill has already had several run-ins with drones. On April 17, for example,a KC-135 was on approach to land at the base when crews reported a drone flying just 20 feet below the aircraft, according to Federal Aviation Administration records the paper reviewed.
The announcement from MacDill noted that “under law, drones are considered an aircraft and are prohibited from being flown on military installations because manning a drone in the nation’s airspace automatically makes it a part of the U.S. aviation system.”
If you do decide to fly a drone (off-base, of course), the FAA has released a few guidelines:
- Small personal drones must fly below 400 feet and always remain within line of sight of their controller
- Don’t fly over large groups of people, including sports stadiums
- Don’t fly within five miles of an airport without first consulting with air traffic control
- Don’t fly near other aircraft
- Don’t fly near emergency response personnel or active emergency scenes like fires
- And finally, like cars, never fly drunk