Safety 1st - April 2018
The drone industry has been experiencing rapid growth with sales doubling year after year. When the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) required consumer drones to be registered in late 2015 over 181,000 were registered within weeks. In late March of 2017 the total number of consumer drones registered with the FAA totaled more than 770,000. The FAA estimates the number of consumer drones in 2021 will be 3.55 million.
Drones are being used today by businesses and government for various reasons, such as aerial photography for journalism and film, disaster management, search and rescue operations, precision crop monitoring, storm tracking and forecasting, building safety inspections, geographic mapping and express shipping and delivery.
Recreational drone use is also becoming increasingly popular. If you are one of the growing number of recreational drone operators, please keep these safety tips in mind:
- Register your drone - this is required by the FAA for most drones and can be done through their website.
- Fly your drone at or below 400 feet and remain below any surrounding obstacles when possible.
- Keep your drone within your line of sight and consider having another observer with you to assist.
- Be aware of FAA Airspace Restrictions (see their website for details).
- Respect the privacy of others and do not fly over private property.
- Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports; over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people; emergencies such as fires, crime scenes/investigations, or disaster recovery efforts.
- Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Only operate your drone during daylight hours, unless a special permit is acquired from the FAA.
Even when adhering to all safety requirements, accidents may happen. Remember that you are required to report an accident where any serious injury, loss of consciousness or damage over $500 is sustained within 10 days.
Fly smart. Fly safe. Have fun.
Huntley Safety 1st is the monthly education series written by the staff of the Huntley Police Department. On the first of each month, we provide citizens with information on a different public safety related issue.