As more people are out and about in the warm weather, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), in collaboration with the Massachusetts State Police, is renewing efforts to educate the public about the safe use of drones and ensure drone operators follow the recently updated rules and regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“Safety and security is our number one priority. For the safety of all who use the airspace, we want the public to fully understand the rules on drones before they take them out of the box or put them into operation,” said Massport Chief Security Officer Hank Shaw. “Failure to adhere to FAA regulations is no excuse. We recognize there are significant benefits to the use and safe integration of drones into the airspace, but they also pose a significant risk if they’re not operated responsibly. We urge people to know the rules before you fly.”
Federal regulations require all drones over .55 lbs. to be registered with the FAA and must be marked with the registration number. Operators must also carry proof of registration. Other FAA regulations include the following:
· Flying drones in controlled airspace, around and above airports, is prohibited without prior FAA approval;
· Violators will be subject to penalties for breaking the law;
· Never fly drones near any aircraft;
· Keep your drone in sight at all times and fly lower than 400 feet;
Register your drone before your first flight; and
Comply with Remote ID rules.
Additionally, the FAA has developed the free mobile application, B4UFLY, which shows an interactive map to help recreational drone operators know where they can and cannot fly. Using a mobile device’s location, the app also features a status indicator that informs the operator whether it is safe to fly, and provides critical information, including controlled and restricted airspace.
Massport recently put out an ad campaign in various community newspapers and on social media to encourage drone operators to “Know the Rules before your Fly.” The ads feature a QR code linked to the FAA’s “Drone Zone” website. The campaign, which began in late April, targets the communities around Boston Logan International Airport, Laurence G. Hanscom Field, and Worcester Regional Airport, as well as communities along the flight paths to and from these airports.
Since 2016, Massport has installed approximately 200 “No Drone Zone” signs in over 50 parks and other locations around Boston Logan International Airport, as well as signage.