The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began promoting “I Fly Safe” for drone operators as millions of people head out to stores on Black Friday. Anticipating that a record-breaking amount of camera-equipped drones would be on shopping lists this year, the organization is warning the would-be operators that they’re also going to become pilot.
According to an FAA press release, when you fly your drone anywhere in the nation’s airspace, you automatically become part of the U.S. aviation system, and under the law, your drone is an aircraft. The release adds: while the rules for drones may be different, you have the responsibility to operate safely, just as a Cessna or 747 pilot does.
“I Fly Safe” is an FAA developed safety checklist that drone operators should use whenever they send a drone into the “Wild Blue Yonder.” The checklist includes the following:
- I fly below 400 feet
- I always fly within visual line of sight
- I’m aware of FAA airspace requirements: faa.gov/go/uastfr
- I never fly over groups of people
- I never fly over stadiums and sports events
- I never fly within 5 miles of an airport without first contacting air traffic control and airport authorities
- I never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires
- I never fly near other other aircraft
- I never fly under the influence