Drone use prohibited on Hanscom AFB without prior authorization

  • Published
  • By Capt. Amelia Leonard
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

Unmanned aircraft systems, often referred to as drones require proper registration with Federal Aviation Administration before using.

Although the FAA allows drones to be flown within 5 miles of an airport with special approval, drone use on Hanscom is strictly prohibited without permission from the Hanscom Field Air Traffic Control Tower and 66th Security Forces Squadron, according to Maj. Brandon Casso, 66 SFS commander.

“The use of a drone my seem harmless, but improper use of the drone could result in a safety issue for aircraft in the airspace around the airfield, as well as specific security concerns for the installation, it’s assets, and persons within the fence,” said Casso. “Every member of Team Hanscom must remain vigilant against our adversaries attempts to collect any information that can do damage to our national security.”

Receiving approval through Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability, or LAANC, as well as DroneZone without prior approval will be denied.

In a report published by the FAA in 2021, global sales of drones surpassed 8.3 million units in 2019 and are projected to grow in the coming years due to the growing demand for safety, security, and surveillance, according to StraightResearch.com. In response, the FAA has created step-by-step instructions on their website to get drone owners started.

Here are the general rules when flying in the United States for personal, recreational use:

  • Fly only for recreational or small-business use.
  • Follow the safety guidelines of an FAA-recognized Community-Based Organization.
  • Keep drones within the visual line of sight or use a visual observer who is physically next to the drone and in direct communication with the operator.
  • Give way to and do not interfere with other aircraft.
  • Fly at or below FAA-authorized altitudes in controlled airspace.
  • Fly at or below 400 feet in uncontrolled airspace.
    • Note: Flying drones in restricted airspace is not allowed. Drone pilots should always check for airspace restrictions prior to flight on the B4UFLY app or the UAS Facility Maps webpage.
  • Take The Recreational UAS Safety Test, or TRUST, and carry proof of test passage when flying.
  • Have a current FAA registration, mark your drones on the outside with the registration number, and carry proof of registration when flying.
    • Beginning Sept. 16, 2023, drones that require an FAA registration number will also require broadcast Remote ID information.
    • In addition, for those who have previously registered a drone, users will need to retrofit with a remote ID so the FAA can identify not only where a drone is flying, but where its operator is located.
  • Do not operate drones in a manner that endangers the safety of the national airspace system.

For more information on registering drones with the FAA go to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) | Federal Aviation Administration (faa.gov)