Military, Public Service, Regulatory

FAA to Drone Operators – Steer Clear of TFRs

By Staff Writer | July 29, 2015

Fire, Unmanned

The FAA is joining the campaign to keep drones from jeopardizing aerial firefighting operations. A July 29 statement from the aviation agency reiterates the "If you fly, we don’t" message spread by the U.S. Forest Service, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and other organizations. Their warnings came in response to several incidents where drones flying near wild fires prompted the suspension of aerial firefighting operations. “Flying a drone near aerial firefighting aircraft doesn’t just pose a hazard to the pilots,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “When aircraft are grounded because an unmanned aircraft is in the vicinity, lives are put at greater risk.” The FAA urges operators of unmanned aerial systems to be cognizant of temporary flight restrictions (TFRs), which are commonly put in place over areas of firefighting operations to give helicopter and fixed-wing crews a safe, obstacle-free airspace; TFRs prohibit the flight of unauthorized aircraft within their boundaries. 

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