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By Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster
/ Published November 25, 2019
Commercial drones are a popular hobby for aviation enthusiast and novices alike. They are also widely sought after gifts. With the holidays approaching Team Schriever members should know they are not allowed to operate drones at Schriever Air Force Base. For more information on drone aviation or those interested in flying drones, visit https://www.faa.gov/uas/ for instructions, no fly zones, air traffic control tower information and Federal Aviation Administration facilities. (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)
Commercial drones are a popular hobby and gift – with the holidays approaching, Team Schriever members are reminded they are not allowed to operate drones at Schriever Air Force Base.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, are defined as an aircraft operated and controlled without a human on board and there are guidelines in place for use.
“UAS guidelines come from FAA part 107 guidelines, as well as base-specific guidance,” Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Brown, 50th Security Forces Squadron area supervisor said. “Schriever specific guidelines come from a memorandum policy letter from the 50th Space Wing commander prohibiting use of UAS on Schriever AFB.”
Master Sgt. Jerald Harris, 50th SFS operations noncommissioned officer in charge, said drones are different than manned aircraft, and introducing them into the airspace presents challenges for the aviation communities, the FAA and law enforcement agencies.
“The increase in popularity has added a new element to security concerns,” he said. “The challenge with drones is you don’t know the motive or intentions of the operator.”
Drones can be used to gather intelligence and some have the capability of delivering explosive ordnances.
“Some drones can fly at high altitudes and speeds, making them extremely difficult to identify or even see at times,” said Harris.
Harris said 50th SFS can’t do it alone. The unit also needs the support from personnel on Schriever AFB to assist with detecting drones.
“If anyone observes a UAS, even if you’re not completely sure of its identity, report it immediately to 50th SFS at 719-567-6464,” Harris said. “Counter measures are in place to detect, deter and defeat any UAS on or above Schriever AFB.”
Brown advised as people look for gift ideas and consider drones to do their research.
“Learn about the UAS and its capabilities,” Brown said. “I would also advise to always follow the rules and be safe. Visit the FAA website and review regulations part 107.”
For more information on drone aviation or those interested in flying drones, visit https://www.faa.gov/uas/ for instructions, no fly zones, air traffic control tower information and FAA facilities.
If you see a drone inside any installation, do not approach and contact the law enforcement desk: Peterson SFB 719-556-4000, Schriever SFB 719-567-5642, Cheyenne Mountain 719-474-3311, and Air Force Academy 719-333-7272. All downed drones should be treated as a suspicious package.
*Updated Jan. 26, 2023 with phone numbers