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FAA OKs Drones On Airport

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Old March 23rd 18, 06:07 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Default FAA OKs Drones On Airport


FAA OKs Drones On Airport

Mary Grady

Drone flights are restricted within 5 miles of an airport, unless the
FAA gives advance permission, but now the FAA is beginning to approve
flights within the airport boundaries for professional operators. Last
week, the FAA said it will allow first responders to operate drones at
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport — one of the busiest airports
in the world. The airport’s police and fire department can fly drones,
but they must remain lower than 50 feet above the ground and the
operators must maintain contact with ATC at all times. The drones can
be equipped with infrared cameras and zoom capabilities to help
responders detect various kinds of threats and hazards.

The first FAA approval for such operations went to Hartsfield-Jackson
Atlanta International Airport — the world’s busiest airport — last
March. ATL hired a drone operator to help with runway inspections. The
contractor said the drone could inspect the runway in less than half
the time it would take for the traditional method of manually
photographing the runway surface. In a recent report, the FAA said it
estimates there are now about 1.1 million drones being flown by
amateur operators in the U.S., and it expects that fleet to double in
size over the next five years. The number of drones operated for
commercial purposes also is growing. About 110,000 commercial
operators had registered by the end of 2017, and the FAA projects
about 450,000 operators by 2022.


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