Carson City Sheriff’s call for drone safety
The Carson City Sheriff’s Office is urging drone enthusiasts to educate themselves on the regulations of use.
Sheriff Ken Furlong said he has received several reports of drone misconduct, and wants enthusiasts to be aware of the Nevada rules and regulations surrounding the devices in order to keep everyone safe.
“While we welcome the use of drones, and they are becoming a large sport, we have had several reports from the airport that this large sport is becoming a hazard,” Furlong said. “We don’t believe that the sport enthusiasts are aware of all the issues around drones that are covered in the Nevada statutes.”
One of the major regulations surrounding drones is they can’t be flown within five miles of an airport, and because of the size of Carson City, it posses a problem for drone users. Any drone that’s more than half a pound needs to be registered and have permission from the Carson City airport to fly it in town.
“The permission issue is unique because we have such a small landmass where we live in conjunction to the airport,” Furlong said. “It isn’t that drone users can’t fly them in Carson City, but they need to be educated so that we don’t have an accident.”
Furlong said they received a report a Carson Airport pilot had a near miss at the airport with a drone.
“He informed us that he was nearly hit by the drone, and that would not have been good,” Furlong said. “So we want to make sure we get a hand on this with simple solutions, like advocacy.”
One education tool the Sheriff’s Office is advocating is an app called B4UFly that helps drone users keep their situational awareness while flying. Furlong said that by drone users utilizing things like the app, it can help benefit the user, keep the community safer and reduce law enforcement interaction.
“We aren’t advocating don’t fly your drone, we are advocating to follow the simple rules and we can all function happily together,” Furlong said.
Failure to register or abide by the accordances could result in federal charges, including up to $27,500 in fines for civil penalties or $250,000 and three years in prison for criminal penalties, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The regulations provisions can also be found under NRS 493.
“We don’t want to see any of our residents get hit with that kind of fine, so spread the word on education,” Furlong said. Drone users can contact the Carson City Airport for permission to fly at (775) 841-2255.