MassDOT Aeronautics Division Is Reminding the Public to Know the Rules of the ‘Drone Road’

Following the public reports of drone use over Fenway Park in Boston this spring during the ninth inning of the Red Sox game, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Aeronautics Division is reminding members of the public of their responsibility to know the rules of the “Drone Road.”  Whether you’re a novice drone pilot or have many years of aviation experience, rules and safety tips exist to help you fly safely and to ensure the safety of everyone.

“We are strongly urging drone owners to become aware of the rules for operation as outlined on the website of the Federal Aviation Administration,” said Aeronautics Administrator Jeffrey DeCarlo.  “Drones are not a toy.  They should be operated only under specific circumstances and for specific purposes in order to ensure the safety of the public.”

Please note the following safety protocols:

●Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports

●Never fly over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people

●Never fly near emergencies such as fires or hurricane recovery efforts

●Never fly a drone while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

●Respect privacy and stay within an appropriate operational area – drones should not be flown above private properties, such a neighbor’s backyard

●Do not fly in bad weather conditions or during low visibility

●Operate drones only during daytime hours and within sight.  To maintain visual contact, do not rely on binoculars or try to follow a drone by traveling inside a moving vehicle.

●Do note fly the drone higher than 400 feet.

In addition, please note that the FAA has implemented registration requirements:

•Registration is necessary for drones weighing less than 55 pounds and more than 0.55 pounds. Additional requirements must be adhered to for drones weighing more than 55 pounds. Visit the FAA online at FAA.GOV for more information on registering your drone.

•As a drone operator, you are required by the FAA to properly mark your drone for identification. All drone operators must now place their registration number on the outside of the drone. The FAA has posted a new rule in the Federal Register requiring small drone owners to display the FAA-issued registration number on an outside surface of the aircraft. Owners and operators may no longer place or write registration numbers in an interior compartment as allowed previously.

The rule was effective on February 23, 2019. The markings must be in place for any flight after that date.

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