FAA rule will restrict drones over 133 military bases

The Federal Aviation Administration has restricted drone flights over 133 military bases beginning Friday, the agency has announced.
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The Federal Aviation Administration has restricted drone flights over 133 military bases beginning Friday, the agency has announced.

The Federal Aviation Administration has restricted drone flights over 133 military bases beginning Friday, the agency has announced.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was not one of the bases, but it was evaluating the new rules to determine what impact it might have, said base spokeswoman Marie Vanover.

Initial interaction with the FAA indicated it would have some impact, but the extent was still being determined, according to Capt. Chelsea Silsby, 88th Air Base Wing airfield operations flight commander at Wright-Patterson.

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FAA rules today bar flying a drone within five miles of an airfield. Wright-Patterson has two, a main airfield for flight operations and a smaller runway next to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The Department of Defense identified the 133 bases for special security measures, the FAA reported.

Drone flights can be allowed in the airspace “under special circumstances,” the federal agency said in a statement to this newspaper.

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In recent years, the FAA has tracked reports of pilot sightings of unmanned aerial vehicles while in flight.

A review of data in an FAA database by this newspaper between November 2014 to September 2016 showed one sighting reported six miles from Dayton International Airport and two near Wilmington.

The FAA database did not show any incidents involving Wright-Patterson. Silsby said the information was not releasable.

Pilot sightings of unmanned aerial vehicles have risen sharply year to year. In 2015, the number reached 1,218 while that figure reached 1,837 last year, according to the agency.

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