DRBA Advises UAS Operators to Know Before You Fly; Stay Clear of Regional Airports
Urges Recreational Drone Users to Register Aircraft with FAA

(New Castle, DE) The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) would like to remind consumers that Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), also known as “drones,” are considered aircraft, and are not just toys. It is expected that thousands of drones will be given as gifts this holiday season. While Delaware and New Jersey currently do not have state laws governing the recreational or hobbyist use of drones, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does have authority over the National Airspace System (NAS).

“Given the anticipated growth in drone flying, we want to make sure that operators are knowledgeable and understand their responsibilities when it comes to flying these aircraft,” said Stephen Williams, Director of Airport Operations for the DRBA. “We are particularly concerned that operators may violate airspace near one of our airport facilities.” Williams noted that it’s illegal to fly a drone - without prior authorization - within a 3 mile radius of a non-towered airport and a 5 mile radius of a towered airport.

The DRBA supports the legal flying of drones and is actively participating in research and development of new systems and technologies related to the integration of drones into the NAS and to the use of UASs for emergency management, homeland security, communications, precision agriculture, transportation infrastructure management and preservation and many other emerging uses.

In New Jersey, the Authority operates two non-towered facilities, including the Cape May County Airport (WWD) in Erma and the Millville Airport (MIV) in Millville. In Delaware, the DRBA manages the towered Wilmington Airport (ILG) in New Castle as well as the non-towered Delaware Airpark (33N) at Cheswold adjacent to the State’s Capital, Dover. The DRBA also operates the Civil Air Terminal, the public use facility connected to Dover Air Force Base.

Starting today, December 21, 2015, recreational users will be required to register their drone with the FAA, which can be done easily through the FAA website. The FAA is requiring all hobby/model UAS’s that weigh between 250 grams (.55 lbs) and 55 pounds – including any payloads such as on-board cameras – to be registered. The registration is valid for three years. The normal registration fee is $5, but in an effort to encourage as many people as possible to register quickly, the FAA is waiving this fee for the first 30 days (from Dec. 21, 2015 to Jan 20, 2016). Owners may register through a web-based system at www.faa.gov/uas/registration

The DRBA Airports Division asks that recreational UAS owners review the rules for flying drones or other such aircraft to keep users and those in our communities safe. Please visit www.faa.gov/uas or www.knowbeforeyoufly.org for important information that will help ensure your “flying” experience is both safe and fun.

About the Delaware River and Bay Authority
The DRBA, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May- Lewes Ferry, and the Forts Ferry Crossing. The DRBA also manages corporate and aviation properties through its economic development powers - two airports in New Jersey (Millville Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (New Castle Airport, Civil Air Terminal and Delaware Airpark). All DRBA operating revenues are generated through the bridge, ferry and airport facilities. For more information, visit www.drba.net.

PDF of Press Release

No Fly Zone Graphic