As you celebrate the Independence Day holiday, the FAA is sending out reminders to keep safety front and center. The message is simple: drones and fireworks do not mix well together.
While you’re enjoying your drone during the holiday, know that it is not a great idea to capture firework activity with your drone, the FAA points out.
First, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
- Don’t fly your drone in or near fireworks
- Don’t fly over people
- Don’t fly near airports
Next, it’s worth remembering that the July 4 weekend is a time when the FAA uses tools such as Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) to restrict aircraft operations within designated areas. Inadvertent flight into a TFR not only places a drone operator’s license at risk; it also increases the chances of being intercepted by military or law enforcement aircraft. Even worse, straying into TFR airspace may increase the risk of a mid-air collision.
You can check for airspace restrictions and TFRs on the B4UFLY app which is available to download for free in the Apple and Google Play store. For preflight planning and research, B4UFLY is also available as a desktop version. Key features of the app include:
- A clear “status” indicator that informs the drone operator whether it is safe to fly or not. (For example, it shows flying in the Special Flight Rules Area around Washington, D.C. is prohibited.)
- Informative, interactive maps with filtering options.
- Information about controlled airspace, special use airspace, critical infrastructure, airports, national parks, military training routes, and temporary flight restrictions.
- The ability to check whether it is safe to fly in different locations by searching for a location or moving the location pin.
- Links to other FAA drone resources and regulatory information.
To learn more about what you can and can’t do with your drone, go to faa.gov/uas.