If you choose to fly your drone recreationally (pursuant to the Special Rule for Model Aircraft) within five miles of an airport, over the objection of the airport operator you need to make sure you have all your legal ducks in a row. Don’t let this intimidate you. Just read through the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (available on this website) and document that you are meeting all the requirements of that rule. Also make sure you are following with best practices for safe drone operation and confirm that your operation does not endanger manned aircraft.
The airport operator can take one of the following actions if you fly over his or her objection:
- Contact the airport traffic control tower (ATCT), if one is located at your airport and ask the control tower to investigate further.
- Contact local law enforcement to potentially investigate and, as appropriate, pursue enforcement actions to stop your use of the drone.
- Notify the FAA’s 24 hours Regional Operations Center (ROC).
- Notify the local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).nnIf you have all your legal ducks in a row, then you should be able to weather of action taken against you.
Make sure that you remain calm, polite, and professional as you navigate the situation. The old adage, a soft answer turneth away wrath, can go a long way in making sure you reach your ultimate objective—having a great time flying your drone.