Lofty Ideals: Airport Manager Urges Local Drone Hobbyists to Comply with FAA Regulations

MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho (July 31, 2017) – One Mountain Home Municipal Airport official wants local unmanned aerial systems enthusiasts to add his phone number to their pre-flight checklist.

Ted Thompson, Mountain Home Municipal Airport manager, wants to help ensure recreational UAS pilots in Mountain Home enjoy their flight time safely and legally.

The chief concern here, said Thompson, is ensuring safety for people in the air and on the ground. As part of the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reauthorization Act of 2012, hobbyists are required to notify any airport within five miles prior to operating their UAS. This notification affords Thompson the opportunity to help pilots of manned aircraft to make informed decisions based on UAS activity in the area.

However, there is an alternative to calling Thompson every time you get the urge to fly. He points out that there is a City of Mountain Home-approved radio control airfield at Bert Landon Park on Fisher Road that hobbyists can enjoy with no requirement to notify officials. The park includes a cleared area for a remote control aircraft runway and landing strip.

Other tips and information resources include:

  • Avoid operating higher than 400 feet above the ground.
  • Do not endanger people or property. Remain well clear of manned aircraft operations. Avoid overflight of moving vehicles or people.
  • Remain within visual line of sight of your unmanned aircraft. Use a visual observer when necessary or appropriate.
  • Do not fly near or over sensitive infrastructure or property such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, government facilities, etc.
  • Be aware of FAA airspace requirements. Go to: www.faa.gov/go/uastfr and www.faa airspace for details.
  • Go to www.FAASafety.gov “Hot Topics” and read the community-based safety guidelines, as developed by organizations such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics .
  • Go to: knowbeforeyoufly.org for more information.

The bottom line is safety, said Thompson. “Always operate your drone in a way that does not interfere with and gives way to manned aircraft,” he said.

UAS enthusiasts are encouraged to contact Thompson directly at (208) 587-3585 or via email at ted@mountainhomeairport.com with flight notifications or further questions.

Unmanned aerial systems enthusiasts operating within five miles of any airport are required by Federal Aviation Administration guidelines to notify the airport beforehand. In Mountain Home, the exception to this rule is any hobbyist operating their UAS at Bert Landon Park on Fisher Road. All others are encouraged to contact Ted Thompson, Mountain Home Municipal Airport manager at (208) 587-3585 or email ted@mountainhomeairport.com prior to takeoff.

About Alexa