NAS Whidbey Island encourages drone safety

(NAS WHIDBEY ISLAND)- Recreational drones have become increasingly common in our national skies, for several different reasons. Flying drones for recreational purposes can be a lot of fun and have many beneficial uses. However, they can also be dangerous.

Officials at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island want drone operators in the local area to thoroughly understand the rules and safety precautions where they fly in order to prevent collisions with military and civilian aircraft.

"Safety is our number one priority," said Capt. Geoff Moore, Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. "Unmanned aircraft systems are becoming increasingly important, not only as recreational devices, but their use also has many potential practical applications for local businesses and our national economy. We have to find the balance between safety of their use and the role they play in our society."

All drone activities within the United States must follow the appropriate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and guidelines. Operating drones outside FAA rules and guidelines is considered unauthorized activity and could be subject to penalties under the law.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also administers the Small Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Rule. To fly under the Small UAS Rule you must get a remote pilot certificate from the FAA and register your UAS as a "non-modeler."

To find information on flying under Small UAS Rule go to:

To register your drone go to

While flying drones in designated areas, pilots are reminded to adhere to other safety measures such as:

- Never fly near other aircraft or ships.
- If you plan on flying within 5 miles of Ault Field call Air Traffic Control at (360) 257-2887.
- Stay informed of policies and rules.
- Never fly over groups of people.
- Report suspicious activities to NAS Whidbey Island base security at 360-257-3893, or call 911.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has published guidelines regarding recreational drone use at