Reports of unmanned aircraft (UAS) sightings from pilots, citizens and law enforcement have increased dramatically over the past two years. The FAA now receives more than 100 such reports each month. The agency wants to send out a clear message that operating drones around airplanes, helicopters and airports is dangerous and illegal. Unauthorized operators may be subject to stiff fines and criminal charges, including possible jail time.
The FAA continues to work closely with its industry partners through the “Know Before You Fly” campaign to educate unmanned aircraft users about where they can operate within the rules. The agency also is working closely with the law enforcement community to identify and investigate unauthorized unmanned aircraft operations. The FAA has levied civil penalties for a number of unauthorized flights in various parts of the country, and has many open enforcement cases.
The FAA encourages the public to report unauthorized drone operations to local law enforcement and to help discourage this dangerous, illegal activity.