Story by Jeremy Brooks on 02/16/2018Flying drones for recreational purposes can be a lot of fun but it can also be dangerous. All drone pilots must thoroughly understand the rules and safety precautions where they fly.
In Washington, D.C., the flying of recreational and professional drones without authorization is prohibited on military installations, including Naval Support Activity Bethesda.
On NSA Bethesda, only one program has been granted an exception and a permit by the Federal Aviation Administration and the commanding officer. This program, run by the American Red Cross at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, is authorized to operate drones with participants in a therapeutic program, but only in designated areas.
"Flying drones in the National Capital Region is prohibited; this includes NSAB," said Hans Semple, NSAB antiterrorism officer. "All personnel who request to fly a drone in the area would need a permit from the FAA."
Drones that are determined to be unauthorized may be targeted or stopped by security personnel.
If you see drones operating on NSA Bethesda that you suspect are unauthorized and/or being operated in a suspicious manner, contact base security at 301-295-1246.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has published guidelines regarding recreational drone use at www.faa.gov/uas/.
If you have a smartphone, you can download the FAA's B4UFLY app for approved flight zones and for flight planning.
For more information on drone operations aboard the installation, contact Hans Semple at firstname.lastname@example.org.