CREST HILL, Ill. – As the holiday gifting season comes to an end, state Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, is encouraging those who recently received or purchased a new drone to review new rules and safety guidelines before flying their new gadget.
“As drones become more popular, the rules and safety procedures change quickly,” Connor said. “It is a good idea for all drone users to reference the aviation safety resources offered by the Illinois Department of Transportation, and to look for community-based protocols as well.”
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) website, recreational drones cannot interfere with manned aircraft flight and users must always notify airport operators and air traffic control towers if flying within five miles of an airport. IDOT also notes that recreational drones may not exceed 55 pounds, unless certified by a community-based safety program.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) has published the AMA National Model Aircraft Safety Code, which should be referenced by drone hobbyists for additional safety guidelines. Residents who wish to review the IDOT and AMA safety procedures should visit http://idot.illinois.gov/transportation-system/safety/aviation-safety/uas.
“Using new technology is exciting, but safety should always come first,” Connor said. “Taking the time to review safety protocols only takes a few minutes, and will keep even the most experienced drone users out of trouble.”