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Airport Reaches Out to Unmanned Aircraft Operators

Post Date:01/28/2016 9:45 AM

Airport Reaches Out to Unmanned Aircraft Operators to Ensure Safe Operations

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, January 27, 2016 – The Chippewa Valley Regional Airport (CVRA) is reaching out to operators of small unmanned aircraft (UAS) or drones, to remind them of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements for safe operation.

An FAA fact sheet on UAS states that pilot reports of interactions with suspected unmanned aircraft have increased from 238 sightings in all of 2014 to 780 through August 2015. The popularity of UAS is only expected to increase with hundreds of thousands of model unmanned aircraft purchased over the holiday season. As a result, the FAA is requiring UAS owners using the aircraft for hobby or recreation to register their UAS
through a web based system at: www.faa.gov/uas/registration.

This website is only for hobbyists whose aircraft weighs more than .55 pounds and less than 55 pounds. Unmanned aircraft weighing more than 55 pounds must register using the traditional FAA aircraft
registration process.

According to Airport Director, Charity Zich, “The Chippewa Valley Regional Airport has not had issues with UAS operators in the vicinity of the Airport thus far. However, we want to be out in front of the issues educating people on safe use of UAS to ensure the safety of aircraft and persons utilizing the Airport.”

All UAS operators are required to contact the Airport and the Air Traffic Control Tower if they are operating within 5 miles of the Airport. A map showing an approximate 5 mile radius around the airport is included with this release. Additional safety guidelines for recreational or hobbyist UAS operators include:
 Fly below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles;
 Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times;
 Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations;
 Do not fly near people or stadiums;
 Do not fly an aircraft that weighs more than 55 lbs;
 Do not be careless or reckless with your unmanned aircraft – you could be fined for endangering people or other aircraft.

Zich also cautions that there are multiple types of UAS operators including hobbyist, government/public, and commercial. There are different requirements for each category of UAS operation so it is important for the operator to do their research before putting their UAS in the air. For example, a commercial operator is not just someone who gets paid for operating their UAS. UAS operation by a business is considered a commercial use and the operator of the UAS must be a licensed pilot unless they have had that requirement specifically waived by the FAA.

About the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport – The Chippewa Valley Regional Airport is
an FAA certified commercial service airport located in Eau Claire, WI. The airport is owned
by Eau Claire County and operated by Eau Claire and Chippewa counties.
Businesses at the airport offer commercial service flights, on-demand charter flights,
emergency medical transportation, flight instruction, sightseeing tours, aircraft rental, aircraft
maintenance, car rentals, and a full service restaurant.
An economic impact study conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation
indicates that the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport provided over $72.1 million in
economic output, supported 458 jobs and contributed $15.3 million in wage income to the
local and state economy in 2014.
For any questions please contact the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport at (715) 839-6241

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