BTV Set Rules for Flying Drones

By Christine Souders |

Published 08/15 2014 07:39PM

Updated 08/15 2014 07:46PM

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Burlington International Airport is looking to the FAA to help them better define where and when people can fly drones.

BTV Officials said the remote control aircraft are growing in popularity.

In fact, this month airport operations has received 30 requests to fly them.

Unmanned aircraft are changing the way we look at the world.

Often with cameras attached, drones have been used to capture news events, and in this case beautiful pictures from above for commercial use.

Carl Pfranger flies his aircraft for fun.

"It does allows you to explore and be in a different area you can't walk to," said Carl Pfranger, a drone user.

No matter the reason, these remote control planes are causing safety concerns at Burlington International Airport.

"We have people in an airplane, sometimes 150, 180 people and if one of these devices gets in the way of one of those planes it could cause a crash. Because we have planes departing and landing here at the airport, as they're coming in we want to make sure there's nothing to interfere with that landing or take off," said Gene Richards, Director of Aviation at Burlington International Airport.

Airport officials said the rule of thumb is if you are within a 5 mile radius of the airport to contact airport operations before you do so.

"That's Essex, Williston, Colchester, Burlington. If you're in a 5 mile area you are required to call the airport and let us know," said Gene Richards.

Which is exactly what Carl Pfranger said he does every time he takes flight, and he never loses sight of safety.

"You can turn on the GPS. So if it accidently loses control or connects you with the remote, it'll automatically return to the area where it's taking off from," said Pfranger.

BTV recently sent data to the FAA to determine what is the best protocol when using drones near the airport, and what are area are less of a risk nearby the airport.

The FAA can take legal action if you are caught flying too close for comfort.



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