Use of Drones in Chatham

Basic Information Regarding – Drones
Prepared by the Chatham Airport Commission March 2016

The Federal Aviation Administration regards all drones (UAS) as aircraft! If you own and fly a drone that weighs more than half a pound, you are required to register it with the FAA regardless of how you use it. You must also provide the registration certificate upon request and the drone must be marked with this registration or serial number. The drone must not endanger persons or property on the ground; it must give way to and not interfere with manned aircraft, and it must comply with all flight restrictions. If the drone is used within five (5) miles of any airport, the user must notify the airport operator or control tower of the flight REGARDLESS of its flying altitude. This means to operate a drone in any part of Chatham you must notify the Chatham Municipal Airport at this phone number: 508-945-9000 or via email. Failure to follow the above rules may result in civil penalties up to $27,500, and criminal penalties or fines up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.

Also, if you use a drone for non-hobby or commercial purposes, the rules are much more strict, including the need to possess a pilot certificate. The FAA is very serious about the use of drones; they are NOT toys. For further information, go to the FAA website or knowbeforeyoufly.org. There is also a smartphone App called B4Ufly that provides information about drone use in the area surrounding airports near your location.

To register a drone, click here. You can also stop in at Chatham airport and speak with them about your use of a drone in the town. The Airport Commission will provide as much information as possible regarding drone use over Chatham and incident reporting in the coming months on the Commission's website and on the CQX Airport Site.