No fly zone for drones over MacDill

  • Published
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

“Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems or drone flying is prohibited at MacDill Air Force Base,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Dillon Griffey, sUAS program manager assigned to the 6th Security Forces Squadron. “Drone enthusiasts are reminded that, per the Federal Aviation Administration, drones can’t be flown within a 5-mile radius of military airfields or commercial airports.”

Further, according to the FAA, all drones are aircraft—even the ones bought at the toy store. What that means is operators of a drone have the same responsibilities as a pilot of a passenger airplane.

“In addition to being against FAA rules, there are very real safety concerns, and our security forces are stringently going to uphold the no-drone rule,” said Griffey. “Unmanned Aerial Systems, commonly known as drones, are not permitted above MacDill AFB in accordance with existing regulations.”

The standard radius of controlled airspace around an airport is 5 miles. Anyone operating a drone within this radius is required to have a Remote Pilot Certification and prior authorization from the FAA.

Any personnel found to be operating Unmanned Aerial Systems in this manner may be subject to law enforcement action.

The ban of drones over military bases comes from (14 CFR) § 99.7 – “Special Security Instructions” and 10 U.S. Code §130i. “Protection of certain facilities and assets from unmanned aircraft.”

“It’s critical to MacDill’s installation security and flying operations that we maintain a safe and uninterrupted airspace by enforcing the drone ban on MacDill Air Force base,” said Link Collier, MacDill’s airfield manager assigned to the 6th Operations Support Squadron. “We encourage recreational drone owners to educate themselves on local drone policies and regulations in their area and to use them responsibly.”

An article and mobile app, which shows where drone flight is permitted and other useful information is available here:

Information about Airspace Restrictions is available here:

People who witness drones or drone operators in violation of the rule should contact the MacDill AFB Base Defense Operations Center at (813) 828-3322.