When someone almost crashed their drone into a California Highway Patrol helicopter last weekend, we hoped this prominent case of boneheadedness might serve as ample warning to other drone pilots to keep their aerial vehicles away from helicopters and planes. Well, it turns out that the Federal Aviation Administration and officials at San Francisco International Airport aren't going to leave that to chance, and have issued an official video warning of the potential danger of flying drones near airports.
The video instructs operators to only "fly your drone below 400 feet" and to avoid flying drones near airports, stadiums, or other people.
It also takes a minute to encourage you to narc on other drone operators, saying that "if you see a safety issue involving drones contact local law enforcement immediately."
In a press release issued Wednesday, SFO Airport Director John L. Martin explained the importance of the effort to education drone operators.
“Drones offer a great deal of potential for both recreational and commercial use, but they also pose a significant hazard if not operated properly," explained Martin. "Through this video, we are encouraging drone operators to have a thorough understanding of the rules before flying, and we are asking everyone to promptly report any unsafe drone activity to local law enforcement.”
In the same press release, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta spoke of his group's efforts to figure out how the heck they're going to manage drones.
“Safely integrating unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System is one of our top priorities,” he explained. “Key to this effort is educating new unmanned aircraft operators about the rules that apply to them and that they have a responsibility to fly safely, just like the pilot of a Cessna or Boeing 747."
So don't fly your drones near SFO, got it? If you're still unsure, you can check out this 2014 video produced by the FAA with the stated goal of helping you "[stay] off the naughty list!"
Related: Someone Almost Crashed A Drone Into A CHP Helicopter On Saturday