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Warwick, RI – May 22, 2020 - The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) reminds owners of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), often referred to as Drones, of state and federal regulations requiring the safe operation and registration of drones.  Drones have surged in popularity over the past few years and are increasingly being used to obtain photos and videos. As a reminder, anyone wishing to operate a drone within RI must follow all current Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) pertaining to Drones. More information is available at https://www.faa.gov/uas/.

Operating a drone/UAS in violation of any federal regulation(s) may also violate Rhode Island’s Uniform Aeronautical Regulatory Act (UAR), constituting a misdemeanor. RIAC is enlisting the support of the RI State Police and Municipal Police departments to monitor and enforce this law.

The Rhode Island Airport Corporation’s primary concern is aviation safety.  Drone operators should know that if they intentionally violate any of these safety requirements, and/or operate in a careless or reckless manner, they could be liable for criminal and/or civil penalties.

Current Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR - Parts 101 and 107) state in part:

  • No person may operate a drone in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another, nor allow any object to be dropped from a drone in an unsafe manner.
  • No person shall operate a drone above 400 feet or at a speed greater than 100mph.
  • Drones are not allowed to be operated over persons or moving cars.
  • No person may operate a drone under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • All drones must have displayed registration number and weigh less than 55 lbs.
  • Drone photography of people should not take place in locations where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual’s permission.
  • Drones are not allowed to be flown at night or in poor visibility without proper lighting.
  • Anyone operating a drone for hire must have a Remote Pilot Certificate and must present their certificate for inspection to any RI Law Enforcement Official when requested.
  • No person may operate a drone in controlled airspace without prior authorization or in a manner that interferes with operations and traffic patterns at any airport or heliport.
About T.F. Green Airport: A convenient and low-cost international gateway to New England, T.F. Green Airport (PVD) has a large catchment area with 7.5 million residents within 90 minutes of the airport. It attracts passengers from nearby Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut. PVD is located just outside of Providence, Rhode Island. Well known for ease of traveler access, affordable parking and short lines, T.F. Green Airport was named as one of USA Today’s “Readers’ Choice Best Small Airports” for 2020