Drones become prohibited on Buckley

  • Published
  • By A1C Michael D. Mathews
  • 460th SW/PA

Drones are the newest trend in hobbyist aviation. A drone or unmanned aerial system (UAS) have also become a new trend in security risks just as much as a hobby.

“Drones are a serious issue for Buckley Air Force Base because you don’t know what the intention is of the person flying the drone,” said Paul Christinson, 460th Security Forces Squadron detective. “They can be used to collect intelligence and some have even been used to drop payloads that can be lethal.”

Recently, four drone incidents have been reported at Buckley AFB. The amount of incidents that have been reported could be nowhere near the amount that haven't been reported, said Christinson. At high altitudes, finding drones can be compared to finding a needle in a haystack. Any sights or suspicions of drone activity should be reported immediately the 460th SFS at 720-847-9250.

“We need the base populous to detect drones, we rely on them to help us out,” said Christinson “Anyone that sees a drone should report it immediately to security forces.”

This past month a memorandum was sent out by Col. Troy L. Endicott, 460th Space Wing commander, prohibiting the use of UAS on base.

“Our biggest problem is our hobbyists, any and all kinds of drones pose a threat to security,” said Christinson.

There are locations hobbyists can fly their drones legally that are very close to Buckley AFB without wondering if they are following regulations.

“Cherry Creek State park is a great place for those looking to fly drones. It's drone friendly and it’s close,” said Master Sgt. Daniel Gladkowski 460th Security Forces Squadron mission assurance.

There will be a zero tolerance system put in place by the 460th SFS to detect, deter and defeat any UAS in the Buckley airspace slated to begin this year, so it's best to start complying with rules and regulations now.

Anyone interested in flying drones can look online for the Federal Aviation Administration instructions, no fly zones, Air Traffic Control tower contact information and FAA facilities.