TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Travis Air Force Base has updated its small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), or drone, policy per the direction of the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration, banning all private use of sUAS devices on base effective immediately.
Privately owned drones were previously permitted and limited use was allowed within non-restricted areas of the base under strict-guidelines; however, updates from the Defense Secretary and the FAA prompted the complete ban on and around military installations to ensure safety and security regulations are enforced.
“It’s vital to base security and our uninterrupted operations that we maintain clear airspace around the base,” said Maj. Marie Steffen, 60th Operations Support Squadron assistant director of operations.
Unofficial drones discovered within the base perimeter may be subject to seizure by local or base authorities.
“We don’t wish to impose upon private use of drones, however, you are only able to fly personal drones off base within FAA permitted areas,” said Steffan who is the sUAS working group chair for Travis AFB.
Should the need arise, Travis AFB has mechanisms in place to subdue unpermitted drones that trespass on base.
“Travis AFB has adapted and developed tactics, designed to quickly incapacitate an unauthorized drone,” said Steffen. “We train select Airmen in the proper and safe use of these devices for the express purpose of subduing a drone should the need arise.”
The policy’s goal is to protect military aircraft and personnel from the additional risks posed by airborne devices on and around active airfields, as well as reduce the security risks of drone cameras in secure areas.
“Local laws and Travis AFB regulations state that drone users are prohibited from operating on military installations,” said Capt. Justin May, 60th Security Forces Squadron operations officer. “It is our goal to inform the public, so the 60th SFS can continue to carry out our mission of defending Travis AFB from any threat, any time. If drone users have questions, I would encourage them to contact the local FAA office or review their policies online before operating a drone anywhere.”
The drone ban policy extends to base residents, dependents and guests of Travis AFB personnel.
Specific guidelines on the proper use of drones are listed on the FAA website at https://www.faa.gov/uas/.
Please report on-base drone activity to 60th SFS at 707-424-2800, Option 3.