The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is warning drone operators that they could face significant fines if they interfere with emergency response operations in the areas affected by Hurricane Florence.
The agency explains that many aircraft, which are conducting lifesaving missions and other critical response and recovery efforts, are likely to be flying at low altitudes. In turn, flying a drone without authorization in or near the disaster area may unintentionally disrupt rescue operations and violate federal, state or local laws and ordinances, even if a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is not in place, the FAA says.
If drone operators are flying in controlled airspace or a disaster TFR to support the response and recovery, they must first contact the FAA’s System Operations Support Center (SOSC) by emailing 9-ATOR-HQ-SOSC@faa.gov the information they need to authorize access to the airspace. Coordination with the SOSC may also include a requirement that a drone operator obtain support from the appropriate incident commander.
More information can be found here.