Golden Gate Bridge to drone operators: Buzz off

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The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District this week is installing new signs to remind people that flying drones over or near the famous bridge is prohibited.

District officials said the a drone, also known as unmanned aerial system, pose safety and security risks to people on the bridge.

“Whether due to operator error or technical problems, drones can and do fail,” district officials said in a statement. “When they drop from the sky, they pose great risk of causing traffic, bicycle and pedestrian accidents, especially given the crowded conditions on the bridge.”

Drones are also banned from flying near the bridge and its surrounding property, including National Park Service land immediately north and south of the span, according to the district.

Drones found flying near the bridge will be tracked and confiscated, while the operator will be identified and may face prosecution, district officials said.

The reminder comes as the Federal Aviation Administration on Monday began requiring anyone who buys a small unmanned aircraft weighing between 0.55 and 55 pounds to register the device before they fly outdoors.

“For decades, the only people who had access to our airspace were highly trained pilots who came from a culture where safety was deeply embedded,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement. “Now, thousands upon thousands of brand new users are starting to fly, and the reality is that most have very limited or no aviation experience.”

Huerta said registration “provides us with a key opportunity to teach them about the rules and regulations they must follow, and it will help them become part of the safety culture that has been deeply embedded in traditional aviation for more than a century.”

Registration costs $5 and can be done online at https://registermyuas.faa.gov. People who have previously bought an unmanned aircraft have until Feb. 19 to register the device.

Source: Bay City News

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