Officials from the Texas military are begging Texan civilian drone pilots to get their drones out of the sky because they are interfering with rescue missions during Hurricane Harvey. In a Twitter post by the Texas Military Department account that links to the official site, it says that civilian drones are an extreme threat to their rescue pilots and crews in high need areas. The military department represents the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard.
The Federal Aviation Administration does not ban the flight of drones during a hurricane but in a specific notice relating to Hurricane Harvey warns “unauthorized drone operators” that they may face “significant fines” if they interfere with emergency response operations.
“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has asked that all drone operators—both hobbyists and commercial operators—remain clear of ongoing search-and rescue efforts,” the official said, speaking anonymously because the official was not authorized to be quoted by name. “Drones pose a potential danger to low-flying helicopters and their crews and can hinder the efforts of those who are trying to save lives.”
More than 8,500 federal staff have been deployed to the area, including 1,100 FEMA urban search and rescue personnel combing the waterlogged houses and streets, she said. They’re working alongside the U.S. Coast Guard and roughly 12,000 troops from the Texas National Guard, which Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called to duty in full force Monday.
Image via Daily Beast