PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 2, 2022) – The operation of unauthorized unmanned aircraft systems, such as personal hobbyist or commercial drones, is prohibited at the Presidio of Monterey and all other military installations.
Unauthorized UAS can surveil, disrupt or potentially strike military assets, and commanders can authorize necessary actions to protect the installation, said Tom Davis, the Presidio’s antiterrorism officer.
“While the Army regrets any loss to personal property, it is our duty to protect our people, missions and assets and to treat any unauthorized unmanned aircraft systems as a threat,” Davis said.
The Federal Aviation Administration has designated the airspace over military installations as no-drone zones, Davis said.
In addition to the loss of equipment, unmanned aircraft operators who violate FAA flight restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges, Davis said.
Military officials found it necessary to prohibit the use of unofficial unmanned aircraft because of the increase in the devices’ popularity and technology, Davis said.
“It’s very important that we don’t allow drones over our military installations because, for our own force protection and physical security, we don’t know if they’re for nefarious acts or not,” Davis said.
For drone enthusiasts who want to make sure they’re operating in a safe place, the FAA has an app called “B4UFly” that uses phone location information to determine whether it is safe to use a drone or not, Davis said.
“It automatically has everything built in and it will say, ‘Yes, you’re safe to fly here,’ or, ‘No, and here are the restrictions,’” Davis said.
The app also states why drone use is not allowed in certain places, Davis said. For example, some places are within a restricted airspace.
In addition, the app will also note if drone use is allowed but only below a particular height, such as 400 feet, Davis said.
Davis said he encourages people to report drone use around the Presidio and other military installations.
Garrison officials work closely with local law enforcement to ensure the safety of our community and assets, Davis said. To report any sighting of an unmanned aircraft system or drone, call the Presidio of Monterey Police Department at (831) 242-7851.