Robins Air Force Base created a new department to be a part of the new drone technology and keep their airspace secure.

Author: Sarah Hammond, 13WMAZ

Updated: 8:09 PM EST January 22, 2020

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — Looking up in the sky, you’ll see more drones than ever before.

Now, Robins Air Force Base wants to be a part of that “emerging technology.”

“We’re trying to harness the best use of that technology,” said Master Sergeant Charles Patterson.

He is part of the new Unmanned Aircraft Systems Management Office and he said their new drones will help emergency response, law enforcement, and civil engineering on the base.

“It’s gonna do a lot of manpower-saving, a lot of time-saving, a lot of money-saving down the road.”

He said they hope to get the first few drones by summertime.

“Just about every week now, you’ll see where a drone is running into a plane or a drone is being sighted and they don’t know what it’s for, so now we’re trying to get a handle on that stuff.”

Captain Kimberly Hofschneider, who is the Flight Commander for Airfield Operations, said they also want to protect their airspace.

“We do have an air traffic control tower here, and they’ve received calls several times about sightings,” she said. “You can imagine if an unmanned aircraft comes into the picture and how that can cause concern for, you know, it’s just as concerning as if an aircraft hits a bird.”

Both Hofschneider and Patterson agree, a drone that gets too close to a plane could cause major problems.

“It could be catastrophic. It can potentially take it down just like a bird strike,” said Patterson.

So he urges flyers to make sure they know all those FAA rules.

If you want to fly a drone for commercial purposes, you must get your Part 107 license and register with the FAA.

Remember to always keep the unmanned aircraft at or below 400 feet, in your line of sight, and away from airfields.

He said it is also a good idea to look over the ‘Drone Zone’ on the FAA website and download the ‘B4UFly’ app to check where you can and can’t fly and at what height.

Never fly over stadiums, public events, or emergencies.

You’re also never allowed to fly a drone under the influence of drugs and alcohol.