DIA Launches Airport Drone Awareness Program

· Sep. 30, 2015, 10:06 pm
Photo: Drone PSA(Sam Brasch/CPR News)
A new aviation group has a simple message for recreational drone owners: Keep your toys away from airports.
They also asked the help of the public in reporting drone sightings near Colorado airports. 
Denver International Airport announced the group today, and it has reason to worry. Seven unauthorized drones have been spotted at or near DIA property in the last three months. They've reached 3,600 feet in elevation and have come as close as 500 feet to approaching aircraft.

"We believe that together we can create an environment that is welcoming to this emerging technology while protecting the safety of aircraft and the safety of the traveling public," said DIA's Chief Operating Officer Ken Greene at a press conference Wednesday. 

"The worst case scenario is a UAS making impact with a manned aircraft and what could happen with that," he said. "So, that's why we are putting all of our focus on what we can do to prevent that and educate people." 
He also hopes drone operators stay away from airports so officials can focus on people who may be using drones as tools of terrorism.  
"Our main purpose of putting a big focus on outreach and education is getting rid of background noise, get rid of the grandparents with their grandkids operating because they don't know their proximity to the airport," said Morra. 
The group plans to ramp up their public education effort ahead of the holiday season when they expect many Americans will be getting drones as gifts. 
As part of that campaign, a PSA will run on screens above the security check at DIA for two weeks this December. 
In the meantime, the group asks that any drone sighting at or near airports be reported to the Denver police at (303) 342-4211. 

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