Springerville, AZ, July 28, 2017- Aerial surveys will be conducted on over two-million acres of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNFs) to detect forest insect and disease outbreaks. Aerial surveys include remote sensing to acquire aerial images and data of forests and grasslands and firefighting. The surveys will begin August 7 and could continue through August 18.
Under Federal Aviation Administration safety guidelines, members of the public are required to fly drones at or below 400 feet. That is about the same altitude at which Forest Service aircraft often fly to perform natural resource management missions, which creates the potential for a catastrophe. ASNFs are asking the public to work with us to help prevent an accident from happening and urging the public to contact land managers/owners before flying drones.
The ASNFs urges UAS/drone operators to utilize the B4UFLY app https://www.faa.gov/uas/where_to_fly/b4ufly/. This app provides situational awareness by letting you know where you should and should not fly and where there might be conflicts with manned aircraft activities.
Data collected from the insect and disease aerial surveys can be accessed by visiting https://foresthealth.fs.usda.gov/portal/Flex/IDS.
It is the drone operator’s responsibility to be aware of Forest Service flights and stay grounded.