Thinking of flying a UAS/drone in the City of Helena?
If you are a recreational user flying your drone within a 5-mile radius of the Airport, you MUST notify the Airport and the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower.
- FAA Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT): 406-449-5756
- HLN Airport Administration: 406-442-2821
FAA Provided Drone Information
- Regulations on flying near an airport can be found HERE.
- Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) information is found HERE
- Commercial UAS Operator Facility Maps can be found HERE
- FAA’s DroneZone is HERE
- Recreational UAS information can be found HERE
These FAA videos illustrate how to operate your drone in a safe way.
Recreational and hobby operators need to adhere to the following safety guidelines:
- Fly below 400 feet.
- Fly your drone within visual line of sight.
- Do not fly near airports, stadiums or groups of people.
- Do not fly within 5 miles of an airport without first contacting FAA Air Traffic Control and the Helena Airport Administration Office. Use the UAS Notification Form to notify the FAA.
- Never fly your drone near other aircraft.
- Never fly your drone near emergency response efforts, such as fires.
- Never fly your drone under the influence.
- Be aware of FAA airspace requirements.
- If you see a safety issue involving drones, contact local law enforcement immediately.
Small Commercial Drones/UAS
- UAS operating under Part 107 must weigh less than 55 lbs
- Part 107 operators will be required to obtain a remote pilots’ certificate, pass an aeronautical knowledge test at a FAA-approved testing center and will be vetted by TSA through a background check
- Current Part 61 pilots’ certificate holders must obtain an UAS rating by passing an online knowledge test
- Altitude will be restricted to 400 ft. AGL – a key change from the NPRM
- Speed is restricted to less than 100 mph (87 knots)
- Only daylight, and twilight operations with proper lighting, will be permitted
- Operations must be within visual line of sight (VLOS) of the operator
- Minimum operator age under Part 107 will be 16 years of age
- Operations over unprotected or non-participating individuals are not permitted, but will be addressed later as the Micro UAS ARC recommendations are implemented
- Accidents causing more than $500 worth of damage must be reported within 10 days
- External loads will be allowed, as long as they are secure
- Transportation of property and goods for sale will be permitted, as long as the total weight is less than 55 lbs and the operations are within VLOS; and
- Airworthiness certifications are not required.
- NO LONGER require UAS Operators to notify, or in any way coordinate with, the airport operator when operating near airports within class G airspace.
- However, operators would need to obtain ATO (Control Tower) permission prior to operating in any other class of airspace (INCLUDING WITHIN 5 MILES of the HELENA AIRPORT).
QUESTIONS ABOUT DRONE REGULATIONS
The FAA Flight Standards District Office is located in Helena and can be reached at (406)-449-5270. Please ask for the Drone/UAS Specialist and you will be directed to someone that can help with your specific questions.