The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District Drone Policy governs the operation and use of recreational unmanned aerial systems (UAS) at all Louisville District lakes.
The guidance has designated approved locations to fly drones for hobbyists, while at the same time prohibiting drones where people are camping and recreating such as designated swim beaches. The policy also prohibits UAS flights near critical infrastructure such as locks and dams.
Drones should be operated in accordance with applicable state laws and Federal Aviation Administration regulations including any UAS registration requirements. They may be flown during daylight hours only and while maintaining a visual line of sight of the aircraft while it is in operation.
Federal Aviation Administration National Policy 8900.268, Education, Compliance, and Enforcement of Unauthorized Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operators, l5 July 2014, states that UAS are "aircraft", and further states that commercial UAS operations are prohibited without FAA authorization. To facilitate FAA-compliant UAS operation, all UAS operations will follow three general rules:
a. UAS will operate at or below 400 feet above ground level at all times
b. aerial components of the system will be less than 55 lbs. total
c. UAS must be registered with the FAA.
No person shall operate a UAS:
(1) In a careless, negligent, or reckless manner so as to endanger, threaten, harass, or jeopardize any person, property, wildlife, environmental feature; or interfere with the use or operation of the project. Examples of such prohibited behavior include capturing images of unsuspecting/unwilling persons or attaching firearms or other weapons to the UAS.
(2) Within 500 feet of operational areas. Operational areas are defined as project operational structures and their associated restricted areas. For example, dams, hydropower plants, administrative and maintenance buildings, visitor centers and associated support facilities.
Operators will be held liable for damage to Corps of Engineers property resulting from piloting a drone or any other activity associated with operating a UAS.
The operation of unmanned aircraft that harasses or jeopardizes wildlife, including listed endangered and threatened species or critical habitat is prohibited. Critical habitat includes areas that contain the physical and biological features that are essential to the conservation of a given species or group of species and that may require special management or protection.
Violations may result in removal from federal property and potential citations.
The authority to approve exceptions to the policy is delegated to the Operations Project Managers. Call the lake resource manager’s offices for more information or to request an exception to policy.
For more information on UAS visit the FAA website at: http://www.faa.gov/uasi