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City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: April 12, 2017

Drone Operations Around the Steamboat Springs Airport & City

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects the number of private drones in the United States will reach 3.6 million by 2021, tripling the 2016 total. Furthermore, the FAA expects that 442,000 drones will be flying for commercial purposes in 2021. 

As the number of drone operations grow, Stacie Fain, Airport Manager at Steamboat Springs Bob Adam’s Field, is working to ensure drone operations are integrated safely into current airport operations. She reminds drone operators to follow FAA regulations in Part 107 and 101, as well as other applicable Federal Aviation Regulations in order to operate drones legally. 

In addition, the FAA recommends that all drones be operated no higher than 400 feet above the ground. Aircraft operating around the Steamboat Springs Airport are typically at 1,000 feet and below including several low level operators. 

For example, Classic Air Medical frequently flies its medevac helicopter along Lincoln Avenue between the airport and the hospital landing pad at altitudes below 500 feet. Zephyr Helicopter also routinely flies low level missions near the downtown area. As a result, drone operators can pose a significant risk to the crew and passengers of those low flying aircraft. 

Drone Map 5.2 Miles_thumb.jpg


All drones should be registered and operators should follow the FAA’s “Know Before You Fly” safety practices. Model Aircraft regulations mandate that all drone operators notify the Airport Manager if a drone is flying within 5 miles of any airport. Steamboat Springs Bob Adams field is 2.5 miles from downtown and 5.2 miles from the base of the ski resort. 

If a drone operator wishes to fly a drone within 5 miles of the airport, they need to notify the Airport Manager at 970-879-9042 or 970-879-1204 at least 2 hours in advance. The following information should be provided to the Airport Manager:
  • Name
  • Cell phone number
  • Drone registration number
  • Drone flight plan
    • Location drone will be flying
    • When drone will fly (date and time duration)
    • How high drone will be flying 

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Contact:
Stacie Fain, Airport Manager – (970) 879-9042 or sfain@steamboatsprings.net
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