Piedmont Triad – At approximately 9:15 pm on March 9, 2021, a drone operating illegally in controlled airspace at the Piedmont Triad International Airport was detected by Air Traffic Control (ATC).  After a number of subsequent sightings on or near the airport, the ATC decided to suspend air operations out of an abundance of caution.  Normal operations resumed at approximately 11:30 pm.

The FBI is leading the investigation, which also includes airport police, the TSA and FAA.  The FBI is actively seeking information related to this incident.  If you have any knowledge related to this matter, please contact the FBI at 704/672-6100.

Drone operators and parents of children who operate drones should take great care to understand the laws associated with the operation of unmanned aircraft, particularly within 5 miles of an airport, along with the associated risk and liability.

Flying an unmanned vehicle near an airport or in any way that interferes with a manned aircraft is a federal crime.  It is a felony, and punishment may include fines and imprisonment.

In addition, civil penalties could be significant, given that each individual, including every aircraft operator, passenger, shipper, the airport and others affected by the action could have a claim.

The airport’s website provides a link to multiple sources of information regarding the operation of unmanned vehicles.

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