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Unmanned Aircraft Systems Banner

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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This Gateway page addresses Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) use by the public and commercial organizations on USACE managed lands. It also addresses planning for non-USACE UAS operations by the public, UAS incident reporting requirements of unauthorized users, and the use of UAS by other Federal, state and local governments and law enforcement agencies at USACE projects. This page does not specifically address the use of UAS by USACE personnel or contractors, however, references are provided at the Non-Recreational Use Related Sites link below.

An Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), sometimes called a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot onboard. EC 1110-1-109 defines it as; An Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) is defined as a remotely piloted/operated, semi-autonomous, or autonomous air vehicle and its onboard operating system. A UAS is comprised of individual elements consisting of the UAV, the control station, and any other support elements necessary to enable operation including, but not limited to data links, communications systems/links, and UAV-unique launch and recovery equipment. There may be multiple unmanned aircraft, control stations, and support elements within a UAS. The control station may be located on the ground (stationary or mobile), on a ship, submarine, aircraft, etc.

The operation of aircraft, including UAS, at USACE project locations other than those designed by the District Commander is prohibited. This includes the UAS operation for hobby, recreational, and/or commercial purposes. Reference EC 1110-1-109 for additional information concerning restricting airspace over project lands and water.

For District Policy Memorandum examples in which the District Commander, or a delegated authority, has permitted the use of UAS, visit the Policy & Procedure link below.

Blue Ball Policy & Procedures Blue Ball Reporting Unapproved UAS Use
Blue Ball FAQs Blue Ball Related Sites
Blue Ball Program Summary Blue Ball Non-Recreational Use - Related Sites