Drone use regulated in Iowa

On Friday, the Washington Police Department received its first report of the year involving the use of a drone and people are reminded of the laws governing the use of the unmanned aircraft.

According to the Washington County call log, at 11:17 p.m. Friday a suspicious drone was seen flying around a residence at 200th Street and Riverside Road. Officers responded and followed the drone for a while until they lost sight of it. The incident was documented. Lt. Ron See said this morning that the city or county has not passed any laws in addition to the state codes regarding the use of drones.

?There is testing you have to go through to become a drone operator,? he explained.

A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) controlled from a remote unit on the ground. Many hobbiests use drones for such things as aerial photography including, recently, an aerial photograph of the 4-H members at the Washington County Fair.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has passed many regulations regarding the use of drones. One of the most important rules is the user must have a ?line of sight? view of the unmanned aircraft at all times.

To become a drone pilot, people need to receive a remote pilot certificate from the FAA and to register (if it weighs over .05 lbs) their drone. Those interested must pass a test at an FAA-approved Knowledge Testing Center. After one passes the test, the pilot must complete the FAA Airman Certificate or Rating Application to receive a remote pilot certificate.

Drones must weigh less than 55 lbs and must undergo a preflight check for safety.

See said at least one officer in the police department is a licensed drone operator.