In addition to recreational use, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)—also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones—are used across the United States to support firefighting and search and rescue operations; to monitor and assess critical infrastructure; to provide disaster relief by transporting emergency medical supplies to remote locations; and to aid efforts to secure our borders.
But UAS can also be used for malicious schemes by terrorists, criminal organizations (including transnational organizations), and lone actors with specific objectives.
Actions You Can Take
Recognizing and implementing security practices that meet federal, state, and local regulatory requirements are key to successfully managing potential security incidents associated with UAS.
Although no single solution will fully mitigate this risk, there are several measures that can be taken to address UAS-related security challenges:
• Research and implement legally approved counter-UAS technology.
• Know the air domain around the facility and who has authority to take action to enhance security.
• Contact the FAA to consider UAS restrictions in close proximity to fixed site facilities. More information can be found on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website at https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_107-2A.pdf
• Update Emergency/Incident Action Plans to include UAS security and response strategies.
• Build federal, state, and local partnerships for adaptation of best practices and information sharing. More information can be found at https://www.cisa.gov/hometown-security
• Report potential UAS threats to your local law enforcement agency.
Both the Federal Government and state legislatures have established regulations for UAS operation—using U.S. codes (statutes) and federal regulations on the federal level and by statute on the state level.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) focuses primarily on safety (see the Code of Federal Regulations at 14 CFR Part 107) while state statutes often focus on the appropriate use of UAS and the protection of privacy interests.
Although the FAA and state governments have major roles in providing guidance and regulation for UAS operations and management, it is important to note that other users also play important roles. For example, airports, law enforcement, pilots, and the UAS operators also have important responsibilities in the safe and appropriate operation of UAS within the National Airspace System (NAS).