Offutt remains a ‘no drone zone’ during runway replacement

  • Published
  • By 55th Wing Public Affairs

Even without air traffic due to a $190 million runway replacement project, the 55th Wing commander’s policy remains that all small unmanned aircraft systems, or sUAS, for hobby or recreational use is strictly prohibited on base.

This policy includes not only the main base, but also the Capehart Chapel, Rising View housing areas, Ehrling Bergquist Clinic, Base Lake and the wing’s leased spaces at Lincoln Airport. 

“There have been a couple of recent incidents and we simply cannot have that,” said Maj. Jeremy Berger, 55th Security Forces Squadron director of operations. “We want to ensure everyone understands there are ramifications for disobeying this policy.”

An sUAS is defined by the Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Administration as any unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds.

“Bottom line, Offutt is a no drone zone,” Berger said. “And while we understand that sometimes people don’t know the rules or simply make a mistake, we’re asking that all sUAS enthusiasts help us spread the word.”

The FAA explicitly prohibits sUAS operation over airports and security sensitive airspace, for which Offutt main base is designated. In addition, the FAA further restricts operations in surrounding areas and penalties can be severe (

“Our number one priority is the safety and security of Offutt Air Force Base,” said Master Sgt. Dayton Riter, 55th Security Forces Squadron operations noncommissioned officer in charge. “As drones become more popular, we must continue to increase our outreach to prevent risk from untrained or unaware users who could inadvertently pose a threat to our operations.”

Anyone who wishes to request permission to operate commercial sUAS on Offutt property or leased spaces at Lincoln must meet certain requirements and get approval from the wing commander. This includes certifying and registering the sUAS, as well as following the federal requirements referenced at the following link:

Commercial and government sUAS operators should note that an FAA waiver must be approved 90 days prior to sUAS utilization on Offutt main base. The form can be found here:

For questions or concerns, please call 55th SFS at 402-294-3075.