Drones, or unmanned aerial systems (UAS), represent the future for aviation in so many different ways, from their ability to create incredible aerial photography, to their potential to change the way packages are delivered, to functioning as reconnaissance aircraft in disaster areas deemed unsafe for humans. Of course, drones can also be just plain fun to fly too.

Because owning even the tiniest drone may well represent the first time many of you have flown anything, it’s important to understand that once your drone leaves the ground, it’s entering airspace often occupied by other aircraft, not to mention other drones.

UAS/drone operators flying from locations – even your backyard – near an airport must pay special attention to the fact that their machines could pose a safety threat to nearby manned aircraft.

When you fly a drone, it is your responsibility to understand and abide by the rules.


Recreational Drone Operation is Prohibited On or Above DuPage Airport Authority PropertyClick Here to View DuPage Airport Authority Ordinance 2017-306; An Ordinance Prohibiting Recreational Operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft On Or Above DuPage Airport Authority Property.

Follow rules, regulations and register your drone (UAS) at https://www.faa.gov/uas/

  • Fly no higher than 400 feet and remain below any surrounding obstacles when possible.
  • Keep your UAS in eyesight at all times, and use an observer to assist if needed.
  • Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations, and you must see and avoid other aircraft and obstacles at all times.
  • Do not intentionally fly over unprotected persons or moving vehicles, and remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property.
  • Contact the airport or control tower before flying within five miles of an airport. (DuPage Air Traffic Control Tower – 24 Hours – 630-587-7823) Drone operators should provide: UAS registration number, location of operation, start time/date of operation, duration of operation, and maximum operating altitude.
  • Do not fly in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.
  • Do not fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Ensure the operating environment is safe and that the operator is competent and proficient in the operation of the UAS.
  • Do not fly near or over sensitive infrastructure or property such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, government facilities, etc.
  • Check and follow all local laws and ordinances before flying over private property.
  • Do not conduct surveillance or photograph persons in areas where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual’s permission.

Users of commercial and recreational UAS should be aware that in remote, rural and agricultural areas, manned aircraft, including fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, may be operating very close to ground level. Pilots conducting agricultural, firefighting, law enforcement, emergency medical, wildlife survey operations and a variety of other services all legally and routinely work in low-level airspace. Operators controlling UAS in these areas should maintain situational awareness, give way to, and remain a safe distance from these low-level, manned airplanes and helicopters.

FAA Part 107 Drone Training at DuPage Airport

The Illinois Aviation Drone Academy offers a 4-day course with a fifth day used for flying and test taking.  The Drone Academy is located at 32W751 Tower Road, West Chicago, Illinois 60185.  For further information, contact 630-513-2224 or http://www.illinoisaviation.com/drone-academy/.


Contact our Drone Coordinator(s) Jeff Jorgensen, by email at jjorgensen@dupageairport.com or Dan Barna at dbarna@dupageairport.com or by phone at 630-584-2211 Monday-Friday during normal business hours with any questions.


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