In response to the growing popularity of remote controlled aircraft, helicopters and multicopters (aka UAV or drones), Burning Man has formed a new team: Remote Control Black Rock City (RCBRC) under the Black Rock City Safety Team, and updated its guidelines for registering, and the terms and conditions for flying RC aircraft in Black Rock City.
Like mutant vehicles, BRC regulates all RC aircraft and requires that they be operated responsibly, and are subject to restricted fly zones and other rules of operation. The goal is to streamline the registration process, have all RC pilots be familiar with flying in the city, and make it safer for all Burning Man participants.
The FAA requires all pilots of RC aircraft flying within 5 miles of an airport to notify that airport of their operations. Virtually all of Black Rock City is within 5 miles of 88NV, Black Rock City Municipal Airport, and completing the on-line registration and on-playa briefing with RCBRC meets this requirement.
2016 Drone Information:
- Registration online opens June 15 and closes July 15. This year 30 operators will be permitted to fly during the event. Register here.
- RC pilots must receive an on-playa briefing, after which their RC aircraft and transmitters will be tagged and the pilots issued wristbands. Registration and briefings will take place from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM, through Friday of the event at the Safety Camp located at 7:30 & H.
- RC pilots are financially responsible for any harm or damage caused during the event.
- Drones are included in the BLM Closure Order, and only those permitted to operate during the event will be allowed to fly. RC equipment can be confiscated for unsafe flying or violation of RCBRC, AMA, and FAA rules.
- Confiscated RC equipment will be held until the end of the event or when the participant departs Black Rock City.
- When possible, use a spotter to control onlookers.
- No First Person View (FPV) flying.
- Flying limited to a maximum altitude of 400 ft.
- Flying over crowds is prohibited. Maintain at least 25 ft. horizontal separation from people.
- Flying near emergency, police and fire personnel is prohibited.
- No flying near the Man beginning Friday night and continuing through the Man Burn, and no flying during the Temple burn.
- Flying is prohibited in the City, Center Camp, along the Esplanade, near the airport, and near the BLM Incident Command area.
Burning Man 2016 Drone Policy (PDF)