Drone/UAS Policy


The Port of Stockton (Port, Port District) cooperates with the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) governing UAS operations and with the Coast Guard governing maritime security. While the FAA regulates UAS operation in U.S. airspace, the Port of Stockton has authority to regulate the ground-based operation such as launching and landing of UAS within the Port District. The Coast Guard has the authority to respond to transportation security incidents at ports.

Port of Stockton based operation of UAS for recreational purposes is prohibited. Work related operation of UAS requires Port permit application approval. An approved application for a certified Remote Pilot Airman with an FAA registered vehicle is valid for the duration noted in the application and Plan of Activities (POA) unless an extension, exception/change is granted in writing by the Port of Stockton Police Department. Takeoffs and landings my not interfere with emergency operations, the safety, wellbeing, or interests of the Port.

UAS operators must be in possession of FAA authorizing credentials/registrations and copies of their approved Port application and Plan of Activities (POA) at all times while doing flight operations. Notification must be made a minimum of 36 hours prior to flight commencement on the official Port POA form.

UAS operation will only be approved in a MARSEC level 1 operating state and when all areas of the Port of Stockton are operating as a Group B facility. If a MARSEC Level change occurs during planned operation, the application is prima facie void and operation of a UAS may not be made in the Port District.



A pilotless aircraft and associated elements, including communication links and components that control the pilotless aircraft from the ground.

Applications for Port District operation can be requested from the Port of Stockton Police Department and may take up to 7 days to be processed after all required documents have been submitted.

The FAA prescribes those rules which apply to operation of unmanned aircraft to fly for work.

Pilot Requirements

Must have Remote Pilot Airman Certificate.

Must be at least 16 years old.

Must pass TSA vetting.

Aircraft Requirements

Must be less than 55 lbs.

Must be registered if over 0.55 lbs. (online).

Must undergo pre-flight check to ensure UAS is in condition for safe operation.

Location Requirements

Class G airspace.

Operating Rules

Must keep the aircraft in sight (visual line-of-sight).*

Must fly under 400 feet.*

Must fly during the day.*

Must fly at or below 100 mph.*

Must yield right of way to manned aircraft.*

Must NOT fly over people.*

Must NOT fly from a moving vehicle.*

Example Applications

Flying for commercial use (e.g. providing aerial surveying or photography series).

Flying incidental to a business (e.g. doing roof inspections or real estate photography).

Legal or Regulatory Basis

Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulation (14 CFR) Part 107.

*These rules are subject to waiver.

Notification to Airport

FAA UAS Data on Map will show where controlled airspace extends.

Class G airspace would only apply to the West Complex and very few areas of the East Complex. The West Complex is outside of the notification area and in class G airspace, however, pilots and aircraft are still subject to the Fly For Work requirements noted above.

The East Complex falls within the five mile radius of the Stockton Metropolitan Airport and inside of controlled class D airspace, therefore the operator must obtain the required documents and must notify the airport. FAA flight authorizations and waivers are processed within 90 days for controlled airspace – see FAA Request Waiver.

Government Entities

The FAA prescribes that Federal, State, and local government workers may be eligible to conduct public aircraft operations for which they would need to apply for a public Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) for certain operations – see FAA website: Beyond the Basics.

Government entities or organizations (e.g. law enforcement agencies, public universities, state governments, local municipalities) have 2 options for flying UAS:

Fly under the small UAS rule – follow all rules under 14 CFR part 107, including aircraft and pilot requirements


Obtain a blanket public Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) – permits nationwide flights in Class G airspace at or below 400 feet, self-certification of the UAS pilot, and the option to obtain emergency COAs (e- COAs) under special circumstances.

Contact 9-AJV-115-UASCOA@faa.gov to learn more about public COAs.

Port Security Regarding UAS

Any unauthorized operation of a UAS within the Port District will constitute a breach of security. As defined in CFR-2010- Title 33 –Vol 1 – Part 101 – Maritime Security: General – a Breach of security means an incident that has not resulted in a transportation security incident, in which security measures have been circumvented, eluded, or violated.

Suspected unauthorized operation, including operation by an unlicensed and/or unregistered UAS within the Port District are to be reported to the FAA in addition to the Port of Stockton Police Department. Additionally, all injuries or other incidents occurring during operations are to be reported to the FAA and the Port:

24hr FAA Operations Center

LEAP Officer

Port of Stockton Police Department

(425) 227-1999

Scott A. Harris

(209) 946-0246 x 8222, 8244

E-mail: 9-WSA-OPSCTR@faa.gov

(916) 956 – 8830

E-mail: glerner@stocktonport.com

Report activities that may result in a transportation security incident to the Coast Guard National Response Center at the following toll free telephone: 1–800–424–8802, direct telephone 202–267–2675, or TDD 202–267–4477.