Plans to fly unmanned surveillance aircraft through the skies of Clatsop County for training purposes are moving forward.
The Oregon Army National Guard late last month met with representatives from the Astoria Regional Airport at Warrenton to discuss plans to begin flying unmanned surveillance aircraft called “Ravens” through unrestricted airspace at the Camp Rilea Training Facility in Warrenton. The National Guard is poised to make a formal request with the Federal Aviation Administration to receive permission to fly in the airspace.
Chief Warrant Officer Gregg Schroeder, an air traffic and airspace officer with the Oregon National Guard, spoke with local pilots and airport officials about the tentative plans last month.
The FAA requires the military, or other parties, to first notify local pilots of their plans to fly unmanned aircraft in shared airspace. The unmanned aircraft would fly no higher than 400 feet in an area east of a Camp Rilea sand dune. John Overholser, manager for the airport in Warrenton, said the only concern pilots had about sharing airspace with unmanned aircraft was radio interference and which frequency would be used. National Guard officials agreed to use the Astoria frequency.