Front Range Airport

Spaceport Colorado

Why You Can't Just Buy a Drone and Take to the Skies

We know them as drones. The authorities like to call them by their proper name: Unmanned Aircraft Systems or UAS. Flying civilian drones has really taken off in recent times-pun intended.

The technology and growing availability of drones caught US authorities off guard. Until recently, they had no idea how to manage them. All they knew was that drone flying could not go on unregulated.

In the meantime, folks continued to snap up drones online or from high-street stores and take to the skies. You still can, but new rules and regulations now dictate what you can fly and where.

This guide was written to help people navigate the complex laws surrounding drones. This guide is kept up to date to make sure you have accurate information.

This guide will be updated over time with new content, images, and embedded videos to keep you informed.
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7/13/2017 - Operator license for Spaceport Colorado in Adams County could be less than a year away
12/4/2016 - Colorado's Spaceport Push
9/19/2016 - Front Range Airport Officials await Spaceport Decision
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A "Spaceport" designation by the FAA would allow the existing Front Range Airportto add FAA-Licensed sub-orbital spaceflight capabilities to its current General Aviation operations.
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9/11/2015 - Will Spaceport Colorado ever get off the ground
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5/6/2015 - Colorado Congressional delegation pushes for Colorado Spaceport
5/6/2015 - Spaceport Colorado's future gains pace under new airport leadership
3/17/2014 - We write to express our strong support for Colorado's efforts to receive a spaceport operator license for Front Range Airport.
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5/29/2013 - Denver International Airport starts new arrival-departures for NextGen
5/28/2013 - The Promise of Commercial Spaceflight:
Dr. Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute is delivering a public talk on The Promise of Commercial Space
Monday, June 3, 7:30pm-9:00pm
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5/1/2013 - ACED Aerospace & Aviation
4/12/2013 - Colorado Space Coalition
Colorado Space Coalition
A Mile Closer to Space
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4/2/2013 - Aerospace Day at the Colorado Capitol
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3/7/2013 - Eyes in the American Sky
3/7/2013 - It cost $5.7 million to build a control tower for the Front Range Airport, west of Denver, and now the Federal Aviation Administration wants it wants to close it.
2/25/2013 - The Front Range Airport Authority Board selected HDR as spaceport consultant
At the February 13, 2013, Front Range Airport Authority meeting the board selected HDR as spaceport consultant for feasibility studies, environmental work and licensing application necessary for Front Range Airport to achieve a license for Spaceport Colorado.

In conjunction with the selection of spaceport consultant a Spaceport Colorado Technical Advisory Committee was formed:

Jeff Ashby- Mr. Ashby is a US Navy test pilot. He is a graduate of the Naval Fighter Weapons School, a veteran NASA space shuttle astronaut and current Chief of Mission Assurance for Blue Origin.
Dr. Alan Stern- Dr. Stern is an American planetary scientist; past associate administrator of NASA's science directorate and current associate vice president of the Southwest Research Institute.
Joe Tanner- Mr. Tanner was a Navy pilot before becoming a NASA pilot instructing shuttle landing to astronaut pilots in Shuttle Training Aircraft - modified Gulfstream II. Tanner has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois and is a senior instructor in the University of Colorado Aerospace Engineering Sciences department.
John Penney- Mr. Penney is an Air Force Academy graduate, former Vietnam and United Airlines pilot as well as Reno air race champion (Grumman F8F2 Bearcat "Rare Bare"), and Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame Laureate. He is based at Front Range Airport.
Joe Thibodeau- Mr. Thibodeau is a practicing tax attorney and former (1983 1997) adjunct professor in the University of Denver's Graduate tax program. A Reno air race champion (P-51, "Crusader"; and, Hawker Sea Fury, "Sea Hawk"), and Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame Laureate, Thibodeau is Chairman of the Colorado Aeronautical Board. He is an active (ATP) GA pilot, based at Centennial Airport.
Tanya Gatlin- Ms. Gatlin is an Advisory Committee Coordinator and has a background in both aerospace and aviation. She earned her master's degree in physics from the University of Houston and is currently working on a doctoral degree in aviation sciences. Ms. Gatlin previously worked for NASA at Johnson Space Center in Houston as a training instructor for the space shuttle program. She is now currently an assistant professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver in the aviation and aerospace department and the head coach of the university's precision flight team. She is an active pilot and flight instructor.
10/29/2012 - Spaceport Infrastructure Still an Unknown Frontier
9/26/2012 - Bennet, Udall announce grant for Spaceport
9/26/2012 - FAA gives Colorado money for spaceport study
9/25/2012 - FAA Space Transportation Infrastructure Matching Grants Announced
9/11/2012 - Spaceport Colorado looks to the future as a research education and manufacturing center
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9/11/2012 - Spaceport Colorado enters fundraising mode
9/11/2012 - Denver's Metro State launches students on a commercial path to space
7/3/2012 - Colorado Space Business Roundtable
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7/2/2012 - Airport could begin space operations by late 2013
5/23/2012 - Metro Denver EDC presents awards and launches new marketing initiative at Annual Meeting
5/27/2012 - Colorado's spaceport plan gains traction
5/8/2012 - AdCo Envisions Final Frontier
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5/2/2012 - Adams County Economic Development 2012 Luncheon
Peter Gray, right, of Strategic Simulations Solutions explains the details of an unmanned aerial vehicle to Adams County Commissioner Alice Nichol on Tuesday during the Adams County Economic Development 2012 Luncheon. Unmanned aerial vehicle testing and a spaceport designation at Front Range Airport took center stage at the gathering at the Denver Merchandise Mart, with talks by former astronaut Jeffery Ashby of Colorado and Kimon Valavanis of the University of Denver. A mix of futuristic space travel, unmanned aircraft, new surrounding development and continued general-aviation services are on the drawing board for the airport.

Hyoung chang, The Denver Post
4/1/2012 - Long-overlooked Front Range Airport apt to spring to life with new economic engines
E. Pete Gray, president of Strategic Simulation Solutions By Ann Schrader The Denver Post For nearly 30 years, Front Range Airport has sprawled on prairie land near the Eastern Plains town of Watkins, managing to cling to life as development dreams have been dashed. Now, those dreams are once again at the forefront as the 4,000-acre airport's.....
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3/27/2012 - Spaceport will make the world a smaller place
3/1/2012 - Mission Control: Front Range Airport
AURORA A spaceship that would transport earthlings from Aurora to Australia in about two hours. A flight from New York to Paris that's less than 60 minutes. It's not part of the subplot from a science fiction novel. It's an idea that Front Range Airport officials in Adams County are striving to make a reality.
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11/8/2011 - A New Direction for Front Range Airport
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11/16/2011 - Private-Commercial Space, Engine of Another Golden Age of Flight
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12/7/2011 - Colorado applies for federal spaceport designation
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12/8/2011 - Colorado launches bid for spaceport near Denver
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12/9/2011 - Spaceport status could have Front Range Airport flying high
Vertical launches like this one in New Mexico aren't planned at Front Range Airport, but space planes envisioned in the near future would achieve supersonic speeds and then some, more than quadrupling the speed of sound. (Bloomberg News file)

Read more: Spaceport status could have Front Range Airport flying high - The Denver Post
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12/18/2011 - Economic potential of proposed Colorado spaceport "another star in our sky"
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12/19/2011 - Webster University Colorado Spaceport Strategic Plan
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12/21/2011 - Webster International Space Alumni Site
12/22/2011 - Gov. Hickenlooper Announces CO to Seek Spaceport Status
12/26/2011 - Colorado Space Business Roundtable
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12/26/2011 - Colorado Space Coalition
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Front Range Airport • 5200 Front Range Parkway • Watkins, Colorado 80137
1.800.654.9136 • FBO: 303.261.9100 • Administration/Operations: 303.261.9103
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