Rep. Susan Davis speaks prior to a debate. Photo by Chris Stone

The House on Thursday passed an amendment authored by Rep. Susan Davis to protect emergency responders from illegal drone use during disasters.

Davis’s amendment directs the federal government to work with state and local entities to educate the public about the dangers of flying unmanned aircraft into areas with temporary flight restrictions. It also calls for coordinating on enforcing current laws against such drone use.

Davis’s amendment was passed unanimously as part of legislation to reauthorize programs within the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Unauthorized use of drones in disaster areas prevent emergency responders from doing their jobs which is protecting and saving lives,” said Davis. “With an increase of drones flying near or over wildfires, we obviously need to better educate the public that this type of drone use is illegal and can put lives and properties at risk.”

In San Diego County last year, aircraft used to fight fires were twice grounded after drones were seen flying into a restricted area.

The House is expected to vote on the FAA re-authorization bill on Friday.

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