GRAND ISLAND — Around the state, more people are spotting mysterious drones flying in their area.
These mysterious drones have been spotted in Grand Island and Hastings.
Grand Island Police Capt. Jim Duering said GIPD has received calls of the drones flying around Grand Island.
Duering said GIPD officers also spotted the drones flying in town Sunday evening.
According to Duering, the drones aren’t registered locally, and so far, GIPD has determined that the drones are not involved in criminal activities.
“There could be FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) violations,” said Duering. “But those would be under federal law so that is outside of our jurisdiction.”
Duering said they are keeping an eye on the situation, but at this point, there isn’t anything GIPD can do.
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Hastings Police Department Capt. Mike Doremus said on Sunday around 9:10 p.m., the Hastings 911 Emergency Call Center received a call from Minneapolis Aircraft Control saying a pilot spotted five to six drones flying two miles west of Hastings.
Doremus said the pilot reported the drones were flying in a grid pattern, but they were flying in Class E airspace, which is restricted due to proximity to the Hastings airport.
Doremus said it is important for the public to know the rules of flying these drones and know what space is restricted or not.
However, Doremus also said it is unknown who is operating these drones and if they had the permits and permissions to operate in that space.
Duering and Doremus said it is important that members of the public do not shoot these drones out of the sky.
Duering said that as far as they can tell, these are large, commercial-style drones that would require a license to operate.
The drones are also FAA registered, so shooting them down is illegal.
Both police captains said shooting anything high in the air is dangerous, and the size of the aircrafts are unknown at this time.
Duering also said discharging a firearm in city limits is illegal.
While both departments are keeping an eye on the situation, both captains said there is nothing that the public should be worried about at this time.