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Delaware Department of Transportation

Delaware Aviation Services

Pilot/Owner Information

Q. Dangerous Flying: Where do I report an aircraft that is flying dangerously (too low, unauthorized acrobatics, etc.)?
A: The FAA  licenses pilots and enforces rules related to violations which occur in the course of flight. Incidents of this type can be reported directly to the FAA Flight Standards District Office  in Philadelphia. Delaware law also allows the State to prosecute certain acts of dangerous flying . If possible, get the registration number (N-number) that is usually displayed on the aircraft tail or wing and any other details - location, time, nature of the dangerous flying, etc. Note that aerial applicators (crop dusters) may exhibit seemingly dangerous flying, but this is likely due to the nature of the work - please do not report these planes.

Q. Flight Instruction: Where can I find information on learning to fly?
A: If you are interested in learning to fly, you must obtain a pilot's license from the FAA . There are many reputable flight schools in the area. For further information on how to become a pilot and flight schools visit the AOPA web site 

Q. Aerial Applicators: What are Aerial Applicators?
A: Commonly known as "crop dusters," Delaware's aerial applicators perform important functions for the agricultural community and the public at large. Aerial applicators spray pesticides and fertilizers on crops as well as spray pesticides as part of the State's Mosquito Control Program , which is managed by DNREC . Aerial applicators are licensed by the State and are required to maintain safety protocols to protect the public. The nature of the business may require low flying and is not reportable. For you own safety, if you are near a location that is being sprayed, you may want to leave the area.

Q. Public-use Airports: What are public use airports?
A: A public-use airport can be publicly or privately-owned, but must be open to the public - no prior permission is needed for landing, unless otherwise noted (check the airport directory for restrictions while planning your trip). There are currently 10 public-use airports and one helipad in Delaware. Public-use airports are licensed by the State, subject to certain requirements , and eligible for aid from the State for improvement projects such as obstruction clearing, weather stations, etc. If you are interested in learning more about opening or becoming licensed as a public-use airport, please contact DelDOT's
Office of Aeronautics .

Q. Aircraft Registration: What laws cover aircraft registration in Delaware?
A: Currently, Delaware has no law requiring aircraft be registered with the State. All aircraft must be registered with the FAA  to legally operate.

Q. Fuel Tax: Is there a tax on aircraft fuel?
A: Delaware levies a $0.23 tax on each gallon of gasoline sold in the state. This includes Av Gas (but not Jet Fuel). As this money goes into the Transportation Trust Fund (highways capital fund), a mechanism exists for fliers to apply for a refund of the total amount of gas tax they've paid on Av Gas. The flier must produce receipts for the total amount of the refund requested.

Q. Acronyms: Ever wonder what all of those airport/airplane related acronyms mean?
A: Look here for a list of common acronyms applying to Delaware as well as those from the FAA .

Q. Military Airspace/operations in Delaware: Are there any guidelines concerning flight in or near military installations?
A: Delaware is home to the Dover Air Force Base, which employs two major varieties of heavy cargo planes, the C-5 Galaxy and the C-17 Globemaster III, as well as to the Delaware Air National Guard at New Castle County Airport, employing C-130 cargo planes. There is a designated airspace controlled by the DAFB tower. It is important to note that DAFB operations extend beyond the restricted airspace, so extra caution is advised. The DAFB has issued an informational document addressing this issue - all pilots flying in or near that airspace are encouraged to review it.

NCCA  is also tower controlled, Class D airspace, but there are no restrictions. The DANG  also advises civilian users to be aware of their operations and has issued an advisory document as well as offering pilot briefings to interested fliers.

Q. Helicopter landings: Are there any prohibitions for helicopter landings?
A: Helicopters can land in much more compact areas than airplanes. There is no FAA  or State prohibition on landing a helicopter in any location, but, except in cases of emergency landings, prior permission is needed from the property owner. To ensure safety for all parties, careful evaluation of the landing area in advance is strongly suggested to identify hazards such as power lines, trees, buildings, highways, etc.). If an area is going to be frequently used as a landing site, it needs to be formally designated as an airport or heliport facility.

Q. Reporting Obstructions or Flight Hazards: Is there a process to report a flight hazard?
A: If you encounter or are aware of a possible obstruction or hazard to aircraft (if it has an obstruction-marking light, it has likely already been evaluated), it can be reported to the DelDOT Office of Aeronautics . See also: Airport Obstructions/Building Permits.

Q. Taxes on Aircraft Purchases: Is there a tax when I purchase an Aircraft?
A: Delaware has no sales tax. Aircraft bought in other states by residents of Delaware and/or brought into Delaware may be subject to the taxes of that jurisdiction (check applicable regulations).

Q. Use Tax/Leased Aircraft: Is there a tax on leasing an Aircraft?
A: Delaware has a use tax on leased property, which includes aircraft. The tax rate for this type of lease is 1.536% of the annual rent (DE Code Title 21 ).

Q. DelDOT Helipad - Use and Reservations: Can the Helipad in front of DelDOT be used by the public?
A: DelDOT has a public-use helipad (0N5) located at the headquarters building in Dover (800 Bay Road). As a public use helipad, no prior reservations are needed, but to ensure that it will be available for use, please contact the facility manager, Roberta Geier   at 302.760.2119 to submit your date of travel and estimated time of arrival. There is no capacity for storing aircraft and no services are available at this location, therefore, the pad is to be used for pick-up and discharge of passengers only.

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