Quad-copters removed from shelves at Charleston airport after air expert's tweet

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCIV) -- The no-fly zone for drones at U.S. airports may also include a children's toy at Charleston International Airport.

A tweet from a prominent aviation expert raised concerns about selling a similar device at a location where drones are not allowed.

They're called quad-copters, and they were on sale inside a gift shop at the airport. The devices look like drones, but they're made for kids.

And they caught the attention of someone who watches for safety on the ground and in the air.

"There they were," aviation expert Mary Schiavo said. "Drones for sale at CHS."

Schiavo could not believe the items that were sale at a store inside the airport.

"Now with the warning with terrorism and the endangering to flights at JFK and other airports, I was a little surprised to see them for sale at the airport without a warning," Schiavo said.

Schiavo is a former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation. She says the FAA has issued a warning for those who operate drones and quad-copters, telling people that airports are no-drone zones.

They have to be kept at least five miles from an airport and under 400 feet in altitude.

"You wouldn't want a traveler to, you know, get a drone and then think they can fly it around in the vicinity when in fact it is five miles away. You have to get out and away from the airport property before you can fly it," she said.

Store officials say they're quad-copters for kids over the age of 8.

A spokesperson for Hudson News, the company that operates the store at the airport, says the toys were taken off store shelves because of the sensitive nature.

Pilots have complained about close calls with drones and quad-copters across the country. Still, not every agency is on board with drone guidelines.

"Now the TSA has not promulgated any rules to match the Federal Aviation Administration rules about no drones near the airport," Schiavo said. "Whether the TSA will now say you can't travel with them or take them through security. Who knows?"

An official from Hudson News says their goal is to serve travelers without disruptions. That's why the toys were removed from store shelves at the airport.

This story comes from our sister station WCIV in Charleston.

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