Always wanted to film the Statue of Liberty with your drone? What about the Hoover Dam, or Mount Rushmore?
Well, get your flights in, because the FAA just announced a list of national landmarks that will be closed to drone flights starting on October 5th.
Yesterday the FAA announced a new policy, in coordination with the Department of the Interior (DOI), that will restrict drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of these DOI sites:
- Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York, NY
- Boston National Historical Park (U.S.S. Constitution), Boston, MA
- Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA
- Folsom Dam; Folsom, CA
- Glen Canyon Dam; Lake Powell, AZ
- Grand Coulee Dam; Grand Coulee, WA
- Hoover Dam; Boulder City, NV
- Jefferson National Expansion Memorial; St. Louis, MO
- Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Keystone, SD
- Shasta Dam; Shasta Lake, CA
The FAA will be releasing these restrictions under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) § 99.7— “Special Security Instructions”—which states that anyone operating an aircraft in an Air Defense Identification Zone must comply with “special security instructions.” The instructions in this case are simple—drones will no longer be allowed.
Although the FAA has placed similar airspace restrictions over military bases, this is the first time they will be placing restrictions for sUAS over DOI landmarks. The FAA is currently considering additional requests from other federal agencies for drone flight restrictions using their § 99.7 authority.
The FAA will be releasing an interactive map online to help spread awareness about these new restricted locations. The link to the map will be included in the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app. The app will be updated within 60 days to reflect these new airspace restrictions.
Operators who violate these new airspace restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.
There will be a handful of exceptions for permitting drone flights within these new restricted landmark areas, but each exception will have to be coordinated on an individual basis with the individual facility and/or the FAA directly.
The restrictions go into effect next Thursday, October 5, 2017.