Sarah Nilsson, JD, PhD, MAS
Sarah Nilsson, JD, PhD, MAS

No Drone Zone

February 2019 - FAA Establishes Restrictions on Drone Operations over DOJ and DOD Facilities

At the request of its federal security partners, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) § 99.7 – “Special Security Instructions” – to address concerns about drone operations over national security sensitive facilities by establishing temporary unmanned aircraft system (UAS) specific flight restrictions.

Information on the FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which defines these restrictions, and all of the currently covered locations, can be found at the UAS Data Display System, which provides an interactive map, downloadable geospatial data, and other important details. A link to these restrictions is also included in the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app.

Additional, broader information regarding flying drones in the National Airspace System, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAA’s UAS website.

In cooperation with Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Defense (DOD), the FAA is establishing additional restrictions on drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of the following Federal facilities:

  • Federal Correctional Institution Allenwood Medium in Allenwood, PA
  • Federal Correctional Institution Beaumont Medium in Beaumont, TX
  • Federal Correctional Institution Butner Medium I in Butner, NC
  • Federal Correctional Institution Butner Medium II in Butner, NC
  • Federal Correctional Institution Coleman Medium near Sumterville, FL
  • Federal Correctional Institution Florence in Florence, CO
  • Federal Correctional Institution Forrest City Medium in Forrest City, AR
  • Federal Correctional Institution Hazelton near Bruceton Mills, WV
  • Federal Correctional Institution Lompoc in Lompoc, CA
  • Federal Correctional Institution Oakdale I in Oakdale, LA
  • Federal Correctional Institution Oakdale II in Oakdale, LA
  • Federal Correctional Institution Petersburg near Hopewell, VA
  • Federal Correctional Institution Pollock in Pollock, LA
  • Federal Correctional Institution Terre Haute in Terre Haute, IN
  • Federal Correctional Institution Tucson in Tucson, AZ
  • Federal Correctional Institution Victorville Medium I in Victorville, CA
  • Federal Correctional Institution Victorville Medium II in Victorville, CA
  • Federal Correctional Institution Yazoo City Medium in Yazoo City, MS
  • Federal Detention Center Honolulu in Honolulu, HI
  • Federal Detention Center Houston in Houston, TX
  • Federal Detention Center Miami in Miami, FL
  • Federal Detention Center Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA
  • Federal Detention Center SeaTac near Seattle, WA
  • Federal Medical Center Carswell near Fort Worth, TX
  • Federal Medical Center Fort Worth in Fort Worth, TX
  • Federal Medical Center Rochester in Rochester, MN
  • Metropolitan Correctional Center Chicago in Chicago, IL
  • Metropolitan Correctional Center New York in New York City, NY
  • Metropolitan Correctional Center San Diego in San Diego, CA
  • Medical Center for Federal Prisoners Springfield in Springfield, MO
  • Metropolitan Detention Center Brooklyn in Brooklyn, NY
  • Metropolitan Detention Center Guaynabo in Guaynabo, PR
  • Metropolitan Detention Center Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA
  • Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD
  • Fort Gordon near Augusta, GA
  • Fort Lee near Richmond, VA
  • Holston Army Ammunition Plant near Kingsport, TN
  • McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in McAlester, OK
  • Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Radford, VA
  • Joint Base McGuire near Trenton, NJ
  • Pearl Harbor Naval Defense Sea Area in Honolulu, HI

These changes, which have been highlighted by FAA NOTAM FDC [9/2586], are pending until they become effective on February 26. Note that there are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within these restrictions, and they must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA.

Operators who violate the flight restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.

The FAA is continuing to consider additional requests by eligible federal security agencies for UAS specific flight restrictions using the Agency’s § 99.7 authority as they are received. Additional changes to these restrictions will be announced by the FAA as appropriate.

 

 

 

October 2018 - FAA Restricts Drones Operating Near DOD and USCG Mobile Assets

 

At the request of the Department of Defense (DOD) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations § 99.7 – “Special Security Instructions” – to address concerns about potentially malicious drone operations over certain, high-priority maritime operations.

The FAA, in cooperation with DOD and USCG, is restricting drone flights near U.S. Navy (USN) and USCG vessels operating in the vicinity of Naval Base Kitsap in Washington state and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia. Drone operations are required to maintain a distance of at least 3,000 feet laterally and 1,000 feet vertically from these vessels.

These special security instructions, provided in an FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), are effective today. The full text of this NOTAM and additional information on these special security instructions, including a visual depiction and geospatial definition of the relevant airspace.

The FAA also warns drone operators in this NOTAM that these USN and USCG vessels are authorized by law to take protective action against drones perceived to be safety or security threats such as those violating the cited FAA special security instructions. This action could result in interference, disruption, seizure, damage or destruction of these drones. Further, operators who do not comply with the FAA special security instructions also may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.

Any operator with an overriding reason of public interest or necessity (e.g., conducting a search and rescue mission) to operate their drone in close proximity to the cited USN and USCG vessels  must first coordinate with the USN or USCG point of contact identified in the website linked above.

In a separate Special Notice Advisory NOTAM, also effective today, the FAA strongly advises drone operators to remain clear of DOD and Department of Energy (DOE) facilities and mobile assets, as well as USCG vessels. This Special Notice applies nationwide and alerts operators who ignore this caution and conduct drone flights perceived to be a safety or security threat to these facilities and mobile assets could face a reaction by security forces that results in the interference, disruption, seizure, damage or destruction of their aircraft.

 

Information can be found here on these two NOTAMs, and all of the locations currently covered by § 99.7 restrictions. This website also provides an interactive map, downloadable geospatial data, and other important details. Additional information, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAA’s UAS website.

 

August 2018 - FAA Establishes Restrictions on Drone Operations over DOD Facilities

In cooperation with Department of Defense (DOD), the FAA is establishing additional restrictions on drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of the following Federal facilities:

  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) West near St. Louis, MO
  • NGA Next West near St. Louis, MO
  • NGA Arnold near St. Louis, MO  

These changes, which are highlighted by FAA NOTAM FDC 8/7350, are pending until they become effective on August 30, 2018. Note that there are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within these restrictions, and they must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA.

FDC 8/7350 FDC SECURITY..SPECIAL SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS PERTAINING TO UNMANNED ACFT SYSTEM (UAS) OPS OVER MULTIPLE LOCATIONS NATIONWIDE. THIS NOTAM SUPPLEMENTS FDC 7/7282, AND DESCRIBES THE CHANGES MADE TO THE UAS-SPECIFIC SPECIAL SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS AIRSPACE DEFINED BY FDC 7/7282 AND IMPLEMENTED PURSUANT TO 14 C.F.R. 99.7 FOR NATIONAL SECURITY SENSITIVE LOCATIONS. THESE CHANGES INCLUDE ADDITIONAL LOCATIONS REQUESTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. THE UPDATED LIST OF AFFECTED AIRSPACE AND ASSOCIATED PROTECTED LOCATIONS, AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION ARE PROVIDED AT THE FOLLOWING FAA WEBSITE: HTTP://UAS.FAA.OPENDATA.ARCGIS.COM. SEE FDC 7/7282 FOR COMPLETE INFORMATION ON THESE SPECIAL SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS. 1808150400-1808290359

 

June 2018 - FAA Establishes Drone Restrictions Over Federal Prison

At the request of Federal security partners, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) §99.7–“Special Security Instructions”–to address concerns about drone operations over national security sensitive facilities by establishing temporary Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) specific flight restrictions.

In cooperation with Department of Justice (DOJ), the FAA is establishing an additional restriction on drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of the following federal facility:

  • Administrative United States Penitentiary Thomson near Clinton, IL

Information on the FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which defines these restrictions, and all of the currently covered DOJ locations, can be found by clicking here. To ensure the public is aware of these restricted locations, this FAA website also provides an interactive map, downloadable geospatial data, and other important details. A link to these restrictions is also included in the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app.

Additional, broader information regarding flying drones in the National Airspace System, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAA’s UAS website.

These changes, which have been highlighted by FAA NOTAM FDC 8/8243, are pending until they become effective on July 7, 2018. Note that there are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within this restriction, and they must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA.

FDC 8/8243 FDC SECURITY SPECIAL SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS (SSI)
PERTAINING TO UNMANNED ACFT SYSTEM (UAS) OPS OVER MULTIPLE LOCATIONS NATIONWIDE. THIS NOTAM SUPPLEMENTS FDC 7/7282, AND DESCRIBES THE CHANGES MADE TO THE UAS-SPECIFIC SSI AIRSPACE DEFINED BY FDC 7/7282 AND IMPLEMENTED PURSUANT TO 14 C.F.R. 99.7 FOR NATIONAL SECURITY SENSITIVE LOCATIONS. THESE CHANGES INCLUDE AN ADDITIONAL LOCATION REQUESTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. THE UPDATED LIST OF AFFECTED AIRSPACE AND ASSOCIATED PROTECTED LOCATIONS, AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION ARE PROVIDED AT THE FOLLOWING FAA WEBSITE: HTTP://UAS.FAA.OPENDATA.ARCGIS.COM.

SEE FDC 7/7282 FOR COMPLETE INFORMATION ON THESE SPECIAL SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS.

1806220400-1807060359

Operators who violate the flight restriction may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.

 

May 2018 - FAA Modifies Restrictions on Drone Operations over DoD Facilities

 

At the request of the Department of Defense, and Federal security and law enforcement agencies, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations § 99.7 – “Special Security Instructions” – to address the potential threat posed by malicious drone operations by establishing Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) specific airspace restrictions over select, national security sensitive locations.

 

Information on the FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which defines these restrictions, and all of the currently covered locations, can be found on our website.  This linked FAA website provides an interactive map, downloadable geospatial data, and other important information.

A link to these restrictions is also included in the FAA’s B4UFLYmobile app. Additional information, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAA’s UAS website.
 

In response to recent requests by Federal agencies, the FAA is establishing new or modifying existing restrictions on drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of the following four sites:
 

  • Naval Support Activity Monterey, Monterey, CA (new) 
  • Naval Air Station Kingsville, Kingsville, TX (new) 
  • Naval Support Activity Orlando, Orlando, FL (new) 
  • Naval Support Activity South Potomac, Indian Head, MD (boundary change) 


These changes, which have been highlighted by FAA NOTAM FDC 8/9176, are pending until they become effective on June 1.
 

FDC 8/9176–SECURITY SPECIAL SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS (SSI) PERTAINING TO UNMANNED ACFT SYSTEM (UAS) OPS OVER MULTIPLE LOCATIONS NATIONWIDE. THIS NOTAM SUPPLEMENTS FDC 7/7282, AND DESCRIBES THE CHANGES MADE TO THE UAS-SPECIFIC SSI AIRSPACE DEFINED BY FDC 7/7282 AND IMPLEMENTED PURSUANT TO 14 C.F.R. 99.7 FOR NATIONAL SECURITY SENSITIVE LOCATIONS. THESE CHANGES INCLUDE THE ADDITION OF NEW COVERED LOCATIONS AND THE REVISION OF SOME PRE-EXISTING INDIVIDUAL SSI AIRSPACE. THE UPDATED LIST OF AFFECTED AIRSPACE AND ASSOCIATED PROTECTED LOCATIONS, AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION ARE PROVIDED AT THE FOLLOWING FAA WEBSITE: HTTP://UAS.FAA.OPENDATA.ARCGIS.COM. SEE FDC 7/7282 FOR COMPLETE INFORMATION ON THESE SPECIAL SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS.
01 JUN 04:00 2018 UNTIL 15 JUN 04:00 2018.
 

Note that there are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within these restrictions, and they must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA.
 

Operators who violate the airspace restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.
 

The FAA is continuing to consider additional requests by federal agencies for UAS-specific airspace restrictions using the FAA’s § 99.7 authority as they are received. Additional changes to these restrictions will be announced by the FAA as appropriate.

 

 

Dec 18, 2017 

FAA Restricts Drone Operations Over DOE Facilities

The FAA and DOE have agreed to restrict drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of these sites:

  • Hanford Site, Franklin County, WA
  • Pantex Site, Panhandle, TX
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM
  • Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID
  • Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC
  • Y-12 National Security Site, Oak Ridge, TN
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

 

                   Photo courtesy of Bret Fugate

                         © All rights reserved 

 

 

Sept 2017 - FAA Restricts Drones over Statue of Liberty, Other Landmarks

 

At the request of U.S. national security and law enforcement agencies, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) § 99.7 – “Special Security Instructions” – to address concerns about unauthorized drone operations over 10 Department of the Interior (DOI) sites, including the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore.

The FAA and DOI have agreed to restrict drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of these 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 restrictions will be effective October 5, 2017. There are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within these restrictions, and they must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA.

To ensure the public is aware of these restricted locations, the FAA has created an interactive map online. The link to these restrictions is also included in the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app. The app will be updated within 60 days to reflect these airspace restrictions. Additional information, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAA’s UAS website.

Operators who violate the airspace restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.

This is the first time the agency has placed airspace restrictions for unmanned aircraft, or “drones,” over DOI landmarks. The FAA has placed similar airspace restrictions over military bases that currently remain in place.

The FAA is considering additional requests from other federal agencies for restrictions using the FAA’s § 99.7 authority as they are received.

 

 

 

Fireworks, Drones and Airplanes Don't Mix

June 2017

As people travel, purchase fireworks and fly drones over the Independence Day holiday, the FAA reminds them to know and follow the aviation safety rules.

Here are general guidelines for people flying drones:

  • Don’t fly your drone in or near fireworks
  • Don’t fly over people
  • Don’t fly near airports

To learn more about what you can and can’t do with your drone go to faa.gov/uas or download the B4UFLY app for free in the Apple and Google Play store. Also, check out the FAA's July 4th No Drone Zone PSA video.

There are also strict rules prohibiting airline passengers from packing or carrying fireworks on domestic or international flights. Remember these simple rules:

  • Don’t pack fireworks in your carry-on bags
  • Don’t pack fireworks in your checked luggage
  • Don’t send fireworks through the mail or parcel services

Passengers violating the rules can face fines or criminal prosecution. When in Doubt…Leave it out!

For more information on the passenger rules for fireworks and other hazardous materials, please go to www.faa.gov/go/packsafe/.  Leave the fireworks at home–Fireworks Don't Fly (PDF) (Poster)

As FAA works to ensure that passengers arrive at their destinations safely, it is important that you follow the rules while enjoying your drones as well as celebrating the July 4th holiday.  

 

April 6, 2017 - FAA Restricts Drone Operations Over Certain Military Bases

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) § 99.7 – “Special Security Instructions” – to address national security concerns about unauthorized drone operations over 133 military facilities.

This is the first time the agency has instituted airspace restrictions that specifically apply only to unmanned aircraft, popularly known as “drones.” The authority under § 99.7 is limited to requests based on national security interests from the Department of Defense and U.S. federal security and intelligence agencies.

U.S. military facilities are vital to the nation’s security. The FAA and the Department of Defense have agreed to restrict drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of these 133 facilities. The restrictions will be effective April 14, 2017.There are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within these restrictions, and they must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA.

Operators who violate the airspace restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.

To ensure the public is aware of these restricted locations, the FAA has created an interactive map online. The link to these restrictions is also included in the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app. The app will be updated within 60 days to reflect these airspace restrictions. Additional information, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAA’s UAS website.

Section 2209 of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 also directs the Secretary of Transportation to establish a process to accept petitions to prohibit or restrict UAS operations over critical infrastructure and other facilities. The Department of Transportation and the FAA are currently evaluating options to implement such a process.

The FAA is considering additional requests from federal security and intelligence agencies for restrictions using the FAA’s § 99.7 authority as they are received.

 

 

In accordance with AC91-57A, hobby and recreational UAS operators are required to check NOTAMs and TFRs before flight - simply click on the links below!

FAA NOTAMs

FAA TFRs

 

2014 - NOTAM 4/3621 for TFR for stadium sporting events to specifically prohibit UAS operations at NFL games, NCAA Division 1 football games, Major League Baseball games, and NASCAR Cup races.

 

Washington, DC Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) - permanently prohibits model aircraft and UAS operations

Feb 10, 2016 - The previous 30 mile ring changed to 15 miles for UAS per FDC 6/2069

 

2009 - Special Notice 4/0811 - strongly adivses against aircraft operation in vicinity of power plants, dams, refineries, industrial complexes, and military installations. It is interpreted to include both manned and unmanned aircraft.

 

February 9, 2016 - FAA Press Release

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is updating its conditions today for flying unmanned aircraft in the area between 15 and 30 miles from Washington, D.C. to clarify differences for various types of unmanned aircraft. As of 12:01 a.m. EST, Wednesday, February 10, the operating procedures will allow model aircraft, commercial and public users to operate in the outer ring of the Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) under specific conditions.

The SFRA rule still prohibits unmanned aircraft operations within 15 miles of Washington, D.C. in the Flight Restricted Zone without specific FAA authorization.

Under the new procedures, hobbyists and recreational unmanned aircraft operators can fly aircraft that weigh less than 55 lbs. (including any attachments such as a camera) in the area between 15 and 30 miles of Washington, D.C. if the aircraft are registered and marked, and they follow specific operating conditions. The operating conditions require them to fly 400 feet or lower above the ground, stay in the operator's line of sight, only fly in clear conditions, and avoid other aircraft.

If hobbyists intend to operate within five miles of an airport or heliport, the new procedures also require them to notify the airport, heliport and air traffic control tower, if there is one, before operating.

Commercial and other non-model aircraft operators must register and mark their unmanned aircraft, must have an exemption and comply with it, and must notify the FAA an hour before operating to provide specific flight information.

Public operators, such as federal, state or local governments, must also register and mark their aircraft, must have the appropriate FAA authorization to operate, and must complete the same one-hour notification before operating.

 

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Sarah Nilsson, JD, PhD, MAS

 

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sarah@sarahnilsson.org

 

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Legal disclaimer 

The information on this website is for educational purposes only and DOES NOT constitute legal advice. While the author of this website is an attorney, she is not your attorney, nor are you her client, until you enter into a written agreement with Nilsson Law, PLLC to provide legal services.

 

 

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