FAA Reminds Drone Operators to Avoid Military Installations

Possibly in response to the escalating situation between U.S. forces and Syria in the Middle East, FAA has issued UAS NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) FDC 7/7137, establishing airspace restrictions for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) over 133 military facilities in the U.S. The restrictions are effective on April 14, 2017.

From the 4/7/17 FAA NOTAM email Bulletin:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established airspace restrictions over 133 military facilities to address national security concerns about unauthorized drone operations. The specific restricted locations are detailed in a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) – UAS NOTAM FDC 7/7137, and may be viewed online via an interactive map here.

The Agency is using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) § 99.7 – Special Security Instructions – to establish these restrictions. The relief provided under § 99.7 is limited to requests from the Department of Defense and U.S. federal security and intelligence agencies based on national security interests.

U.S. military facilities are considered “sensitive” as they 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 facility’s lateral boundaries. 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.

For more information about these restrictions, including frequently asked questions, please visit the FAA’s UAS website.

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