FAA restricts drone flights over national monuments

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of the Interior (DOi) are restricting drone operations over 10 DOI sites, including the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore. They agencies have agreed to restrict drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of:

  • 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.

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