In cooperation with U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is establishing additional restrictions on drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of the following federal facilities, all located near St. Louis:
- National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) West;
- NGA Next West; and
- NGA Arnold.
At the request of its federal security partners, the FAA is using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations § 99.7 – “Special Security Instructions” – to address concerns about drone operations over national security-sensitive facilities by establishing temporary flight restrictions specific to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
The changes are pending until they become effective on Aug. 30, the FAA notes. 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, the agency says. Operators who violate the flight restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.
The FAA says it continues to consider additional requests by eligible federal security agencies for UAS-specific flight restrictions. Previously, the FAA has announced drone flight restrictions for Department of the Interior landmarks, Department of Energy facilities, military facilities and other DoD sites.