FAA Reminds Public of Inauguration Flight Restrictions

It’s probably a no-brainer, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reminding the public that Washington, D.C., is a strict no-drone zone for this Friday’s presidential inauguration.

The Know Before You Fly campaign says unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operators should check flight restrictions in effect around the Washington, D.C., area – which already has drone flight restrictions every day – ahead of the event.

Specifically, all UAS (including model aircraft) operations are prohibited within a 30-nautical-mile radius of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), including the National Mall, U.S. Capitol and the White House.

The area within a 15-nautical-mile radius of DCA is a Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ): No UAS flights are allowed in this area at any time without specific FAA authorization. In addition, the area within a 15- to 30-nautical-mile radius of DCA is a Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA).

Both the FRZ and SFRA will include additional flight restrictions between 9 a.m. EST and 7 p.m. EST on Jan. 20.

The agency warns that those who do follow the aircraft flight procedures may be intercepted, detained and interviewed by law enforcement or security. In addition, the FAA says it may take administrative action, including imposing civil penalties; suspending or revoking airmen certificates; pursuing criminal charges; or using deadly force against an airborne aircraft if it poses an “imminent security threat.”

For more specific guidance on all aircraft flight restrictions in effect during the inauguration, check out the FAA’s advisory here.


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