FAA Establishes Additional Restrictions on UAS Operations over DOJ and DOD Facilities

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), at the request of security partners, recently announced additional airspace restrictions over certain facilities to address national security concerns. These new restrictions, outlined in NOTAM FDC 9/2586, apply to all model aircraft, sometimes referred to as drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

The restrictions begin Tuesday, February 26, 2019 and will remain in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 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 these restrictions are subject to enforcement action including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.

For over eighty years, AMA members have safely operated model aircraft in the national airspace by following strict community-based guidelines. Our history includes a great relationship with the military through our large military membership base, military partnerships, and collaborative efforts. AMA flying sites and events, including many National Championships (Nats) dating back to the 1940s, have been safely and responsibility conducted on military property.

To preserve our safety record and commitment to national security and the military, it is important that we all follow the new restrictions. Below, we have provided a few answers to commonly asked questions related to these UAS flight restrictions.

Q: How do I know if my flying site or event is affected?
A: We recommend you confirm if your site is affected by visiting the FAA interactive map.

Q:  Does this flight restriction only apply to drones, multirotors, or models with cameras?
A:  The restrictions apply to all civilian model aircraft or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), not just drones, multirotors, or models with cameras. Any model aircraft operator who violates these restrictions is subject to enforcement action.

Q:  Are there any exceptions to these new restrictions?
A:  The specific sites were carved out by the security agencies and the FAA to protect national security. If you have a pre-existing flying site and fly model aircraft within a restricted area, please contact the AMA Government Affairs Team at 765-287-1256 or amagov@modelaircraft.org.

Thank you,
AMA Government Affairs Team