FAA Establishes New Restrictions on Drone Operations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced last week a new series of airspace restrictions to take effect on July 11, 2019 for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS/ UAV) attempting to fly over national security sensitive locations.

The FAA has been cooperating with federal partners to address concerns about malicious drone operations by using the agency’s existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations Section 99.7, Special Security Instructions, to establish UAS specific flight restrictions over select, national security sensitive locations. The FAA’s Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), defines these special security instructions. New UAS flight restrictions highlighted above and by FDC 9/3332, which alerts UAS operators and others in the aviation community of this change and points to FDC 8/3277, are currently pending.

The additional 12 restricted locations requested by the U.S. Department of Defense are identified below.

  • Raven Rock Mountain Complex in Adams, PA
  • Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, MO
  • Pine Bluff Arsenal in White Hall, AR
  • Tooele Army Depot in Tooele, UT
  • Hawthorne Army Depot in Hawthorne, NV
  • Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo, CO
  • Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Middletown, IA
  • Watervliet Arsenal in Watervliet, NY
  • Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, KY
  • Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, PA
  • Rivanna Station in Charlottesville, VA
  • Maui Space Surveillance Site in Maui, HI

 

UAS operators, in particular, are urged to review the special security instructions prescribed by the above mentioned NOTAM (8/3277) and the important supporting information provided by the FAA’s UAS Data Delivery Service (UDDS). The UDDS website provides easy access to the text of the NOTAM and other UAS-specific security NOTAMs. There you’ll find a current list of the airspace to which these special security instructions have been applied which is supported by an interactive map and downloadable geospatial data. A link to these restrictions is also included in the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app.

The new UAS flight restrictions highlighted above and by FDC 9/3332 are pending until they become effective on 07/11/2019.  UAS operators should keep in mind that access to the airspace identified by this notification and UDDS is strictly controlled. Operators who violate these flight restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.

The FAA is continuing to consider additional requests by eligible Federal security agencies for UAS-specific flight restrictions using the agency’s 14 CFR § 99.7 authority as they are received. The FAA will announce any future changes, including additional locations, as appropriate.

We encourage our readers planning commercial operations anywhere near the listed areas to examine the interactive map and familiarize themselves with the restrictions and all applicable NOTAMS.

 

Tags:

About the Author

Juan received a degree in Geodesy and a master in digital photogrammetry from Universidad Central de Venezuela and a MBA in international Finance from Florida International University. He has over 750 hours of experience in photogrammetry navigation and camera operation in aircraft as varied as WWII B-25, Cessna 310, Lear Jet 25C and Piper Aztec. Juan holds a Commercial, Multi-engine Pilot certificate. Juan has been selling mapping UAV’s in Latin America for four years and is a frequent guest speaker in events where the safety of flying UAV’s and the fact that unmanned and manned aircraft inevitably will share the same airspace, is a relevant topic. He is the CEO of Juan B Plaza Consulting, a services’ firm specializing in UAV and general aviation issues.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *