Did you know that in April 2017 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established air space regulations over 133 military locations in the United States? Pursuant to 14 CFR 99.7, through an agreement with the Department of Defense, the FAA has the authority to establish special security instructions for the operation of drones in order to protect the nation’s security. The recent air space regulations prohibit drones up to 400 feet within the boundaries of 133 specific military facilities. The air space regulations apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are only a few exceptions for these restrictions, and in order to get an exception, the drone operator will need to seek approval from a specific point of contact at the designated military facility. Drone operators who violate these air space restrictions can face both civil penalties and criminal charges.

There are several other federal air space restrictions on drone flights within the United States that you may not be aware of. If you are considering flying a drone, make sure you review all of the federal air space restrictions.  Some of the federal air space restrictions include the following areas:

  • There are Temporary Flight Restrictions that may be active on any given day, in any area of the country, due to a temporary hazardous condition in that area of the country, for example a chemical spill or wild fire. To see a list of active Temporary Flight Restrictions please visit:  http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html.
  • There is a “No Drone Zone” in the airspace around Washington D.C. It is the most restricted air space in the country. For more information on            the “No Drone Zone” please visit: https://www.faa.gov/uas/where_to_fly/no_drone_zone/.
  • Drones are prohibited within a radius of three nautical miles of the venue/arena/stadium, one hour before and one hour after any Major League Baseball events, National Football League events, NCAA Division One Football events, or any NASCAR Sprint Cup, Indy Car, and Champ Series races. For more information on the air restrictions for these events please visit:             https://www.faa.gov/uas/where_to_fly/airspace_restrictions/media/Sports_TFR-UAS_Handout.pdf.
  • There are also airspace restrictions for drones around airports. Drone operators should not fly the drone within a 5 mile radius of any towered airport without first notifying the airport and airport control tower. For more information on restrictions in relation to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport please visit: https://skyharbor.com/Business/RulesAndRegulations/drones.

For more detailed information on Federal Airspace Restrictions for drones please visit: https://www.faa.gov/uas/where_to_fly/airspace_restrictions/.

Our firm will continue tracking federal regulations on drone usage and those regulations’ impact on community associations. Stay tuned!