The FAA is reaching out to residents and tourists in the Washington, D.C., region to emphasize that the area is a “No Drone Zone,” the agency announced May 13.
Aircraft may not operate within the Washington, D.C., Flight Restricted Zone, an area of about a 13- to 15-nautical-mile radius around the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport VOR/DME, without specific approval. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a media release that those restrictions apply to all unmanned aircraft.
“Anyone visiting the DC area should leave their drone at home,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in the release. “We want to make sure everyone knows and understands the rules about flying in the National Capital Region.”
Outreach materials on the FAA’s website, which the agency is making available to federal, state, and local partners around the region, include “No Drone Zone” signage and warnings that federal law prohibits flying a drone in Washington, D.C., and that violators may face civil and criminal penalties.
The FAA also is developing a GPS-driven smartphone app to inform recreational unmanned aircraft operators where they may or may not operate legally. It expects to release the app for Apple devices later in 2015, after beta testing, the FAA said.