The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has modified or established new specific airspace restrictions on drone operations over US Department of Defense (DoD) and national security locations.
The FAA has been using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations § 99.7 ‘Special Security Instructions’ to address potential threats posed by drone flights over the locations.
The US agency has used its authority at the request of the DoD and other federal security and law enforcement agencies.
Modified restrictions apply to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flights up to 400ft within the lateral boundaries of four sites across the US.
The four sites include Naval Support Activity Monterey in California, Naval Air Station Kingsville in Texas, Naval Support Activity Orlando in Florida, and Naval Support Activity South Potomac in Indian Head, Maryland.
Highlighted by the US FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) FDC 8/9176, the modifications in the airspace restrictions are pending until they become effective on 1 June.
However, there are a few exceptions that allow UAS operators to fly their drones within the restrictions. Operators are required to coordinate with the individual facility or US federal agency.
Operators that violate airspace restrictions will be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.
Using the FAA’s § 99.7 authority, the agency is still continuing to consider additional requests by federal agencies for UAS-specific airspace restrictions.