The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment regularly monitors the activities of the FAA regarding Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or "Drones". For the latest information regarding UAS, please visit the FAA's UAS Integration Office (AFS-80) which is the Agency's single point of contact for everything UAS. The UAS Integration Office collaboratively develops operating concepts, policies, requirements, criteria, and procedures for new system evaluations, integration, and implementation of emerging UAS technologies, and coordinates all UAS operational authorizations, including Certificate of Waiver or Authorizations (COAs) and Section 333 exemptions.
DC National Capitol Region Airspace
According to the FAA's webpage...
The National Capital Region is governed by a Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) within a 30-mile radius of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, which restricts all flights in the greater DC area.
The SFRA is divided into a 15-mile radius inner ring and a 30-mile radius outer ring.
Flying an unmanned aircraft within the 15-mile radius inner ring is prohibited without specific FAA authorization.
Flying a UAS for recreational or non-recreational use between 15 and 30 miles from Washington, D.C. is allowed under these operating conditions:
- Aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs. (including any attachments such as a camera)
- Aircraft must be registered and marked (if it is not operated exclusively under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, pending NOTAM change)
- Fly below 400 ft.
- Fly within visual line-of-sight
- Fly in clear weather conditions
- Never fly near other aircraft
The airspace around Washington, D.C. is more restricted than in any other part of the country. Rules put in place after the 9/11 attacks establish "national defense airspace" over the area and limit aircraft operations to those with an FAA and Transportation Security Administration authorization. Violators face stiff fines and criminal penalties.
For the latest information regarding Drone flights in DC, please visit the FAA's web page here.
UAS Integration Pilot Program
FAA Restricts Drones over Statue of Liberty, Other Landmarks
UAS Smartphone App
The FAA has now launched an easy-to-use smartphone app, B4UFLY that helps unmanned aircraft (drone) operators determine whether there are any restrictions or requirements in effect at the location where they want to fly.
The FAA's new online drone registry system is live! If you or someone you know has a drone, please register it now.