FAA restricts drone operations over DOJ and USCG facilities
At the request of federal security partners, US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR)§ 99.7 – “Special Security Instructions” – to address concerns about drone operations over national security sensitive facilities by establishing temporary Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) specific flight restrictions.
Information on the FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which defines these restrictions, and all of the currently covered locations, can be found on our website. To ensure the public is aware of these restricted locations, this FAA website also provides an interactive map, downloadable geospatial data, and other important details. A link to these restrictions is also included in the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app.
Additional, broader information regarding flying drones in the National Airspace System, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAA’s UAS website.
In cooperation with Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the FAA is establishing additional restrictions on drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of the following federal facilities:
• United States Penitentiary (USP) Tucson near Tucson, AZ
• USP Atwater near Atwater, CA
• USP Victorville near Victorville, CA
• USP Florence High near Florence, CO
• USP Florence ADMAX near Florence, CO
• USP Coleman I near Sumterville, FL
• USP Coleman II near Sumterville, FL
• USP Marion near Marion, IL
• USP Terre Haute near Terre Haute, IN
• USP Big Sandy near Inez, KY
• USP McCreary near Pine Knot, KY
• USP Pollock near Pollock, LA
• USP Yazoo City near Yazoo City, MS
• USP Allenwood near Allenwood, PA
• USP Canaan near Waymart, PA
• USP Lewisburg near Lewisburg, PA
• USP Beaumont near Beaumont, TX
• USP Lee near Pennington Gap, VA
• USP Hazelton near Bruceton Mills, WV
• United States Coast Guard (USCG) Baltimore Yard, MD
• USCG Base Boston, MA
• USCG Base Alameda, CA
• USCG Base Los Angeles/Long Beach (LALB), CA
• USCG Base Elizabeth City, NC
• USCG Base Kodiak, AK
• USCG Base Miami, FL
• USCG Base Portsmouth, VA
• USCG Base Seattle, WA
• USCG Operations System Center (OSC) near Martinsburg, WV
These changes, which have been highlighted by FAA NOTAM FDC 8/8653, are pending until they become effective on June 20. Note that there are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within these restrictions, and they must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA.
FDC 8/8653 FDC SECURITY SPECIAL SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS (SSI) PERTAINING TO UNMANNED ACFT SYSTEM (UAS) OPS OVER MULTIPLE LOCATIONS NATIONWIDE. THIS NOTAM SUPPLEMENTS FDC 7/7282, AND DESCRIBES THE CHANGES MADE TO THE UAS-SPECIFIC SSI AIRSPACE DEFINED BY FDC 7/7282 AND IMPLEMENTED PURSUANT TO 14 C.F.R. 99.7 FOR NATIONAL SECURITY SENSITIVE LOCATIONS. THESE CHANGES INCLUDE ADDITIONAL LOCATIONS REQUESTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.
This is the first time the Agency has placed specific flight restrictions for unmanned aircraft, or “drones,” over Federal Bureau of Prisons and US Coast Guard facilities. The FAA has placed similar flight restrictions over military installations that remain in place, as well as over ten Department of Interior facilities and seven Department of Energy facilities.
Operators who violate the 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 § 99.7 authority as they are received. Additional changes to these restrictions will be announced by the FAA as appropriate.