FAA Establishes Drone Restrictions Over Federal Prison
At the request of Federal security partners, the 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.
In cooperation with Department of Justice (DOJ), the FAA is establishing an additional restriction on drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of the following federal facility:
- Administrative United States Penitentiary Thomson near Clinton, IL
Information on the FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which defines these restrictions, and all of the currently covered DOJ locations, can be found by clicking here. 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.
These changes, which have been highlighted by FAA NOTAM FDC 8/8243, are pending until they become effective on July 7, 2018. Note that there are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within this restriction, and they must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA.
FDC 8/8243 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 AN ADDITIONAL LOCATION REQUESTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. THE UPDATED LIST OF AFFECTED AIRSPACE AND ASSOCIATED PROTECTED LOCATIONS, AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION ARE PROVIDED AT THE FOLLOWING FAA WEBSITE: HTTP://UAS.FAA.OPENDATA.ARCGIS.COM.
SEE FDC 7/7282 FOR COMPLETE INFORMATION ON THESE SPECIAL SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS.
Operators who violate the flight restriction 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.