The airspace around Washington, D.C. is more restricted than in any other part of the country. Violators face stiff fines and criminal penalties. DC is governed by a Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) within a 30-mile radius of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), which restricts all flights in the greater D.C. area.
The SFRA is divided into a 15-mile radius "inner ring" and a 30-mile radius "outer ring."
- It is prohibited to fly a drone within the 15-mile radius inner ring without specific FAA authorization.
- Flying a drone 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.