There are many types of airspace restrictions in the United States. Below is a list of restrictions that commonly affect UAS flights, including:
- Security Sensitive Airspace Restrictions
- Temporary Flight Restrictions
- Restricted or Special Use Airspace
- Stadiums and Sporting Events
Security Sensitive Airspace Restrictions
The FAA, under 14 CFR § 99.7 — Special Security Instructions (SSI), has prohibited all UAS flights within the airspace defined under UAS NOTAM FDC 7/7282. The restrictions extend from the ground up to 400 feet AGL, apply to all types and purposes of UAS flight operations, and remain in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Temporary Flight Restrictions
Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) define a certain area of airspace where air travel is limited because of a temporary hazardous condition, such as a wildfire or chemical spill; a security-related event, such as the United Nations General Assembly; or other special situations. The text of the actual TFR contains the details about the restriction, including the size, altitude, time period that it is in effect, and what types of operations are restricted and permitted.
The "Map Airports" tab on the TFR website can help narrow down the relevant active TFRs in a specific area.
Restricted or Special Use Airspace
The airspace surrounding Washington DC is the most restricted in the country. Flying your drone is illegal in any of the restricted airspace above the Nation's capital. For more information, read about No Drone Zone.
Special use airspace is used to designate airspace in which certain activities must be confined, or where limitations may be imposed on aircraft operations that are not part of those activities. Types of Special Use Airspace include:
- Prohibited areas
- Restricted areas
- Warning areas
- Military operation areas (MOAs)
- Alert areas
- Controlled firing areas (CFAs)
For more detailed information about airspace classifications and categories, review the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.
Stadiums and sporting events
Flying UAS in and around stadiums is prohibited starting one hour before and ending one hour after the scheduled time of any of the following events:
- Major League Baseball
- National Football League
- NCAA Division One Football
- NASCAR Sprint Cup, Indy Car, and Champ Series races
Specifically, UAS operations are prohibited within a radius of three nautical miles of the stadium or venue.
Further information is available in this handout on sports TFRs (PDF).
It is illegal to fly your UAS in or around a wildfire firefighting operation.
Recreational operators are required to give notice for flights within five miles of an airport to both the airport operator and air traffic control tower, if the airport has a tower. However, recreational operations are not permitted in Class B airspace around most major airports without specific air traffic permission and coordination.