FAA launches ‘No Drone Zone’ campaign in Washington

14 May 2015 (Last Updated May 14th, 2015 18:30)

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched an awareness campaign to remind citizens that Washington and the area around Ronald-Reagan Washington National Airport are a ‘No Drone Zone’.

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The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched an awareness campaign to remind citizens that Washington and the area around Ronald-Reagan Washington National Airport are a 'No Drone Zone'.

The agency, in a statement, warned that it was illegal to operate any aircraft in the Flight Restricted Zone that included the District of Columbia and cities and towns within a 15-mile radius of Ronald-Reagan Washington National Airport.

The restricted area includes a few government buildings such as the White House, Capitol Hill and the Pentagon.

"Violators may face stiff fines and criminal penalties."

FAA said in a statement: "Rules put in place after the 9/11 attacks establish 'national defense airspace' over the DC area and limit aircraft operations - including unmanned aircraft - to those with an FAA and Transportation Security Administration authorisation.

"Violators may face stiff fines and criminal penalties."

The FAA will supply outreach materials through a digital toolkit that will include No Drone Zone signage.

The toolkit will be accessible to federal, state and other local partners around the restricted region to ensure that residents are aware of the rules.

Meanwhile, the Secret Service has arrested a man flying a small drone above Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House.

The Associated Press quoted a law enforcement officer as saying that it was still unclear whether the man was trying to fly the unmanned aircraft at the executive mansion or taking aerial photos of the area.

Similar such incident occurred earlier this year when a government worker flying a small drone crashed it on the White House grounds, sparking a security alert on the premises.


Image: FAA's 'No Drone Zone' includes a few government buildings such as the White House, Capitol Hill and the Pentagon. Photo: courtesy of Cezary p.