On April 7, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a Notice to Airmen (Notice) that becomes effective on April 14, 2017. The Notice prohibits the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) over 133 military facilities to an altitude of 400 feet. The FAA is relying on its authority and ability to address national security concerns under 14 CFR 99.7. However, the FAA has carved out certain exceptions where UAS. may fly over certain military installations. Specifically the UAS flight must:
1) Have been pre-approved by the designated military facility contact based on criteria jointly established by the Department of Defense and the FAA; or
2) Be conducted in direct support of an active national defense, homeland security, law enforcement, firefighting, search and rescue, or disaster response mission;
3) Be conducted in direct support of a significant and urgent governmental interest with the prior approval of the FAA and it’s system operations support center; and
4) Comply with all other applicable federal aviation regulations. The FAA has created an online interactive map to help comply with this Notice.
Also, a link to these restrictions will also be included in the FAA’s B4UFly mobile app. UAS operators who violate these air space restrictions could be subject to enforcement action, which includes potential civil penalties and criminal charges.