The Know Before You Fly campaign is reminding unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operators to check flight restrictions in effect around the Washington, D.C., area ahead of the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20. During this time frame, all UAS, including model aircraft, operations will be prohibited within a 30 nautical mile radius of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), including the National Mall, U.S. Capitol and the White House.
The area within a 15 nautical mile radius of DCA is a Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ). No UAS flights are allowed in this area at any time without specific FAA authorization. In addition, the area within a 15 to 30 nautical mile radius of DCA is a Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA). Both the FRZ and SFRA will include additional flight restrictions between 9 a.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET on Jan. 20.
It is not only the Washington area that is subject to flight restrictions. In addition, temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) remain in effect around Trump Tower in New York City and other areas. Anyone flying in the area should frequently check these TFRs to determine whether their flight is permissible. The FAA typically restricts the airspace for presidential visits and during natural disasters or hazards, such as wildfires. In addition, TFRs are issued around sporting events with a seating capacity of 30,000 or more, including the upcoming Super Bowl LI at the NRG Stadium in Houston as well as Major League Baseball games and NASCAR motor speedway events. More information about the types of TFRs may be found here.
For more specific guidance on the flight restrictions in effect during the inauguration, please consult the FAA’s advisory here. Additionally, Know Before You Fly encourages drone operators to download the FAA’s B4UFLY app to find up-to-date information on TFRs.
When TFRs are not in place, Know Before You Fly would like to remind flyers to follow these rules to keep the skies safe for all.
Know Before You Fly was launched in December 2014 by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the Academy of Model Aeronautics in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration, with the goal of spreading awareness about safe and responsible use of unmanned aircraft systems. For more information on safe and responsible flying, visit KnowBeforeYouFly.org.