If you live in suburban Washington DC, say Maryland or Virginia and you found a drone under your Christmas tree, you might need to make a bit of a trip to find a place to fly it. According to the FAA:
The FAA is leading a public outreach campaign for the National Capital Region around Washington, D.C. to reinforce the message that the District of Columbia and cities and towns within a 30-mile radius of Ronald-Reagan Washington National Airport are a No Drone Zone. (emphasis ours, full notice here).
This is an update to a previous requirement posted June 30th which stated:
As the July 4 holiday approaches, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reminding residents and visitors to Washington, D.C. that the city and surrounding communities are a “No Drone Zone.”
The prohibition against flying any type of unmanned aircraft, or “drone,” without specific approval includes the District of Columbia and cities and towns within a 15-mile radius of Ronald-Reagan Washington National Airport. (emphasis ours, full notice here).
The revision to the size of the no fly zone is one in a series of steps taken by the FAA in recent weeks to further regulate growing drone use. The FAA recently implemented mandatory registration for drone users; issued directives to local law enforcement regarding penalties, and published a release affirming their authority on UAS over state and municipal efforts.
The change apparently came as a surprise to local drone enthusiasts as reported on wUSA.
Here is what a 30 mile radius of Washington DC looks like: