“Dozens of local drone clubs (besides hundreds of drone enthusiasts) in the D.C. region have a reason to rejoice as the ‘No Drone Zone’ just shrunk in size!”
Great news is incoming for drone enthusiasts, especially the ones in District of Columbia. The Federal Aviation Administration, or the FAA, has modified its ‘No Drone Zone’ radius from 30 miles back to normal, for the area around Reagan National Airport.
Put into place right after the 9/11 attacks, the authority had doubled its restrictive flight radius from the normal 15 miles to 30 miles around the Reagan National Airport (formerly Washington National Airport). This was done a precaution against further such attacks.
In other words, the ‘No Drone Zone’ radius is back to its original 15 miles now.
Enthusiasts, Clubs Rejoice
This modification will result in the re-opening of around 14 drone clubs of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), that had been on standby ever since.
Expecting a response since mid-January, the drone clubs are now ecstatic as the decision from the FAA arrived late Tuesday.
Under this new agreement, model aircrafts and drones (under 55kg) can now be flown within the 15 to 30 mile radius of the Airport, without prior notice to the authorities.
However, if you’re planning to fly one within 5 miles of an airport or helipad, notification must be sent to the concerned ATC tower beforehand.
Dave Mathewson, executive director of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, commented on the occurrence of events, “We are pleased that after weeks of working closely with the AMA and our local chartered clubs, the FAA today updated the conditions for flying unmanned aircraft in the Special Flight Rules Area surrounding the DC metropolitan area,”
Drone-flying is currently restrictive in all the states of the US and any unmanned aircraft weighing over 250 grams must be registered with the FAA, before flight.