U.S. national security and law enforcement agencies have expressed concerns about unauthorized drone use over DOE (Department of Energy) facilities. To address these concerns, FAA has announced that they are restricting drone flights above seven nuclear facilities in the U.S.
As FAA writes, they have agreed with DOE to restrict drone flights up to 400 feet above seven DOE facilities:
- Hanford Site, Franklin County, WA
- Pantex Site, Panhandle, TX
- Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM
- Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID
- Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC
- Y-12 National Security Site, Oak Ridge, TN
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
The restrictions are to become effective on December 29, 2017. In the meantime, FAA makes sure that the public is aware of the restricted locations. They have created an interactive map online and also included the link to latest restrictions in their B4UFLYmobile app. However, the app will be updated within 60 days to reflect the latest changes.
This isn’t the first time FAA has limited drone use above specific facilities. Similar restrictions ban drones above military bases. Violating these regulations can even get your drone shot down. You may also remember more recent restrictions over ten major landmarks across the U.S.
According to FAA, there are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within the latest restrictions. The drone operators must coordinate all of them with the individual facility and/or the FAA. However, it’s not clear what you need to do to get the special permission. What we do know is that those who violate the restrictions could face civil penalties and even criminal charges.
[via sUAS News]