Restrictions Set for Drones Over National Landmarks

StaffLaw Enforcement Resources, News15 Comments

At the request of U.S. national security and law enforcement agencies, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) § 99.7 – “Special Security Instructions” – to address concerns about unauthorized drone operations over 10 Department of the Interior (DOI) sites, including the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore.

The FAA and DOI have agreed to restrict drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of  many sites including;

  • Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York, NY
  • Boston National Historical Park (U.S.S. Constitution), Boston, MA
  • Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA
  • Folsom Dam; Folsom, CA
  • Glen Canyon Dam; Lake Powell, AZ
  • Grand Coulee Dam; Grand Coulee, WA
  • Hoover Dam; Boulder City, NV
  • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial; St. Louis, MO
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Keystone, SD
  • Shasta Dam; Shasta Lake, CA

The restrictions will be effective October 5, 2017. There are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within these restrictions, and they must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA.

To ensure the public is aware of these restricted locations, the FAA has created an interactive map online. The link to these restrictions is also included in the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app. The app will be updated within 60 days to reflect these airspace restrictions. Additional information, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAA’s UAS website.

Operators who violate the airspace restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.

This is the first time the agency has placed airspace restrictions for unmanned aircraft, or “drones,” over DOI landmarks. The FAA has placed similar airspace restrictions over military bases that currently remain in place.

The FAA is considering additional requests from other federal agencies for restrictions using the FAA’s § 99.7 authority as they are received.

15 Comments on “Restrictions Set for Drones Over National Landmarks”

  1. If these agencies would apply the same rules to rogue helicopter pilots they make be consistent in their enforcement.

  2. Do National Parks prohibits drones? If so, all of them ?

    If they prohibit drones, can one apply for a permit / permission to fly a drone just to take videos/photos ?

    1. There are special concerns and requirements for flying drones in and around national parks. Most if not all national parks prohibit the flying of drones without a permit. Please contact the national park you plan to visit to inquire directly. You may also find some useful information from the National Park Service and its blog here


  3. I crashed my registered drone. I am buying a new one, identical model. Do i need to register it again.

    1. If you registered the drone for recreation and not for business you may label the drone with your registration number. If you registered for business you will need to acquire a new registration number.

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