Due to “national security concerns,” the FAA has restricted drone operations over 133 U.S. military bases. This is the first time the FAA has applied such limitations exclusively to unmanned aircraft.
As of April 14, drones will only be able to fly up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of the selected 133 military bases. OK. That’s confusing. Think of it this way: Essentially, there’s a 400-foot dome around each of those restricted military bases and drone operators cannot fly within that dome — a spokesperson for the FAA confirmed this.
Some exceptions will be made, but operators must contact individual facilities and/or the FAA in order to gain access to fly. Operators found violating these new restrictions may be subject to possible civil penalties and criminal charges.
The Administration cites that it’s using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) § 99.7 – “Special Security Instructions” which states: “Each person operating an aircraft in an ADIZ or Defense Area must, in addition to the applicable rules of this part, comply with special security instructions issued by the Administrator in the interest of national security, pursuant to agreement between the FAA and the Department of Defense, or between the FAA and a U.S. Federal security or intelligence agency.”
The FAA and DoD gave no specific rationale for the drone restrictions — or why these 133 locations were chosen.
You can view a list
of the military bases included in this new restriction. The FAA also put together an interactive map
showcasing the 133 military bases that these new restrictions for drone operations apply.