A lot of the work the Federal Aviation Administration seems to be doing these days is drone-related. Most recently, we’ve reported on the administration’s response to Hurricane Harvey and their failed attempts to create a national registry of recreational drone operators. On Thursday, the FAA set its eyes on protecting major U.S. landmarks from unmanned aerial vehicle activity.
According an official FAA statement, the administration is using its "Special Security Instructions" authority to regulate drone flights near 10 major domestic landmarks, many of which are famous, historic sites:
- Statue of Liberty
- Boston National Historical Park
- Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia
- Folsom Dam in California
- Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona
- Grand Coulee Dam in Washington
- Hoover Dam in Nevada
- Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri
- Mount Rushmore in South Dakota
- Shasta Dam in California
As of Oct. 5, drone flights up to 400 feet within the “lateral boundaries” of these landmarks is prohibited, with a few exceptions that must be agreed upon with the FAA or any of the above facilities individually. In order to spread awareness of the new legislation, the administration has released an online map, as well as adding the above list to the official ‘B4UFLY’ FAA smartphone app within the next 60 days.
The FAA states that anyone violating these restrictions will be subject to law enforcement or legal response, such as criminal charges or financial penalties. According to the FAA, this is the first time the administration has instated drone-related landmark restrictions.