The Catholic University of America

 

Summary of District of Columbia Laws

Flight Restricted Zone (federal rule applicable in DC)

 

Sovereignty and Use of Air Space as applied to Drones in DC

 49 USC 40103(b)

The University is located beneath the FAA Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) and therefore no unmanned aircraft operations may take place on a DC campus. Within the FRZ, a 30-mile diameter circle centered on Washington- Reagan National Airport, the only operations that are permitted involve military and law enforcement operations. The FAA explicitly outlaws the use of UAS1 in the FRZ, and this broad prohibition includes hang gliders, balloons, and model aircraft.

Moreover, pursuant to 49 USC 40103(b), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) classifies the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area Air Defense Identification Zone (DC ADIZ) and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Flight Restricted Zone (DC FRZ) as "National Defense Airspace". Any person who knowingly or willfully violates the rules concerning operations in this airspace is subject to certain criminal penalties under 49 USC 46307. Pilots who do not adhere to the following procedures may be intercepted, detained and interviewed by federal law enforcement/security personnel and/or DOD.

Within the FRZ, a 30-mile diameter circle centered on Washington- Reagan National Airport, the only operations that are permitted are as follows:

1) US military aircraft with prior FAA approval or DOD aircraft operating in or out of DOD airfields. 

2) Law enforcement with prior FAA approval.

3) Other US federal agencies with prior FAA approval.

4) Foreign operated military and state aircraft with a State Department authorized diplomatic clearance and State Department notification to the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 

5) Aircraft operating under the DC Access Standard Security Program (DASSP) with a TSA flight authorization. 

6) Part 121,129 and 135 air carrier flights with TSA approved full aircraft operator standard security programs/ procedures and specific authorization from the Department of Transportation may land and depart Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA).

7) DOD, federal and state government agency aircraft on an operational mission with prior FAA and NCRCC approval may land and depart Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA). 

8) Federal, state, federal DOD contract, local government agency aircraft and Part 121,129 and 135 air carrier flights with TSA approved full aircraft operator standard security programs/procedures, if operating with DOD permission and notification to the FAA and the NCRCC, may land and depart Andrews AFB, MD. A PPR into Andrews AFB may be required.

9) Lifeguard and Aeromedical flights that receive appropriate authorization or waiver before entering the DC FRZ. For information on waivers, contact the TSA at (571) 227-1322 or (571) 227-2467 during business hours. After business hours, contact the FAA at the National Capital Region Coordination Center (NCRCC), telephone 866-598-9522.

10) Except approved DOD, Law Enforcement, and waivered Lifeguard/Aeromedical flights, all VFR aircraft operations within the DC FRZ are restricted to an indicated airspeed of 180 knots or less, if capable. If unable the pilot must contact the appropriate ATC facility and advise them of the aircraft’s operational limitations.

None of the operations listed permit the University to fly an unmanned aircraft system (drone) on campus.

 Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, 81 Fed. Reg. 42063, June 28, 2016

       This final rule amends existing regulations and allows for the operation of drones weighing less than 55 pounds. The FAA Press Release is a helpful summary. 


 Resources


No Drone Zone FAA web page, includes DC info
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new page mlo 4-13-16, with authorship and research by Stephen Fey

 

updated 12-4-16