FAA Bans Drones At Landmarks

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The FAA has banned drones from flying within 400 feet of several U.S. landmarks and five of the largest dams in the U.S. a day after FBI Director Christopher Wray said he was worried about terrorists using drones against the U.S. The 10 specific locations are all landmarks under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior and include the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore. The restrictions take effect on Oct. 5 and mark the first time the FAA has imposed this sort of restriction on civilian sites. Military bases continue to be off-limits for drones.

The FAA says it may not be done declaring drone-free zones. “The FAA is considering additional requests from other federal agencies for restrictions,” the news release said. The sites included in the current action include Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York, New York; Boston National Historical Park (U.S.S. Constitution), Boston, Massachusetts; Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Folsom Dam, Folsom, California; Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell, Arizona; Grand Coulee Dam, Grand Coulee, Washington; Hoover Dam, Boulder City, Nevada; Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, St. Louis, Missouri; Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone, South Dakota; and Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake, California.

Comments (8)

This action may be prudent. It even may be necessary. But it represents a shift in thinking by the security powers-that-be. GA pilots should greet this news with apprehension, because if a DJI Phantom represents an actionable threat, what's to be said about a Cessna Skyhawk?

Post-911, there were widespread calls for banning GA from the skies over cities, dams, powerplants, and... you name it. The highest-profile voice was that of Chicago mayor Daley (remember him?), who DEMANDED that GA flights over his city be banned.

This latest development bears very close watching.

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | October 2, 2017 9:06 AM    Report this comment

Laws can only help to keep honest people that way. Criminals and terrorist consider themselves exempt.

Posted by: Don Lineback | October 2, 2017 11:06 AM    Report this comment

Oh boy, I'll sleep better now that this ban has been enacted! Matt Thurber put a commentary about how silly this is in Ainonline.com. Just as stupid as the SFRA around the DC area. How is law enforcement going to stop a drone entering the 400 ft exclusion zone created by this nonsense without actually being there watching for this 24 hours a day. This "security" nonsense is getting out of hand!

Posted by: matthew wagner | October 2, 2017 11:15 AM    Report this comment

Putting up this impenitrible wall 400 feet away from the Statue of Liberty is a great idea. All the honest people can take drone photos from 401 feet away. As soon as a drone gets 399 feet away people will have plenty of time, maybe as much as 4-5 seconds, to react to the threat.

Security theatre.

Posted by: jvo fnr | October 2, 2017 11:55 AM    Report this comment


Posted by: Rafael Sierra | October 2, 2017 4:11 PM    Report this comment

Absolutely absurd. It's hard to imagine a group of rational thoughtful people sitting around a room discussing the threat that drones pose to our national landmarks and coming up with this idea of a 400' no-fly zone as a solution to reduce that threat. Have they really convinced themselves they have affected the threat risk at all?! I can't believe it.

Security theater of the absurd, indeed!

Posted by: Frank Arrison | October 3, 2017 12:27 AM    Report this comment

I wonder first is that 400 feet outside of the Park Boundary? Does it include 400 feet vertically above the park boundary or the highest object in the Park?

But I believe the real problem is that these areas include large open air assemblage of people and by Part 107 and "Hobbyist" rules you are not supposed to fly over anyone who is not a direct part of the mission of flight. You can go to YouTube and see a million videos of amateur pilots flying their drones over everyone and anyone with total disregard for rules or safety. So until we can regulate our own activity there will always be a politician at the ready to do so.

Posted by: Roger Mullins | October 4, 2017 7:26 AM    Report this comment

How do I get my property designated as a "Landmark?"

Posted by: Richard Montague | October 5, 2017 7:00 AM    Report this comment

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