The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is easing up on its drone restrictions in Washington, D.C. It was previously reported the organization was shutting down all model aircraft clubs around the D.C. area. The FAA announced it is updating those restrictions to clarify who can and can’t fly.
According to the update, FAA operating procedures will allow model aircraft, and commercial and public users to operate within the outer ring of the special flight rules area (SFRA) under specific conditions. The SFRA rule still prohibits any drone operator to fly within 15 miles of Washington, D.C. unless they have specific FAA authorization.
Hobbyists and recreational drone operators will be able fly drones weighing less than 55 lbs. (including any attachments to the drone) within 15 and 30 miles of D.C. as long as their drones are registered and marked. Restrictions include only being able to fly at 400 feet or lower, staying within the operator’s light of sight, avoiding other aircraft, and only flying in clear conditions.
Operators looking to fly five miles within an airport or heliport must notify the airport, heliport or air traffic control tower before operating.
More information is available here.