D.C.'s No-Drone Zone Gets Help From Superman And E.T.
Welcome to Washington, D.C., home of one of the most restricted airspaces in the country. This isn't so new, but in the throes of cherry blossom season, the FAA and D.C. police have taken the opportunity to remind would-be aviators of the rules.
If you want to get mail delivered by a drone, or shoot video with a drone, or do something weird like fly your drone made out of your dead cat (for *~art~*), you probably shouldn't live in or around the capital. These rules were around long before the proliferation of hobbyist drones; they were first put in place after Sept. 11 to establish a "national defense airspace."
Don’t be that guy: #Drones & Cherry Blossoms Don't Mix. Leave your drone at home #NoDroneZone #cherryblossomfestival pic.twitter.com/WZmmuwPK3I— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) March 26, 2016
Now, the rules are getting beefed up. In September, the Federal Aviation Administration extended the no-fly zone for drones around Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport from 15 miles to 30 miles. At least 36 drone and model aircraft clubs got shut down. Many drone manufacturers are developing geofencing, which restricts flight through the drone's software.
While you're in DC, listen to E.T. and keep your "DRONES HOME" @FAANews pic.twitter.com/FLefgiErrv— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) March 26, 2016
It's a bird! It's a plane, but NO DRONES!!! DC is a "NO DRONE ZONE" @FAANews pic.twitter.com/hOLcehOypk— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) March 28, 2016
The Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department and the FAA want to make absolutely sure you know these rules. They've launched a social media campaign that probably makes the issue seem like a bigger threat than it really is — although then again, more than 400,000 people have registered their drones in the U.S., according to the FAA.
But don't worry, cherry blossom appreciators. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy the world-famous trees without violating federal legislation. And if you really must see the cherry blossoms from above, take a cue from this resourceful woman and hop on a plane:
Best #CherryBlossom view brought to you by @delta 🌸 flying me away from all the selfie sticks on the ground ✈️🇺🇸🙌🏻 pic.twitter.com/LMAA3Rgi6U— Maggie Oliver (@maggie__oliver) March 25, 2016
Naomi LaChance is a business news intern at NPR.
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