The FAA fun police have struck again. The agency has already put restrictions on flying drones over and around national parks, military bases, and airports. Now it has announced it’s restricting drone flights near Department of Interior sites, including the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, and the Hoover Dam.
These are popular filming locations for amateur drone videographers who like uploading the footage onto the internet with patriotic or uplifting musical accompaniment.
Soon, pilots wont be able to fly their drones within 120 m of these national landmarks. The FAA announcement states that the new regulations were inspired by requests from US national security and law enforcement agencies. Other banned sites include the Boston National Historical Park; the Folsom Dam in Folsom, California; the Glen Canyon Dam in Lake Powell, Arizona; the Grand Coulee Dam in Grand Coulee, Washington; the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri; and the Shasta Dam in Shasta Lake, California. Some of those sites are already covered under preexisting drone flight restrictions.
The FAA has a mobile app called B4UFLY that shows what areas are restricted for the average drone pilot. The agency says these new locations will be added to the app in about two months. Anyone who gets caught flying a drone near one of these sites could face fines or criminal charges.
The restrictions go into effect on October 5. If you still want to make a video of Lady Liberty after that date, do so at your own risk, or visit the replica in Birmingham, Alabama.