Planning to make a drone video of the Statue of Liberty? You'd better hurry

Josef Polk / 123RF
Nailing awesome drone shots of your favorite U.S. landmarks is set to become more difficult as new flight bans come into effect soon at several locations across the country.

On Thursday, September 28, The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced new regulations banning drone flights within 400 feet of a number of famous tourist sites, among them the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, and the Hoover Dam.

The FAA said it was introducing the new restrictions “at the request of U.S. national security and law enforcement agencies.” The regulations will come into force on October 5, 2017.

Here’s the full list of sites:
• Statue of Liberty National Monument; New York
• Boston National Historical Park (U.S.S. Constitution); Boston
• Independence National Historical Park; Philadelphia
• 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
• Shasta Dam; Shasta Lake, California

“Operators who violate the airspace restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges,” the FAA said in a statement on its website.

The agency added that information on the new measures will be included in its free B4UFly app (iOS and Android), which offers drone pilots tips on safe flying, as well as information on restrictions and requirements relating to drone flights in the specific area they want to operate.

The FAA noted that the new regulations mark the first time that it has taken such measures over Department of the Interior landmarks, though it’s true to say that some of these locations are already included in a ban on drone flights in national parks that was introduced by the National Park Service in 2014.

Other out-of-bounds sites for drone pilots include airports, government buildings, prisons, and sports stadiums.

Best not to fly your drone near army bases, too. In August, the Pentagon greenlit a policy that allows the U.S. military to blow your bird out of the sky if it spots it flying close to one of 133 military installations across the country. You could also be hit with jail time for your efforts.

And be sure to keep your flying machine well away from wildfires, as it could make flying conditions hazardous for manned aircraft tackling the blaze.

For more information on drone flight restrictions in the U.S., take a moment to check out the FAA’s webpage on the subject or explore the aforementioned B4UFly app.

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