FAA drone ban extended 30 miles beyond DC

A new drone restriction prohibits drone use in a 30-miles of the District.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – Area drone hobbyists are disturbed about recent emails announcing the extension of FAA's "no drone zone" deeper into Virginia and Maryland in a 30 mile radius beyond the District.

"So, anyone who flies drones or RC airplanes or anything within 30 miles of DC is now officially grounded," said hobbyist Cyrus Phillips.. "That came out on Christmas Day."

He said the notice effectively closes the Capital Area Soaring Association and all other hobbyist parks within 30-miles.

Drone violations and arrests have led to public awareness of the ban in D.C., but this ban goes deeper than ever before and is the same as the no flying zone restricting heavy, commercial aircraft.

A search of the FAA's website showed conflicting language from "anywhere in" the district on one page, to banning drones within a 15-mile radius of the District in another, but deep within the FAA site is a document mentioning the 30-mile ban.

It took a day of e-mails and phone calls for WUSA9 to confirm the ban with FAA officials.

"It is important for you to tell your viewers that they cannot fly in the 30 mile radius," said an FAA official on background. "The FAA will continue to do outreach to educate the public."

The FAA said an official notified clubs to let them know police will be enforcing the ban.

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