• Drones cannot be operated in the 30-mile radius including and around Washington.
  • All drones must be registered with the FAA.
  • Flying a drone in a no-fly zone, or not registering a drone, could result in civil and criminal penalties.

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If you unwrapped a shiny new drone during the holidays, or planned to integrate one into your marketing plans for 2016, you may wish to consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) website first.

The federal agency is reaching out to residents and businesses in the National Capital Region to reinforce the message that the area within a 30-mile radius of Ronald Reagan-Washington National Airport is a No Drone Zone. That radius includes all of the District of Columbia and cities and towns within that 30-mile radius area.

Federal rules prohibit any aircraft from operating in the Flight Restricted Zone around our nation’s capital without specific approval. And any aircraft means the unmanned kind– which includes all types of drones.

Ask any type of pilot – recreational or commercial – and they will confirm that the airspace around Washington, D.C. is the most restricted in the country. Rules put in place after the 9/11 attacks limit aircraft operations in that 30 miles to those with an FAA and Transportation Security Administration authorization.

Ignore the FAA and it could cost you and land you in jail.

So it’s not just tourists around The White House– real estate professionals who seek to illuminate the unique features of a property with flying drones are covered by that ban. 

So this is a tool you’ll never have available in your arsenal.

And, if you fall outside the 30-mile radius you’re not out of the woods just yet. All drones need to be registered with the FAA. For the first 30 days, registration is free with a rebate, then is $5 after that. Registration of all drones is required by February 19, 2016, and is good for three years.

And, even if it’s your kid’s drone, an adult must register it. All drones must then be marked with the registration number that the FAA will provide.

An unregistered drone could also end up costing you – both civil and criminal penalties are in place for those who ignore the registration mandate.

For more information on registering a drone, click here for the mandatory FAA drone registration information.

Email Kimberley Sirk.