US declares its capital ‘no drone zone’

WASHINGTON (TIP) : The US has declared Washington, in particular some of the government buildings like the White House, Capitol Hill and Pentagon, a “no drone zone”, saying violators may face stiff fines and criminal penalties.

“Leave Your Drone at Home” the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement yesterday.

The agency wants to ensure residents and tourists all understand that flying an unmanned aircraft in this area for any purpose is against the law, it said.

“Rules put in place after the 9/11 attacks establish “national defence airspace” over the DC area and limit aircraft operations, including unmanned aircraft, to those with an FAA and Transportation Security Administration authorisation. Violators may face stiff fines and criminal penalties,” it said.

“The bottom line; Enjoy your visit to the Nation’s Capital. Bring your family, your cameras and plenty of sunscreen. Just don’t bring your drone,” FAA said.

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No drone zone covers particularly 15 miles radius of Ronald Reagan International Airport including some of the government buildings like the White House, Capitol Hill and Pentagon. Meanwhile, the Secret Service yesterday arrested a man who was flying a small drone in a park outside the White House.

The small red and black drone, about the length of an iPad, was flying about 100 feet in the air in Lafayette Park before officers intervened and instructed the individual to land it, the Secret Service said.

As a precautionary measure, the White House was briefly put on lockdown.

US President Barack Obama was at Camp David holding talks with leaders of the Gulf Co-operation Council.

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