Secret service to carry out drone flights over the DC area over the next 2 weeks. The flights will be conducted in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration.
According to the agency, the drone flights will take place from Monday, May 17 through Monday, May 31.
The DC area comes under the governance of the Special Flight Rules Area, within the 30-mile radius of Reagan Washington National Airport. It comprises the 15-mile radius inner ring and a 30-mile radius outer ring according to the flight rules.
The general public is restricted from flying drones or unmanned airplanes inside the 15-mile radius inner ring without specific FAA authorization.
Operating Condition for Flying drones between 15 and 30 miles from National Airport
- Aircraft must weigh less than 55 pounds (including any attachments such as a camera).
- Aircraft must be registered and marked.
- Fly below 400 feet.
- Fly within visual line-of-sight.
- Fly in clear weather conditions.
- Never fly near other aircraft.
The Secret Service on Monday said, “It is standard practice for the Secret Service to work in conjunction with the FAA and other federal, state, and local partners to accomplish our protective mission.”
According to the rules, the airspace around DC is highly restricted than any other part of the country. Especially after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, national defense airspace has been established over the area, and aircraft operations are limited to those authorized by the FAA.
Reports suggest the Secret Service is carrying out drone flights over the DC area under the initiative to find ways to counter rogue drones. Drones that can pose threat to sensitive buildings in the region.
The agency decided to inform the public in a bid to make them aware of the situation and ensure they will not panic if they witness drones flying over the DC skies.
It is not yet clear how many drones will be flown and which parts of the DC area they will travel.