Last week, the FAA released a statement declaring that, effective Thursday, July 11, a total of 12 locations identified by the US Department of Defense would be placed under “special security instructions” laid out in UAS NOTAM FDC 8/3277.
These locations include: Raven Rock Mountain Complex in Adams, Pennsylvania; Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri; Pine Bluff Arsenal in White Hall, Arkansas; Tooele Army Depot in Tooele, Utah; Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo, Colorado; Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Middletown, Iowa; Watervliet Arsenal in Watervliet, New York; Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Kentucky; Rivanna Station in Charlottesville, Virginia; and Maui Space Surveillance Site in Maui, Hawaii.
The order, which will last until at least December 2019, prohibits UAS flight operations over select facilities from the surface to 400 feet above ground level (AGL). Failure to comply can result in criminal charges from the US government, as well as “administrative action” carried out by the FAA.
“The FAA has been cooperating with federal partners to address concerns about malicious drone operations,” claims the July 5 release.
Unless already operating under federal contract or in cooperation with the FAA, those wishing to conduct a UAS flight operation in a restricted area must be pre-approved by the facility in question.
Of those facilities that made the list, much attention has been drawn to Utah’s Tooele Army Depot, which lies west of Salt Lake City. The Associated Press reports that the facility, spanning some 38 square miles, stores, ships, maintains and inspects ammunition. In addition, employees at the US Army depot engineer equipment utilized in destroying surplus munitions.