Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations inside the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Flight Restricted Zone (DC FRZ), as defined in 14 C.F.R. 93.335, are prohibited unless the operator obtains a waiver through the FAA/Federal Air Marshals Service waiver process. Approval of a waiver is subject to completion of a security threat assessment and a review of information regarding the proposed UAS operations. The FAA and TSA, in coordination with federal law enforcement partners, reviews waiver applications on a case by case basis to ensure that the proposed UAS operations are consistent with SFRA safety requirements and do not pose a security threat.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires permission from Air Traffic Control to operate in Class B, C, D, or E airspace. All flights within the FRZ require real time coordination with the National Capitol Region Coordination Center (NCRCC) and some locations may require the presence of a Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) during UAS operations.
Applications take a minimum of 24 hours for the NDS Flight Operations team to prepare and submit your application and a minimum of 10 working days for review by the FAA. Due to a number of safety and security concerns associated with UAS flights in this sensitive airspace, applications are reviewed by several government and law enforcement agencies.
The NDS Flight Operations team specializes in DC NFZ Waiver Applications and UAS operations within the Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA). Let us navigate the approval process and get you the aerial imagery and actionable data you need.