US restricts drone flights over 133 military facilities

The U.S. government is restricting drone flights over 133 military facilities for security reasons, marking the first time such flight restrictions have been applied only to drones rather than aircraft in general.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that it was acting in response to requests from the Defense Department and other security and intelligence agencies. No specific threat was cited.

In a statement, the FAA said:  "U.S. military facilities are vital to the nation’s security. The FAA and the Department of Defense have agreed to restrict drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of these 133 facilities. The restrictions will be effective April 14, 2017.There are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within these restrictions, and they must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA."

Operators who violate the restrictions could be subject to fines or criminal charges.

To ensure the public is aware of these restricted locations, the FAA has created an interactive map online. The link to these restrictions is also included in the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app. The app will be updated within 60 days to reflect these airspace restrictions. Additional information, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAA’s UAS website.

The FAA says it is considering additional requests from federal security and intelligence agencies for restrictions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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