FAA on March 18 released a new video reminding visitors that the National Cherry Blossom Festival is a "no drone zone." There is a ban in effect against flying any type of unmanned aircraft without specific approval in the District of Columbia and cities and towns within a 15-mile radius of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

FAA's Cherry Blossom Festival Caveat: No Drones

FAA on March 18 released a new video reminding visitors that the National Cherry Blossom Festival is a "no drone zone." There is a ban in effect against flying any type of unmanned aircraft without specific approval in the District of Columbia and cities and towns within a 15-mile radius of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

One of Washington, D.C.'s signature annual events, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, began March 18 and stretches over four weekends, ending April 17. More than a million festival attendees will see fireworks, a lavish opening ceremony and April 16 parade, a street fair and kite festival, but they won't see drones up in the sky -- at least, the Federal Aviation Administration hopes there will be no drones present.

FAA on March 18 released a new video reminding visitors that the festival is a "no drone zone." There is a ban in effect against flying any type of unmanned aircraft without specific approval in the District of Columbia and cities and towns within a 15-mile radius of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. FAA is conducting this "No Drone Zone" campaign so visitors and residents understand that operating one in this area, for any purpose, is against the law.

The agency notes that the airspace around Washington, D.C. is more restricted than anywhere else in the United States. Rules put in place after the 9/11 terrorist attacks establish "national defense airspace" over the area and limit aircraft operations to those with an FAA and Transportation Security Administration authorization. Violators are subject to fines and criminal penalties.

The 2016 festival is celebrating the 104th anniversary of Tokyo's gift of cherry blossom trees to the city.

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