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National Defense Airspace

posted Aug 30, 2018, 10:06 AM by Los Alamos Avgas   [ updated Aug 31, 2018, 1:25 PM ]

The FAA, in conjunction with the DOE and NNSA, have added a new category of airspace to the east and south of R-5101 called "National Defense Airspace" (NDA). The purpose of this new airspace is to restrict/prohibit all UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) operations, including public, civil, and model aircraft (e.g. - drones) over select national security sensitive areas from the surface to 400 ft above ground level. In effect, this is a new "No Drone Zone". Much of LANL is already covered by restricted airspace (R-5101) which prohibits such flights between the surface and 12,000' MSL. The NDA expands upon this. In the attached image, the restricted airspace is shown in orange, and the new National Security Airspace is shown in blue. With the addition of this new airspace, personal drone flights are prohibited not only within the restricted airspace covering most of LANL property, but also along the entirety of Pajarito road, and all along NM-4 between White Rock and the junction of NM-4 and 501.

While the purpose of this new airspace is clearly aimed at restricting UAS operations between the surface and 400 AGL, and is unlikely to impact manned aircraft operations out of LAM, it is good to be aware of this new category of airspace.

UAS Airspace Maps:
Restricted Airspace Maps:…/…/Order/BasicJO7400.8R.pdf

LANL Press Release:

Los Alamos Avgas,
Aug 30, 2018, 10:06 AM