IMPORTANT EDITORS NOTE: This flight ban has since been lifted as of February 2016.

Email Updates (subscribe to our email list):

Jan. 2, 2016
A Message from FSA: D.C. area no-fly updates

Jan. 16, 2016
Free State Aeromodelers: Important updates on SFRA no-fly

Unfortunately, We must pass on some upsetting news. The FAA and AMA have ordered that all flying within the Washington DC Special Flight Rules Area (30 nm radius centered on DCA) be temporarily suspended in accordance with the 2015 AC 91-57A Advisory Circular that was issued in November of this year. FSA has no choice but to will comply with the Advisory Circular and ground all flights at Konterra Model Airpark for the time being. It is expected by the AMA that flight operations could resume as early as mid January. We have included two emails below for reference, the first from Brian Throop of the FAA and the second from Jay Marsh, the AMA District IV Vice President.

Hopefully, this suspension is only temporary and will be short lived. Konterra Model Airpark will remain open as a gathering spot for fellowship and camaraderie, but is closed for any and all flying until further notice. The concern is that any flying in defiance of the Advisory Circular will impede and or stall the work being done toward establishing the “Special Exemption” needed for continued flight operations of the 14 AMA clubs affected within the DC SFRA. All FSA members are expected to fully comply with the flight suspension.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Officers of FSA

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015 10:17 AM
Subject: Request for your assistance

Good morning everyone.

As we continue our efforts to develop a plan for the resumption of model aircraft operations in the Washington, D.C. Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA), we are hearing reports that some individuals may be flying inside the SFRA even though they know it is in violation of the current airspace restrictions. We are asking for your help in spreading the word to the National Capitol Region model aircraft community that such activity is subject to enforcement action, and could damage our efforts to secure the interagency concurrence that is critical to this effort. As I have told many of you over the last weeks and months, there is increasing governmental support to make this happen, both within FAA and the whole of government, but our combined efforts could easily be delayed, or derailed entirely, by any incidents that involve folks knowingly operating within the SFRA in violation of current airspace restrictions. We know that the vast, vast majority of model aircraft hobbyists/enthusiasts, whether they are members of a formal organization or not, wholeheartedly follow the rules, police themselves and others, and do everything they can to operate safely and legitimately. Anything you can do to help us get the word out would be deeply appreciated. The last thing anyone wants to hear from the federal government is “be patient”, but you folks have been patient, and understanding, and we sincerely appreciate both as we work to try and get you back in the air.

On another note, many of you have invited FAA and our interagency security partners to come out and visit your flying sites and talk to your members, etc. We appreciate the invites and have extended them to our interagency law enforcement and security partners. We hope to take you up on the invitations in the near future. Additionally, I know that many of your members and fellow model aircraft enthusiasts have questions and concerns, about both the SFRA issue and model aircraft operations in general. I would be happy to address them directly, either in person or via telcon or email, and I’m sure my partners from FAA Legal, the UAS Integration Office, and Flight Standards would be more than willing to join in the discourse. If you are interested in such a discussion, just let me know.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you.

Thanks
Brian Throop

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Jay Marsh, AMA Vice President District IV
Friday, December 25, 2015 7:19 PM

Subject: DC SFRA is a NO FLY ZONE
My Dear Clubs in and around the DC SFRA,

Let me first say Merry Christmas to one and all and I hope Santa was good to you.
The FAA has requested we stop operations at our AMA fields that are inside the DC Special Flight Rules Area for the DC area called the DC SFRA. The letter attached is from Ray Stinchcomb our District IV Government Relations Coordinator with an explanation of the action by the FAA.
You will not need to close the field, only cease operations temporarily, no flying of anything, until mid-January when we expect to get permission to continue operations for all fields. By the FAA’s count there are 36 flying sites within the DC SFRA. AMA can account for 14 of those. Please pass the word to the Drone User Groups that they need to stop operations too. The FAA did indicate they were going to use law enforcement to enforce this. One of our AVPs, Rick Moreland, will be contacting you offering to help find fields for our members to use in the interim. I have CC all of your addresses and I hope you will contact each other and work together to help each other and make this as painless as possible. Sorry folks, but we have to comply with the FAA.

Effective as soon as you can please post this suggested sign at your flying site.
THIS IS A NO FLY ZONE
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE THE FAA HAS REQUESTED THAT ALL FLYING OPERATIONS BE DISCONTINUED.
THIS IS A NO FLY ZONE
PLEASE CONTACT ???? Club Officer ???? FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Sorry to have to give you this news but it is necessary and I promise the District IV staff and AMA will continue to resolve this as soon as possible. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me.