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Airspace around New York City restricted during pope visit, U.N. General Assembly

A drone with a high definition camera flies

A drone with a high definition camera flies in Massapequa on March 30, 2014. This drone was being used for real estate photos. The Federal Aviation Administration is cracking down on drones used in and around crowded airports. Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Airspace around New York City is severely restricted to flights until Oct. 5, with additional "No Drone Zones" in place, due to the planned visit of Pope Francis this week -- a visit that coincides with the 70th U.N. General Assembly.

The Federal Aviation Administration said violators face stiff fines and criminal penalties if they violate the temporarily restricted airspace.

Those restrictions do not affect commercial flights into and out of metro-area airports and do no affect military aircraft, approved air ambulance flights or flights approved by law enforcement or the Secret Service, the FAA said.

However, they do affect all private aircraft -- and, nonapproved flights -- in the area and all drone flights within the specified no-fly zones, which the FAA lists under so-called NOTAM or Notice to Airmen regulations. These areas are being classified as "National Defense Airspace" and, as such, pilots who do not adhere to or comply with regulations also face suspension or revocation of their air certificates.

Unauthorized operations within the restricted space not only include drone flights, but also special visual flight rules operations; flight training; practice instrument approaches; aerobatic flights; glider operations; parachute jumps; ultralight flights; hang gliding; balloon flights; blimps and other airships; banner tows; model remote-controlled aircraft flights; model rocketry; unmanned aerial systems; and an assortment of other flight types, such as insect spraying and survey operations.

The FAA said pilots with questions regarding restrictions are advised to monitor updated NOTAM information at 800-WX-BRIEF (800-992-7433).

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