Over Flying Nuclear Power Plant
Votes
Open
As I understand it, after 9/11 the FAA issued a regulation prohibiting aircraft from overflying nuclear power plants, dams, and other sites of national security. Is this regulation still in place and where can I find if? Thanks in advance for your help. 
3 Replies
Votes
Post 9/11 there were many airspace restrictions issued; some are still around and others are not. The one you are asking about specifically is not a regulation, but an FDC Notam. It has been re-issued through the years, but the current version is FDC 6/8818, issued back in March of 2016. The Notam does not prohibit flight over critical infeastructure or sensitive locations; rather, it strongly advises avoidance. The text is:

FDC 6/8818 FDC ...SPECIAL NOTICE...IN THE INTEREST OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE, PILOTS AND UAS OPERATORS ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO AVOID THE AIRSPACE ABOVE OR IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND OTHER SENSITIVE LOCATIONS SUCH AS POWER PLANTS (NUCLEAR, HYDRO-ELECTRIC, OR COAL), DAMS, REFINERIES, INDUSTRIAL COMPLEXES, MILITARY FACILITIES, CORRECTIONAL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT FACILITIES UNLESS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED. PILOTS AND UAS OPERATORS SHOULD NOT CIRCLE AS TO LOITER IN THE VICINITY OVER THESE TYPES OF FACILITIES.
Votes
Daddis At AOPA:
The one you are asking about specifically is not a regulation, but an FDC Notam. 

FDC NOTAMs are by definition regulatory.

7-1-1.  FDC NOTAM CATEGORIES
FDC NOTAMs refer to information that is regulatory in nature that include the following:
 

https://tfmlearning.faa.gov/Publications/atpubs/NTM/not0701.html

That said, the wording of this one ("advised" rather than "required" and "should" rather than "shall") means it isn't an automatic bust if you should happen to fly over one on your way to somewhere else.  However, it does give them grounds to violate you if you choose to practice turns around a point or steep spirals over Calvert Cliffs.

Votes
Daddis At AOPA,
I agree with Ronald Levy. The FAA might not bust you for flying over on your way somewhere. Nor will the plant security. Doing low flying maneuvers is another story all together. I used to work Security at a nuclear site and we would take down tail numbers and report them to the FAA, if we had an aircraft flying low doing maneuvers over the facility. I had a friend whom worked at a nuclear power plant with armed guards and he told me that if the plane in question was within weapons range they would call and get clearance to fire on the plane. Please do not do turns about a point with a power plant dome as the point of reference.