The Arkansas State Capitol Police has implemented a new policy restricting the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, including model aircraft and drones, over capitol grounds, the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office announced Sept. 15.
The restriction includes aircraft used for hobby, recreational, commercial or for any other purpose.
According to a news release, restrictions apply to the Capitol Building and an area immediately surrounding the capitol grounds. The exclusion zone is bounded by Interstate 630 on the south, Markham Street on the north and Victory Street on the east to the railroad tracks on the west.
“We have been discussing this issue for over a year and have determined these restrictions are necessary for the safety and security of the Capitol, its visitors and employees,” State Capitol Police Chief Darrell Hedden said in the release.
Violators will be subject to federal and state criminal and civil penalties, and reported and filed with the State Capitol Police and the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates the use and operation of unmanned aircraft systems. If instances occur, the involved devices will be seized and retained for the duration of the investigation, and unclaimed aircraft seized by State Capitol Police will be destroyed 90 days after the end date of the investigation.