Following 9/11, the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration banned nearly all aviation, including model aviation (which would include recreational drone flights), from what is known at the Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) around Washington, DC. The FRZ is an area of approximately 10 nautical miles centered around Reagan National Airport in Virginia.
On February 10, 2016, the FAA updated its conditions for flying unmanned aircraft in the area between 15 and 30 miles from Washington, D.C., to clarify differences for various types of unmanned aircraft. Under the new procedures, recreational drone pilots can fly a drone that weighs less than 55 lbs. (takeoff weight) in the area between 15 and 30 miles of Washington, D.C. if the aircraft are registered and marked, and they follow specific operating conditions. The operating conditions require them to fly no higher than 400 feet above ground, stay in the operator’s line of sight, only fly in clear conditions, and avoid other aircraft.