Think the news about RC model registration was bad? The FAA was simply getting started.
Effective christmas day 2015 (i.e. now), the FAA is enacting a 30 mile radius around Washington DC in which no RC model may be flown by any civilian. The FAA has imposed this restriction by methods of a TFR, which stands for Non permanent Flight Restriction. This seems to be an extension of a previous TFR which banned flight operations inside 15 miles of Reagan Nationwide Airport (KDCA), or a reinterpretation of an older NOTAM (FDC 0/8326) issued back in 2010 which banned all commercial aviation.
The acronym “TFR” is a misnomer, for these are anything but non permanent and often keep indefinitely or for a few years to come back. The 15-mile exclusion zone for RC models was time-restricted till June 2016 but might be extended indefinitely. Whether it is indeed a reinterpretation of the outdated NOTAM, then that is already billed as “permanent”.
This ban impacts a variety of RC model clubs and flying fields, all of which should stop operation in a single day after having been notified on Christmas evening. The clubs are hopeful that they may be capable of resume flying in January, however the FAA has made no indication that this measure is certainly “temporary”. Right now and till this TFR is lifted or the corresponding NOTAM interpretation modified, any hobbyists who need to fly their RC models must travel outside the 30-mile radius or face civil and criminal prosecution with large fines and/or extreme prison sentences.
Update: The graphical map has been updated to point out the right center of the TFR, together with the right radius in nautical miles.