Los Alamos National Labs with logo 2021

No Drones above the Laboratory

Unauthorized drone flights are prohibited in Laboratory restricted airspace and additional FAA designated area
August 1, 2018
Drone flight map

Laboratory restricted airspace (the area shown as R-5101 and the additional FAA designated area (shown in red).


  • Director, Community Partnerships Office
  • Kathy Keith
  • Email

Mike LansingIf you’re a drone pilot, and you’re thinking about flying around the town of Los Alamos, the White Rock neighborhood, Bandelier National Monument, the Jemez Mountains, or the Pajarito ski hill, there’s something important you should know.

The airspace above Los Alamos National Laboratory is restricted by the Federal Aviation Administration for only authorized air traffic, which means that unauthorized aircraft of any sort – including drones - cannot be flown in the restricted area and an additional FAA designated “No Drone Zone” (shown in red in the map above).

To enforce the restricted airspace, the Laboratory, in collaboration with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has deployed a system to counter all unauthorized unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) over its restricted airspace and the additional “No Drone Zone.”

The Laboratory can detect and track a drone and if it poses a threat we have the ability to disrupt control of the system, seize or exercise control, confiscate, or use reasonable force to disable, damage or destroy it.

So, if you fly your drone over Los Alamos National Laboratory, it is likely you will lose your aircraft. It is a pilot’s responsibility to know the Laboratory’s airspace restrictions, and comply with them, keeping away from the Laboratory restricted airspace and the ‘No Drone Zone’.

The Laboratory does not want to interfere with lawful commercial or hobbyist drone flights, but it is required to protect its critical assets from all unauthorized flights.

Pilots are advised to check the FAA B4UFLY app, and if they keep their drones well outside the Laboratory boundary, they’ll fly without worry, and go home with their drone.

- Michael Lansing
Head of the Laboratory’s security operations

Learn more information about the prohibition on drone flights