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FAA Wishes People Would Stop Flying Drones Near the White House

Security personnel are gathered at Lafayette Park near the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 14, 2015 during a lockdown. A federal law enforcement official says a man has been arrested after trying to launch a drone outside the White House fence.

Security personnel are gathered at Lafayette Park near the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 14, 2015 during a lockdown. A federal law enforcement official says a man has been arrested after trying to launch a drone outside the White House fence. // Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Secret Service agents arrested a man who was flying a drone in front of the White House on Thursday, a spokesman for the protection agency said.

The White House was placed on lockdown and agents closed off the section of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the executive mansion. President Obama is attending a summit with Gulf leaders at Camp David.

A local NBC affiliate reported that the drone didn't make it over the White House fence. Here's the aircraft in question, courtesy of the Secret Service:

The airspace near government buildings such as the White House and Capitol building is protected, and flying any aircraft in the area is illegal. A man was questioned by Secret Service earlier this year when a small drone he was flying crash-landed on the lawn near the White House around 3 a.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which is in the process of finalizing rules that would govern where and how operators can fly drones, took the opportunity to remind its Twitter followers that flying in D.C. airspace is not allowed.

The Secret Service is in the middle of a review of how to beef up security at the White House. Its first recommendation, released last week, was to upgrade the spikes atop the fence that surrounds the complex. The new spikes have not yet been installed.

This story has been updated with comment from the Secret Service. 

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