Park Authority

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

12055 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, Virginia 22035

Kirk Kincannon,
Executive Director

Model Aircrafts and Drones


Public Comment Period Open Until January 19, 2018


Due to a technical error, the public comment period has been extended until January 19. An earlier version of this page erroneously stated that the public comment period had already closed. We apologize for any confusion.

On December 11, 2017, the Park Authority held a public meeting on unmanned aircraft on County parkland. Many thanks to all who attended and shared their comments.

If you were unable to join us, please know that your feedback is still needed and welcome. Public comment will be accepted through January 19, 2018. We are seeking input on unmanned aircraft in our parks generally, and specifically on their use at the recreational field areas of Lake Fairfax and Popes Head Parks.

To provide your input, send your questions and comments to, call us at 703-324-8662, or send postage mail to: Fairfax County Park Authority, Planning and Development Division, 12055 Government Center Parkway, #406, Fairfax, VA 22035, Attention: Ryan Stewart, Project Manager.

While we always welcome your feedback, any comments received prior to Friday, January 19, 2018 at 11:59 PM will be included in the public record. We look forward to hearing from you!


As unmanned aircraft systems (“drones”) have surged in popularity, county parkland has become an in-demand location for this emerging technology. Currently, drone pilots may take off and land at Poplar Ford Park under a partnership with Northern Virginia Radio Control, a model aircraft organization.

The Park Authority undertook a study in 2017 to determine how it could provide new opportunities for drone users while ensuring public safety, protecting its lands and natural resources, and continuing to provide quality recreational experiences and programming for all park visitors.

The Park Authority is considering expanding drone use to one or two additional sites in the coming year. Sites would be operated in partnership with a qualified club or organization, with locations and schedules carefully chosen to minimize impacts to existing park activities and resources. Public input is a key part of this selection process. Parks currently under consideration are Lake Fairfax Park and Popes Head Park.

For More Information

Drone pilots are expected to abide by all applicable laws, Federal Aviation Administration requirements, and Park Authority regulations. More information for pilots can be found at:

FAA – Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Know Before You Fly

For additional questions, please contact the Park Authority’s Public Information Office at 703-324-8662 or

Poplar Ford Park

6704 Bull Run Post Office Road
Chantilly, VA


Flying time is daily from 9 a.m. to sunset

Radio controlled model aircraft use at Poplar Ford Park is an approved use by the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA). The Northern Virginia Radio Control Club (NVRC) and the FCPA share a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) giving permission to NVRC to use this site for radio controlled model aircraft use. Anyone desiring to participate in radio controlled model aircraft use must be a member of NVRC or an invited guest in compliance with the rules of the MOA.

All users shall comply with the Field Rules or are subject to loss of the privilege of participating in radio controlled model aircraft activities. The RC model aircraft use area is closed to non-participants during hours scheduled for flying. For your own safety please keep out of the area.

A Board of Governors administers the agreement between NVRC and FCPA. The representatives are:

NVRC - Mark Franke

FCPA - Troy Miller

Citizen Representative - Hal Strickland

NVRC Safety Officer – Patrick Dunlap

Supporting Documents