drone laws and regulations

Drone Laws and Regulations

These Drone Laws and Regulations are for Recreational Drone and Quadcopter use. These are the National FAA Drone Laws and Regulations, and your state may have their own additions to these Drone Laws and Regulations. Be sure to check the Laws in your own state as they will vary from state to state(currently there are not many state laws in regards to UAV recreational use). Also, keep in mind that existing laws can be revised and Laws new and old can be nullified or created. So, always be sure to check up on your State and National Laws from time to time.

The FAA lists Drones and Quadcopters such as the DJI Phantom 2 as UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), or UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems). There are very few National Laws and Regulations in regards to UAV’s when it comes to recreational use.  The following is a list of the current Drone Laws and Regulations.


Rules and Regulations for Recreational Use (as of 3/2015)

  • When flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport)). (8900.268)
  • Don’t fly over populated areas. Flying over populated areas without their consent can fall under Reckless Endangerment. i.e. Public areas such as Parks, Downtown Areas, Shopping Plazas, etc.
  • Don’t record video or take photos in contexts where there is an “expectation of privacy.” Such as Private Property or Federal Property, without the individual(s) consent.
  • Check and follow all local laws and ordinances before flying over private property.

Filming in Public 
There is no Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in the USA. So, you may film anyone you want in public without their consent. Unless you’re going to make money off of the video, in which case you would need their consent or simply blur their face out.

Non-UAV Laws that may Apply in your State
Reckless endangerment (a felony)




About the author: Andrew Stemerman

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