Do you know if drones are legal where you are? Do you even care? What is the legal status of drones and quadcopters where you live?
Why do we need laws for owning drones?
Now, i’m not one for rules and regulations usually….But in this case creating some kind of law is probably a good idea.Why? For these reasons:
- Drones can be used as weapons. They are effectively missiles in the wrong hands so they need to be controlled to keep everyone safe.
- Drones can be used to cause chaos. They can ground aircraft with some of them being enormous.
- Drones can be used to invade privacy. An obvious use for a drone is to spy on someone. They have HD cameras and can reach the places your average pervert can’t usually get too.
- There’s probably loads of other reasons but basically, people smarter than me have already spent hours looking at these so i’m not gonna waste my time.
What are the laws to do with drones?
The law is different wherever you are so iv listed the law in a few different places.
Drone Laws in The USA
In the US you need to register your drone with the FAA if it weights more than 250 grams….They actually have an online portal where you can do it here but you need to be over 13 years of age and it costs $5.
What happens if you don’t register your drone? Massive fines and risk of prison apparently. You should register and there really is no reason not to.
Unfortunately the rules are different for different states so you should check your local state… but here are the basics
- You can’t make money from your drone activities
- You must register
- Drone must be in line of sight
- Your drone must be under 55 lbs
- Avoid other aircraft completely
- Don’t fly in restricted or controlled airspace
- Avoid emergency response zones
- Never fly over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people
- Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Here is a full list of the laws for recreational flyers.
Drone Laws in The UK
First the good news. As long as your drone is under 20kg in weight, you don’t need a licence.
And now the bad news. If you are using a drone in the UK then you are supposed to be adhering to Article 241 (endangering the safety of any person or property), Article 94 (small unmanned aircraft ) and Article 95 (small unmanned surveillance aircraft) of the Civilian Aviation Authority (CAA) Air Navigation Order 2016….Because you probably can’t be bothered to read all of that, this is the basics of what it says.
- Fly your drone within the law
- You are legally responsible for your drone
- Keep your drone in sight, below 400ft at all times
- Never fly within 50 meters of a person, vehicle or building not under your control and stay away from any congested areas
- Dont break privacy laws with your photos
- Avoid collisions and don’t fly near an airport or aircraft
Drone laws in summary
Drone laws are different in each country and you should check your countries laws but generally drones can be flown legally as long as you stick to common sense and the laws of the land. Basically, don’t fly near people or buildings and stay clear of airports and restricted air space and you will probably be fine!