Drone Regulations: All You Have to Know
Drones have become popular not just with aviators and those who enjoy flying, but with the general public as well. However, many of those who purchase drones are not aware of the consequences that can unfold from a simple mistake like flying into the wrong airzone. Drone flight can be confusing for anyone who doesn’t have flight experience, and it’s no wonder that accidents like this occur on a regular basis.
Avoiding pitfalls with drones, whether being flown for commercial use or for fun, is not an easy task. The laws that govern drones differ slightly from those that govern other aircraft, and not many people specialize in the small overlaps between aviation law and drone law.
Unauthorized drone usage can find you subject to the FAA’s restrictions and regulations. For instance, did you know that you cannot do any of the following with a drone:
- Fly over an altitude of 400 ft
- The drone cannot weigh more than 55lbs
- Fly your drone near airports
- Fly over people
- Fly at night
Although you do not have to receive a certification to fly a drone, it is recommended that you take the FAA Airmen Knowledge Test to brush up on your flight knowledge before using a drone. Any members of your business or team should also take this test to avoid the common pitfalls and issues that can crop up while flying a drone for commercial use.
Another step that you can take to ensure safety while flying drones is to request a COA from the FAA. This would allow you to self-certify your own drone pilots rather than everyone taking the Airmen Knowledge Test individually. This puts drone flight training into your hands, so contact an aviation and drone lawyer before requesting this certification.
Model aircraft and the like can also fall under this category, so it’s important for your legal security to be aware of airspace laws before you fly any kind of Unmanned Air System (UAS).
Aviation should be fun--not a stressor added into your life. When it becomes a chore or something you dread, call Vangorodska to schedule your appointment. There’s no time to delay when it comes to your freedom of flight - so so do not wait until it is too late to save your career and certifications.
Some ways that you can be penalized for breaking laws surrounding drones involve:
- Flying through a national park (typically no-fly zones) can end in fines of up to $5,000 dollars as it disturbs wildlife
- Threatening government property/buildings can land you in federal prison for up to a year
- Flying above stadiums and sporting events will be punished by up to a year in prison as well as civil penalties and fines
If you believe you may have done any of the above, it’s essential that you contact an attorney who covers both aviation and drone law, like Yulia Vangorodska, Esq. Do not waste your time with attorneys who do not specialize in this type of law, as this a complex and highly-specialized field.