How to Fly a Drone Safely in the City

Flying a drone can be a very exciting thing for anyone to try. It gives you the freedom to look and see things from new heights. You are able to get a new perspective on the world in which you live. You can also take some amazing pictures from these incredible heights that many others are not able to capture.

If you live in a city you may want to fly your drone through the city, but you must be very careful. It is crucial that you understand all the rules, are an expert at flying your drone, and are within the regulations set by each city. These things can help you fly a drone safely within the city and keep you out of trouble.

Federal Regulations To Help You Fly Safely

FAA Drone Use Tips and Laws

The federal government has set a strict number of rules that all drone aviators must follow, no matter where they are looking to fly. The first thing you must do is to register your drone with the government. You must also fly your drone at or below 400 feet. Flying your drone above this height could cause serious injury and even death if the drone was to fall from the sky and land on someone or something.

To fly a drone in the city or anywhere in the country you must keep your drone within your line of sight. You are not able to rely solely on the drone’s camera and instead, you must be able to see it with your eyes as well. You also need to research specific FAA airspace regulations to ensure you are in compliance.

To help keep you from getting in trouble or causing trouble within a city you must never fly your drone near large groups of people or over public events. Laws also state that you cannot fly a drone if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, similar to driving a car. You are also never allowed to fly near airports as this could cause serious injury and accidents.

What Are FAA Airspace Regulations?

The FAA Airspace Regulations have been set by the federal government that tells you exactly where you are allowed and not allowed to fly a drone. The main spaces that you cannot fly a drone include at stadiums and sporting events and near airports. You are also prohibited from flying near special use airspace areas and security-sensitive airspace areas. These areas are set by the federal government and can change over time. The only city that you are not allowed to fly a drone in is Washington, D.C. If you live in this city you must talk to your representatives about where you can and cannot fly your personal drone. Also, if there are any wildfires or hurricanes in any area you cannot fly your drone as a safety precaution.

Common Laws To Remember

Recreational Unmaned Aircraft Operation Guidelines

No matter where you fly there are common laws that you must remember as a drone operator. You are never allowed to fly over government facilities, busy roads, or sensitive infrastructure. Since most drones, all have cameras and recording devices you are also not allowed to fly over areas, like people’s homes, where their privacy is valued.

You must also never fly in high winds or bad weather conditions as this could risk serious injury and even death. You are also prohibited from flying over unprotected people and property. If you are unable to follow these rules and regulations the government could find you up to 27,500 dollars for civil disobedience and 250,000 for criminal offenses.

Benefits of Using Drones in Cities

As drones are becoming more and more popular today cities are starting to see the tremendous benefits that drones can provide to their local citizens. For example, many firefighters are using drones to help assess fires before sending live firefighters into a burning building. These drones help keep everyone safe and reduce risk as much as possible. Other cities are using drones to help with arrests, help assess local areas, and collect data about their city.

Cities are also using drones on a regular basis to help get immediate feedback about what is going on in the city. They can use it to get data about the environment, buildings, and local events. There are many drone operators that operate their drones within city limits but some of the best drone operators have received a license to operate their drone within city limits because they have passed rigorous testing.

Why Is Flying In A City Different?

No Drone Zone

Flying a drone in a city is much different than flying a drone in any other area of the country. Cities are full of busy sidewalks, busy streets, and high buildings. These congested areas often reduce the amount of space that you are able to fly in. Since you are not able to fly drones over large crowds of people, due to safety concerns you must be careful about where you can and cannot fly in a city.

Since there are many huge buildings within cities drone operators must also be careful about the weather conditions in cities. These large buildings often create large and unpredictable wind tunnels. These huge gusts of wind can cause a drone operator to lose control. If this happens the drone can fall from the sky and cause serious injury to unexpecting citizens or property. This is not usually a concern in rural areas but is something that all drone operators must consider when flying in cities.

While cities are almost always lit up throughout the day and night there are still rules about which time of day you can and cannot fly your drone. Typical rules in almost every area state that you can fly a half-hour before sunrise and a half-hour after sunset. This means that even if there are bright lights around you in the city at midnight you cannot fly your drone. It may be very tempting to get a view of the city after dark, but you are not allowed to do this if you want to fly a drone safely and legally in the city.

Another thing that you must consider if you are looking to fly a drone in a city is that most cities are located very close to airports. Most local laws state that you cannot fly a drone within five miles of an airport unless you contact the airport directly and receive permission. Since most cities and airports are located very close together you must be careful not to fly within this five-mile range. Flying within this range can cause a lot of fines and frustration.

Even though cities are always loud you also need to check with your city about local noise ordinances. People in cities live close together and are forced to hear loud noises at all times of the day and night, buying a drone may violate some local noise ordinances. If you are unsure about the local noise ordinances in your area you should contact local authorities to find out what noise is permissible.

Flying A Drone In New York City

One of the most populated cities in the world is New York City. Because of the high population density and proximity to airports, it is actually very difficult and almost illegal to fly a drone in the city. Most of New York City falls under the category of class B airspace so drone flyers must have advanced permission to fly the drones here.

Flying a Drone in Philadelphia

Another popular city for drones is Philadelphia. Because of the high population density flying a drone in Philadelphia can be difficult, however, it is not illegal. You must understand the rules for flying drones in Philadelphia. During certain events, there are no drone zones applied which means you cannot fly drones during a specific time period if you are around large crowds, like festivals, concerts, graduations, or marathons. If you are flying a drone for commercial purposes you must also home a small unmanned aircraft systems certificate.

Flying Drones In Other Cities

Like New York City and Philadelphia, it is legal to fly drones in most cities, however, you must know all of the rules. You can easily find the rules for flying drones on each city’s website. Be sure to read the rules and regulations before flying. This can keep you out of trouble and avoid fines.

Flying a drone is an exciting adventure for anyone. More and more people are starting to fly drones because they see the fun that it can bring. It can also give people many different opportunities to collect amazing photographs and record data from the area around them. As more and more people see the benefits of using drones the airspace is sure to get more crowded. To help keep you and everyone around you safe it is best to understand all the rules. Following these rules can help you fly a drone safely in any city.

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