Nothing’s worse than enjoying your day with your drone when all of a sudden policemen come driving up to you with guns drawn yelling, “GET ON THE GROUND!” This may seem like an over dramatization, but it is a reality if you fly your drone near an airport or government facility. They do not play any games and force the law onto anyone operating a drone in their airspace. Be careful of where you’re operating your drone or you might suffer consequences that you had not been aware. Drone operators must be mindful of their surroundings and stay within the legal limitations of drone operation.
Can I operate my drone anywhere?
No, even hobbyist drone operators have to obey airspace laws. Operating a drone over residential property other than your own is also illegal. There are a lot of rules in place for hobbyists and commercial drone operators. If you are interested in learning where and how you can operate your drone, please look at this website HERE. The FAA provides all legal rules and regulations in place for drone operators and it is important to know them before operating a drone.
What is the difference between commercial drone use and personal use?
A commercial drone operator is certified with a part 107 waiver that allows them to operate commercially(see FAA guidelines for exact details). A hobbyist drone operator, someone who uses their drone for personal/recreational use, is not certified by the FAA and is not allowed to operate their drone for commercial purposes. The difference is subtle, but the differences are quite large in the eyes of the law. If you are operating your drone around commercial buildings while being paid to do it, expect to be asked for your part 107 waiver by local authorities.
How do I make it clear that I am using my drone as a hobbyist?
The majority of people will recognize the hobby use of a drone, but in the off chance someone is interested in knowing if you are a hobbyist or commercial drone operator, it is best to be up front and honest. Do not try to hide the fact that you are operating your drone in a hobbyist capacity. If you are following the rules and regulations set forth by the FAA, any authority figure that investigates will allow you to continue using your drone.
Are there really no fly zones for drones?
Absolutely. There are no fly zones all around every city, specifically around airports, government properties, and commercial buildings. If you intend to operate a drone around a commercial building, a part 107 waiver will be necessary and any authority figure witnessing you operating will likely ask to see a physical copy of your part 107 waiver. It is best to be prepared for an assortment of circumstances when operating your drone in public.
If you fly your drone in an illegal manner, in a no-fly zone, or with hazardous intent, the FAA and local authorities have the ability to fine you and press criminal charges when necessary. Criminal charges could result in jail time. Do not ignore drone safety rules and regulations. There are reasons why the FAA and federal authorities have worked swiftly to put rules and regulations in place for drones, and the number one reason is that drones are dangerous. A rotor flying at 8000 rpm can easily cause damage to a great number of things.
Be careful of where you’re operating your drone because drones must only fly within legal airspace. This is described for both hobbyist and commercial drone operators by the FAA. You do not want to tempt fate around any “no fly” zones. Authority figures are swift to take action against anyone illegally operating a drone.