US Drone Law
Cutting Edge Legal Analysis for
Cutting Edge Drone Technology
US Drone Law is not a law firm. The contents of this site do not represent legal advice and are for informational purposes only.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Part 107 Drone Rule
Can I call the air traffic control tower at my local airport to request permission to fly my drone in Class C or E airspace?
According to the FAA, all airspace permission requests must be made through the online portal. This mandate does not appear in the actual language of the Small UAS rule. The rule itself (14 CFR 107) merely requires that you contact the Air Traffic Control facility responsible for the space and obtain permission.
When you are and are not required to get permission before your fly your drone can be a tricky and depends on whether you are operating your drone for recreational purposes (under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft) or flying your drone for other non-recreational purposes (under the new Small UAS rule, Section 333 exemption, or public COA).
If you are flying your drone for recreational purposes under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft then you do not need permission to fly your drone in Class G airspace, unless you are flying your drone within 5 miles of an airport. Even in this case, you don’t technically need permission, but you are required to notify the airport operator and airport control tower of the of the planned flight.
If you are flying your drone for non-recreational purposes and meet the requirements of the new drone rules (14 CFR 107), then you do not need permission to fly your drone in Class G airspace.
If you are flying a drone under your Section 333 exemption or a public COA, then you will need to comply with the specific terms of your exemption or COA.
Recreational Drone Use
Do I need any type of permission or license to fly a drone for recreational, non-business purposes?
No, but you must register your drone with the FAA if it weighs more than 0.55 lbs and will be flown outdoors. You are also required to comply with the Special Rule for Model Aircraft in your operations of the drone. The Model Aircraft Rule prescribes some notification and safety requirements which you need to follow if you fly a drone for recreation purposes. You are also subject to any airspace restrictions that are currently in place in your area. The FFA publishes the B4UFly app which can help you identify restricted airspace.