Drone Laws in Colorado (2020)
A list of drone regulations and links for people flying drones in Colorado.
Colorado Drone Regulations
Federal Drone Laws in Colorado
These are drone laws that apply to every state in the U.S., including Colorado, and were created by the federal government.
To fly a drone as a commercial pilot in the state of Colorado (i.e. for work / business purposes) you are required to follow the requirements of the FAA’s Part 107 Small UAS Rule (Part 107), which includes passing the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate.
To fly a drone as a hobbyist in the state of Colorado (i.e. for fun / pleasure) you are required to follow the FAA’s recreational model aircraft rules. One of those rules is that if your drone weighs more than 0.55 lbs (250g), you’ll need to pay $5 to get it registered over here. And there are additional rules when it comes to airspace and altitude, keeping your drone within line-of-sight while you’re flying, and more.
To fly a drone as a government employee in the state of Colorado (i.e., for a police or fire department) you may either operate under the FAA’s Part 107 rule or obtain a federal Certificate of Authorization (COA).
Note: The content on this page is meant for informational purposes only, and is not meant to take the place of legal counsel.
State Drone Laws in Colorado
These are drone laws that apply to the entire state of Colorado, and were created by the Colorado General Assembly.
This law requires the Center of Excellence within the Department of Public Safety to perform a study to identify ways to integrate UAS within local and state government functions relating to firefighting, search and rescue, accident reconstruction, crime scene documentation, emergency management, and emergencies involving significant property loss, injury or death. This law also creates a pilot program, requiring the deployment of at least one team of UAS operators to a region of the state that has been designated as a fire hazard where they will be trained on the use of UAS for the above specified functions.
This regulation makes it unlawful to operate drones in Colorado State Parks, except in designated areas. The designated areas for drone usage are at Cherry Creek State Park and Chatfield State Park in their model airfields. Some parks, like Staunton State Park, have offered special use permits to drone pilots in the past, typically for commercial purposes only. For special use permit requests, please contact the park in which you wish to fly.
All drone pilots operating commercially in the state of Colorado are subject to the FAA’s Part 107 rules. Learn more about the FAA’s certification process to obtain a commercial drone license in this free guide.
Know something we don’t about drone laws in Colorado? Send us an email at support[at]uavcoach[dot]com. We do our best to keep this list up-to-date, but the reality is that given the pace of the small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) industry and how municipal governments are responding, drone regulations in Colorado can change throughout the year, and changes can be hard to track. If we missed something, please reach out to let us know.
Why fly a drone in Colorado? To get great shots like these!
Local Drone Laws in Colorado
These are drone laws that apply only to certain regions, cities, or counties within the state of Colorado, and were created by various authorities within the state.
This town ordinance requires that all drones be registered with the FAA and follow FAA guidelines. This ordinance also prohibits drones from flying over city property, including public streets, trails, parks, and public buildings.
This town ordinance requires drone users to be approved by the town or private property owners before flying over private or city property. This ordinance also prohibits flying a drone in a way that endangers wildlife and people; in a reckless manner; or under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or other controlled substances.
This regulation from the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation bans flying objects, including drones, from operating in any Denver park facilities. However, drones may be flown in park facility areas designated by the DPR Executive Director for such flying objects, such as a designated model airplane or helicopter flying area, subject to compliance with rules and regulations that may be posted in or near the designated area. Exceptions can be made for drones flown at events or activities for which a permit has been issued or a contract with the City has been entered authorizing a drone in a particular location, so long as there is compliance with the terms, conditions, and restrictions of the permit or contract.
This city ordinance prohibits the operation of a drone within any OSMP park or managed property without a special permit. More information on obtaining a special permit can be found here.
Take a Drone Flight Training Class in Colorado
UAV Coach offers in-person training in select cities in Colorado. The 2-hour, in-person training class provides hands-on flight time with an instructor, practice with intelligent flight modes, and education on what to do before, during, and after a flight mission to stay compliant and safe. During the class, you’ll also get a chance to ask your questions about regulations, software, flight operations management, checklists and more.
Looking to get in more practice flying your drone? In addition to taking a drone flight training class with one of our trained instructors, you can also scout out safe and legal places to fly on your own using our guide to the Best Places to Fly a Drone in Denver.
Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in Colorado? Here you go: