Drone Laws in New York (2021)
A list of drone regulations and links for people flying drones in New York.
New York Drone Regulations
Federal Drone Laws in New York
These are drone laws that apply to every state in the U.S., including New York, and were created by the federal government.
To fly a drone as a commercial pilot in the state of New York (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 New York (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 New York (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 New York
These are drone laws that apply to the entire state of New York, and were created by the New York State Assembly.
The launch, landing, and operation of UAS is allowed in state parks and historic sites only with prior written approval by the agency through a permit authorizing the specific time, location and type of use. OPRHP retains sole discretion to determine whether to approve or deny requests to launch an Unmanned Aircraft System. The detailed criteria OPRHP will use in determining whether to issue a permit are provided below, and conditions are provided in the attached sample permit. Any launch or operation of a UAS that has not received prior approval from OPRHP through issuance of a written permit is prohibited. OPRHP will actively enforce this procedure and other relevant agency statutes, regulations, and guidelines.
All drone pilots operating commercially in the state of New York 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 New York? 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 New York 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 New York? To get great shots like these!
Local Drone Laws in New York
These are drone laws that apply only to certain regions, cities, or counties within the state of New York, and were created by various authorities within the state.
This administrative code makes it unlawful for any person avigating an aircraft (including drones) to take off or land, except in an emergency, at any place within the limits of the city other than places of landing designated by the department of transportation or the port of New York authority. To avigate is defined in the code as “To pilot, steer, direct, fly, or manage an aircraft in or through the air, whether controlled from the ground or otherwise.”
This city restriction declares that drones are illegal to fly in New York City, and advises anyone who sees a drone being flown to call 911.
This city ordinance bans the use of drones by city officials until adequate federal and state laws are passed regarding the government use of drones in a manner that protects citizens’ 1st and 4th amendment rights.
Take a Drone Flight Training Class in New York
UAV Coach offers in-person training in select cities in New York. 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 Near New York City.
Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in New York? Here you go: