Drone Laws in Washington (2018)

A list of drone regulations and links for people flying drones in Washington.

drone laws in WashingtonWashington Drone Regulations

 

Federal Drone Laws in Washington

These are drone laws that apply to every state in the U.S., including Washington, and were created by the federal government.

To fly a drone as a commercial pilot in the state of Washington (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 Washington (i.e. for fun / pleasure) you are required to register your drone with the FAA and follow the FAA’s Special Rule for Model Aircraft.

To fly a drone as a government employee in the state of Washington (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).

In addition to the above considerations, drone use is prohibited within much of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, which extends along almost the entire northern coast of the state of Washington. These regulations are overseen by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Details can be found in 15 CFR 922, which states “flight operation below 2000′ AGL over the designated areas within the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary violate NOAA regulations.”

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 Washington

These are drone laws that apply to the entire state of Washington, and were created by the Washington State Legislature.

According to the Washington Department of Transportation and the Washington State Legislature there are currently no state laws in place concerning the operations of drones in Washington.

All drone pilots operating commercially in the state of Washington 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 Washington? 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 Washington 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 Washington? To get great shots like these! Hat tip to Rob Miller over at RL Miller Photography for letting use use this pic, which was taken with a DJI Inspire 1 X5 Camera with 15mm lens.

Local Drone Laws in Washington

These are drone laws that apply only to certain regions, cities, or counties within the state of Washington, and were created by various authorities within the state.

In addition to the local laws listed below, it’s important to note that drone flight is not permitted along much of the northern coast of the state of Washington. See the Federal Drone Laws in Washington section above for details.

Bellevue Parks & Rec—Acceptable Drone Flying Sites // 2018

This city policy declares that drones are not permitted in Bellevue parks, except at Marymoor Park Airfield and 60 Acres Park.

City of Seattle—Municipal Law // 2017

This city ordinance prohibits drones and other remote-controlled aircraft in parks.

Pierce County—Municipal Law // 2013

This city ordinance placing limits on the use of drones by government agencies.

Know something we don’t about drone laws in Washington? 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, local drone regulations in Washington can change throughout the year, and changes can be hard to track. If we missed something, please reach out to let us know.

Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in Washington? Here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEqYAXHNk3g