Drone Laws in Wisconsin (2018)

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

drone laws in WisconsinWisconsin Drone Regulations

 

Federal Drone Laws in Wisconsin

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

To fly a drone as a commercial pilot in the state of Wisconsin (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 Wisconsin (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 Wisconsin (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 Wisconsin

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

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Legislature, Wisconsin has two state-wide laws concerning the use of drones in the state.

SB 338 // 2016

This law prohibits using a drone to interfere with hunting, fishing or trapping.

AB 670 // 2016

This law prohibits the operation of UAS over correctional facilities.

All drone pilots operating commercially in the state of Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin? 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 Wisconsin can change throughout the year, and changes can be hard to track. If we missed something, please reach out to let us know.

flying a drone in Wisconsin
Why fly a drone in Wisconsin? To get great shots like these!

Local Drone Laws in Wisconsin

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

Town of Greenfield—Municipal Ordinance // 2017

No person shall launch or land a drone outside of their visual line of sight; within one-hundred (100) feet of any person except the operator and assistant operator; within five hundred (500) feet of any festival, event, picnic, protest or public assembly of more than one-hundred (100) people; in a manner so as to endanger the safety of any person or property; within five hundred (500) feet of any emergency vehicle which is operating its emergency lights or siren, to any active police, fire or emergency response incident, to schools that are in session, and jails.

City of Hudson—Municipal Ordinance // 2017

The Hudson Common Council has approved an ordinance regulating unlawful use of drones. The ordinance prevents the use of a drone with the intent to photograph, record or observe someone in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy, like in their backyard or their residence, and imposes a fine of $200 for violations. Though State of Wisconsin already regulates use of drones in this manner, the city ordinance makes it easier for local law enforcement to enforce.

City of Chetek—Municipal Law // 2016

Altitude limitations on drone flights near Chetek Municipal Airport.

Outagamie County—Municipal Law // 2016

Drones may not be operated on airport grounds.

City of Green Bay—Municipal Law // 2013

Cannot fly below 400 feet within specified boundaries of special events, including Green Bay Packer games at Lambeau Field.

Flying a Drone in Wisconsin State Parks

Drones are not allowed in Wisconsin’s state parks according to the following code:

Wis. Adm. Code ch. NR 45.04(1)(c)

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, and other flying related activities, including but not limited to, hang gliding, parasailing, hot air ballooning, land sailing, flying model airplanes, or sky diving, is prohibited, except where posted for their use, at state parks, state recreation areas, state natural areas, the Kettle Moraine and Point Beach state forests, and the Lower Wisconsin state riverway.

One exception to this is the Richard Bong Special Use Zone, an area where visitors may fly model airplanes, rockets, hang gliders and hot air balloons. Visitors must call ahead at least a week before their planned event for permission to use the area, which is often booked in advance for specific activities.

Take a Drone Flight Training Class in Wisconsin

UAV Coach offers in-person training in select cities in Wisconsin. The 90-minute, 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.

Sign up for an in-person drone flight training class in Wisconsin.

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