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The 5 Best Places to Fly a Drone in Detroit

A list of the best places to fly your drone in Detroit, Michigan.

In this article, we’ve scouted out the best places to fly a drone in Detroit, Michigan.

If you live in (or are traveling to) Detroit, please use this page as a resource to better understand not just where to fly, but also where it’s legal and illegal to fly a drone. We provide guidance on regulations to help you stay compliant with both federal and local rules.

fly drone detroit

A Sectional Chart of the airspace surrounding Detroit, MI. Source: VFR Map

Detroit Drone Laws — Recreational vs. Commercial

The first thing to understand about flying a drone in Detroit (or any city for that matter) is that under federal FAA regulations, you are either operating recreationally or commercially.

  • Recreational drone pilots fall under the FAA’s model aircraft rules, which are laid out here. As long as your aircraft is registered and you follow the guidance on that page, you’re good to go.

Also, as a recreational drone pilot, you must notify the airport operator and air traffic control tower before flying within five miles of an airport. When we list the locations below, we’ll share whether or not there are airports within five miles of the location.

If flying commercially, it doesn’t matter if you’re flying within five miles of an airport. What matters is whether or not you’re in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D or E) or uncontrolled airspace (Class G). If you’re operating commercially in Class B, C, D, or E controlled airspace, you’ll need to request airspace authorization. When we list locations below, we’ll share whether they sit in controlled or uncontrolled airspace.

Get up-to-date airspace information, including temporary flight restrictions, using tools like B4UFLY, Kittyhawk, or Airmap.

Interested in becoming an FAA-certified drone pilot so you can operate under the Part 107 regulations and make money flying your drone? Check out our industry-leading, online training course over at Drone Pilot Ground School.

So those are the federal rules.

But what about local Detroit drone laws?

Here’s a guide we put together for drone laws in Michigan. Make sure to consult that to see if there are any local drone ordinances you should follow in Detroit. When in doubt, use good judgment and follow the FAA’s guidelines.

Note: The content on this page is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant to take the place of legal counsel. If we missed something, or if you have further questions, please send an email to support[at]uavcoach[dot]com, and we’ll do our best to help you out.

Where to Fly a Drone in Detroit

Alrighty—without further ado, here are our top picks for the best places to fly a drone in the Detroit area. We selected these locations based on airspace restrictions, accessibility, and attractions. You’ll find that most of the locations we’ve chosen are located in uncontrolled, Class G airspace where you don’t need to request permission to fly. Additionally, we made sure to highlight any locations with designated sUAS/remote aircraft fields.

1 — Hart Plaza

1 Civic Center Dr, Detroit, MI 48226

Hart Plaza is a is a city plaza located in downtown Detroit, Michigan that sits on the bank of the Detroit River. The property is the site of where Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit. This settlement, later on, became known as the City of Detroit. The area consists of 14 acres and features many monuments and an Amphitheater. It is home to the Horace E. Dodge Fountain and the Michigan Labor Legacy Monument. The stunning views of the Detroit Riverwalk and Canada are truly one of a kind. The city provides a pleasant backdrop that helps showcase the area. The plaza sits next to the iconic General Motors Renaissance Center—easily one of the most recognizable buildings in the Detroit skyline.

fly drone hart plaza

Source: AI R

2 — Roosevelt Park

2405 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48216

Roosevelt Park is located in the Detroit Corktown Neighborhood and is the home of the iconic Michigan Central Train Depot. The park is a wide-open, green area with trees and it sits in front of the old train station. The station was designed at the same time and by the same firms that designed the New York City Grand Central Terminal. The building was once a symbol of Detroit’s fall, and it now symbolizes the economic revitalization of Detroit. In 2018, the Ford Motor Company bought the building with plans to make a secondary headquarters out of it. The beautiful structure and the view of Ambassador Bridge in the background offers some very unique drone footage.

Michigan Central Station/ Corktown Detroit Drone Footage in 4K

3 — Windmill Point Lighthouse

14702 Riverside Blvd, Detroit, MI 48215

The Windmill Point Lighthouse is located on the edge of Mariner Park on the shore of the Detroit River. The park provides a wide-open green space for flying drones and has incredible views of the river. Peche Island and Belle Isle can also be viewed from this location, offering plenty of footage opportunities. The original lighthouse was built in 1838 and was rebuilt several times after. Today, it stands at 42 feet above Lake St. Clair and features a white flashing light with a focal plane. Drone pilots will appreciate the historical structure and the waterfront scenery.

fly drone windmill point lighthouse

Source: Gotanero

4 — Point Huron

31300 Metro Pkwy, Harrison Charter Township, MI 48045

Point Huron is a peninsula that extends from the Lake St. Clair Metropark on Lake St. Clair. The area features a wide-open green area with trees that line the shores of the point. The area features stunning views of the lake and the surrounding area. The lake is shared by the United States and Canada. It is a part of the Great Lakes system and spans 430 square miles. It is often used by cargo ships arriving and departing the Detroit River. The frequent cargo ship traffic makes this a great location to fly a drone and capture great footage.

DRONE OVER LAKE SAINT CLAIR

5 — Bald Mountain State Recreation Area (AMA Field)

3361 S Lapeer Rd, Orion Charter Township, MI 48360

The Skymasters RC Club of Michigan runs and operates an AMA field located within Bald Mountain State Recreation Area. The airfield is located over Lower Trout Lake and the surrounding area. The club recently added a new field near the lake dedicated for drone pilots. Drone pilots will enjoy this wide-open area and its diverse topography. The entire recreational area is 4,637 acres with trails, lakes, cabins, and woods.

fly drone Bald Mountain

Source:  Google Maps

Take a Drone Flight Training Class in Detroit

If you’re new to drones or looking to take your flight skills to the next level, we offer hands-on drone flight training in the Detroit area. Our classes are typically 90 minutes long, and our expert instructors walk you through what to do before, during and after your flight—you’ll practice intelligent flight modes and learn how to stay safe but also how to get the shots or data you need. During the class, you’ll also get a chance to ask questions about regulations, software, flight operations management, checklists and more.

Sign up for a hands-on drone flight training class in Detroit.