The 5 Best Places to Fly a Drone in Philadelphia (2023)

A list of the best places to fly your drone in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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

If you live in (or are traveling to) Philadelphia, 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 philadelphia

A Sectional Chart of the airspace surrounding Philadelphia, PA. Source: VFR Map

Philadelphia Drone Laws — Recreational vs. Commercial

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

Drone operators are no longer required to independently contact air traffic control when flying within five miles of an airport. Instead, both recreational and commercial flyers can use the automated LAANC system to request airspace authorization to fly in controlled airspace around and above many airports. If you’re operating in Class B, C, D, or E controlled airspace, you’ll need to request airspace authorization. You may do this through LAANC or through FAADroneZone in areas where LAANC is not available.

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 Philadelphia drone laws?

Here’s a guide we put together for drone laws in Pennsylvania. Make sure to consult that to see if there are any local drone ordinances you should follow in Philadelphia. 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 Philadelphia

Alrighty—without further ado, here are our top picks for the best places to fly a drone in the Philadelphia 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 — Boathouse Row

1 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Boathouse Row is a historic site located along the east bank of the Schuylkill River. The site is home to 15 historic boat homes. The homes were built in 1860 by the architects Furness and Evans. The area is known for the various rowboat races and is considered to be the center of the rowing community. The historic homes, rowing events, and the Fairmount Dam make this a prime location for shooting drone footage.

fly drone boathouse row

Source: Michael W Murphy 

2 — Fairmount Park

Reservoir Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19119

Fairmount Park is split into two sections called the East Park and West Park. It is the largest municipal park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It consists of 2,052 acres that are split in half by the Schuylkill River. The park was derived from the Lemon Hill Estate that sits on property originally owned by Robert Morris. Morris was one of the individuals who signed the Declaration of Independence. The park features a reservoir and various historic structures. Drone pilots will appreciate the rich history of the area and the stunning views of the city off in the distance.

Fairmount Park - Philadelphia Skyline

3 — Schuylkill River Park

300 S 25th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Schuylkill River Park sits on the banks of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It features stunning views of the river and the Philadelphia skyscrapers that tower over the area. Drone pilots will enjoy the open green spaces at the park and the beautiful city landscape.

Schuylkill River Park by Air

3 — Penn Treaty Park

1301 N Beach St, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Penn Treaty Park is located on the western bank of the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The southern area of the park has a walkway that goes around an open green area. The views from the edge of the park showcase the full length of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Next to the Property is the old PECO Power Plant, offering a truly unique backdrop to any aerial photo or video. The beauty of the park and the industrial feel of the area provide a stunning flying environment.

fly drone penn treaty park

Source: Smallbones

4 — Bartram’s Garden Dock and Community Boathouse

2601 S 53rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19143

Bartram’s Garden Dock and Community Boathouse is located next to the Bartram’s Garden, in Philadelphia. The property sits on the shore of the Schuylkill River and has a wide-open area great for flying a drone. Slightly north of the property, there is a steel bridge over the river that trains frequently travel. Across the river is an industrial complex where trains arrive and depart all throughout the day. The train bridge and train traffic provide a great focal point to this busy, industrial area.

fly drone bartrams

Source: Jllm06

5 — Valley Forge Model Airplane Field

Valley Creek Rd, Wayne, PA 19087

The Valley Forge Model Airplane Field falls within the Valley Forge National Historic Park. It is important to note that aircraft must be kept within the airfield boundaries. The airfield features a grass runway that provides a stunning view of the park. Drones and helicopters are permitted to fly away from the runway area. The Philander Chase Knox Estate and Valley Creek are also in close proximity to the field.

NOTE: Only members of the Valley Forge Signal Seekers are permitted to fly here. Membership includes a fee, and guests of members must be FAA registered and Academy of Model Aeronautics members. The Signal Seekers have their own additional regulations which can be viewed on this page

fly drone valley forge

Source: Jasmine Kaloudis