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The 5 Best Places to Fly a Drone in Portland

A list of the best places to fly a drone in Portland, Oregon.

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

If you live in (or are traveling to) Portland, 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 Portland

A Sectional Chart of the airspace surrounding Portland, OR. Source: VFR Map

Portland Drone Laws — Recreational vs. Commercial

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

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. And you may have to do this through LAANC. 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 Portland drone laws?

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

Alrighty—without further ado, here are our top picks for the best places to fly a drone in the Portland 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 — Tom McCall Waterfront Park

NW Glisan St, Portland, OR 97209

Tom McCall Waterfront Park is located on the western shore of the Willamette River in downtown Portland, Oregon. The idea for this park came about in the early 1900s with the intent of preserving green space along the river. It consists of over 35 acres and features the Police Memorial, the Battleship Oregon Memorial, Salmon Street Springs, and the Japanese American Historical Plaza. This location offers stunning views of the river and the downtown area. The Hawthorne Bridge can also be seen from the park.

fly drone Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Source: User: Cacophony

2 — The Fields Park

1099 NW Overton St, Portland, OR 97209

The Fields Park is a green space featuring a large oval-shaped field in Portland’s downtown area. The park is just over three acres and offers fantastic views of the Fremont Bridge. Some industrial buildings and train tracks still remain near the park, tracing back to the area’s industrial past. Drone pilots will appreciate this open park and its proximity to the Willamette River.

fly drone the fields park

Source: Ryan Harvey

3 — Council Crest Park

1120 SW Council Crest Dr, Portland, OR 97239

Council Crest Park is located on a hilltop that overlooks the City of Portland, Oregon. It is believed to be the highest point in the area standing at 1,037 feet. It got its name from the Native Americans that used the hilltop to build signal fires. The park is known for its picturesque 180º views of Portland and the surrounding areas. Mt. Hood, Mt. St Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Rainier can all be seen from the park. Drone pilots will enjoy the stunning views and wide-open area this location offers.

fly drone council crest park

Source: M.O. Stevens

4 — Kelley Point Park

N Kelly Point Park Rd, Portland, OR 97203

Kelley Point Park is located on both the Willamette and Columbia River in Portland, Oregon. It consists of 104 acres with mature trees and open areas. The peninsula was originally envisioned as a city by Hall Jackson Kelley. The park offers incredible views of the rivers that converge right at the point. Drone pilots will appreciate the wide-open area and the natural beauty of the park.

fly drone Kelley point park

Source: Brx0

5 — Fly-A-Way RC Field (AMA)

10770 NW Dersham Rd, Cornelius, OR 97113

The Fly-A-Way RC Field is an AMA field located just outside of Portland, Oregon, in Cornelius. It is run and operated by the Fly-A-Ways RC Club. The airfield features a large runway that is surrounded by a large field. There is also a sheltered area next to the runway when a break is needed. Drone pilots will like this wide-open rural area that offers a nice escape from the city for some flying.

Fly-A-Ways RC Field air shots

Have Another Place You like to Fly Your Drone in Portland?

We hope this list was helpful.

Do you have any other locations in Portland where you like to fly your drone?

Let us know in our community forum over here: https://community.uavcoach.com/topic/5895-where-to-fly-a-drone-in-portland/

Take a Drone Flight Training Class in Portland

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 Portland 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 Portland.