The popularity of drones has taken off in a massive way over the past few years, if you will pardon the pun. Less than a decade ago drones were the sole preserve of the military. These days they are used by wide range of organizations from businesses, to media, to individual enthusiasts.
Drones are allowing people to access the previously inaccessible and gain new perspectives never seen before. The popularity of the drones however has also required the quick drafting of new laws and regulations to define how and where these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) can be used.
Here we will look and explain whether drones are legal in NYC.
What Is A Drone?
Because of the wide range of vehicles defined as drones it is important to define what we mean for the purposes of this guide. As defined by the FAA we are referring to unmanned aerial systems that are between 250g and 25kg. While larger drones exist these are primarily used for commercial purposes and so outside the scope of this guide.
Where You Cannot Fly Your Drone In NYC
There are a number of areas in New York City where you are specifically restricted from flying a drone. Most of these areas are in the close approximately of airports and consequently have busy airspace. You can obtain a sectional map online of the location that you want to fly your drone in. This map will show which spaces are restricted and which are not restricted. You will also find that in densely populated areas that there marked red and yellow areas where you cannot fly your drone. Flying your drone over a crowded urban area may result in a Reckless Endangerment charge. Specific jurisdictions of NYC may have their own laws pertaining to the use of drones. Make sure that you check these before flying your UAV.
The Best Places To Fly Your Drone In NYC
Thankfully there are specific areas in NYC where you can safely and legally fly your drone. There are model aircraft fields in Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens. Another possible area for piloting a UAV is Floyd Bennett Field. Finally, you may wish to join a club like the NYC Drone User Group. Not only is this a great way to mix with other drone enthusiasts you can be sure that you will be flying your drone in a legally permitted area.
It is important to remember that drones are an extremely nascent technology. Consequently the laws that regulate their use are also evolving over time. Make sure that if you are using a drone in NYC that you stay up to date with the latest legal requirements.