The Ultimate Guide on Where You Can Fly Your Drone: Hover Above & Beyond

David Lemay17 Jan 2022

Did you know that the FAA has a list of approved flying locations? We didn't! If you are a beginner who's just starting, or even if you have been flying models for years and want to fly at public parks, we recommend checking them out!

As drones continue to become more popular, travellers must often ask where they can fly them. There are some places you're not allowed, and others that you might be able to get away with depending on the place you're in.

5 Places You Can Fly Your Drone

1. You can start with your own backyard

You can start your drone experience right in your backyard. You can fly it from 50 feet to less than 400 feet. The FAA has identified "Class G Airspace," which is a specific zone of controlled airspace where hobbyists can fly without permission or airspace authorization from the FAA. This area ranges from ground level up to 400 feet and is about half a mile wide on each side of the centerline. If you stay within those limits you do not need permission on your property. You are still subject to the same privacy laws as if you were on the ground. If taking pictures looking inside your neighbour's property is illegal in your state don't break the law!

2. You can try flying your drone by the river

Drones are incredibly diverse and fun machines that can be used for a wide range of things, including hobby flights over rivers as well as at the large bodies of water in your state. If you're planning to go kayaking or water skiing, or if you just fancy looking out over the water while taking in some spectacular views, then you'll love the rivers. Remember that there are certain sections where drones can't be allowed to fly. You'll have to make sure that you avoid restricted airspace: this is any airspace over an airport, seaport or other major cities — including the nearby 5 nautical mile radius and immediate Class-B airspace around the airport itself. You should always check the map first to see if there are any active Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) before flying near these locations so you don't get caught out. You will need to apply for Low Altitude Authorization (LAANC) authorization if you want to fly your drone through restricted airspace. LAANC is a real-time data exchange that allows the FAA to communicate with private industry. This can allow or deny you permission to transport your drone through restricted airspaces. The LAANC request can also be made from your B4UFLY App as soon as you want it.

3. Try the boardwalks

It never ceases to amaze me how creative people can be. Last summer during my vacation to the beautiful seashore, a friend of mine was taking pictures from his drone and I was amazed at how beautiful the pictures turned out. It completely changed the way I saw boardwalks, in a good way! While I didn't have a drone, I did have a great time taking pictures and learning about the area's rich history. I hope to one day have a drone and the time to explore some more - the sky's the limit for how amazing the pictures can turn out! For those of you who want to try this amazing experience, keep in mind that in addition to Federal regulations that require you to keep the 50-400 rule, there may also be state and local ordinances that govern the flying of your drone. Always reach out to a Community Based Organization (CBO) that tracks the recreational drone restrictions in your area.

4. Flying a drone in the National Forests

Drones are starting to become one of the most popular ways to get aerial footage of the outdoors. This is a great way to capture some amazing footage, but keep in mind that there may be national forest restrictions on where and when you can fly your drone. Each state may also have their own restrictions on this, so make sure to check what is and isn't allowed in the National Forest before you fly!

In addition, there may also be private property affected by your drone flying. Be sure to check the National Forest website for more information on the rules and regulations for the National Forest closest to you, but you can fly in most National Forests you just need to check B4UFY and all local ordinances.

5. Time to try a lighthouse

A good pilot can find an interesting field in a place where many others would overlook it. When you’re considering taking a drone to an interesting place, you want to consider whether you can make something visually compelling. Many people take drones to landmarks, like the Brooklyn Bridge or the Statue of Liberty, but these places have already been photographed to death. Instead, look for something unique and interesting. By taking your drone out to an old lighthouse you're able to test your piloting and photography skills! Lighthouses are becoming a more unique and popular photography subject.

  • You must not fly over or within 150m of any congested area. This includes sporting events, concerts, and large gatherings of people. You can fly closer than 150m if you stay at least 21m horizontally away from the nearest person.
  • You must also avoid flying over or near several other protected places, including near parliament, prisons, courts, power stations, airports, military bases, and transport hubs.
  • The law requires you to keep your drone in your sight at all times. This allows you to react quickly to the unexpected and minimise the chance of accidents or incidents.

Drones are becoming more and more popular and are being used for more and more purposes. If you’re planning on buying a drone, then it’s important to know where you can fly it. There are a lot of rules and regulations that you need to be aware of, or else you could find yourself in a lot of trouble with the law. So always research first then go and have fun!

David Lemay

David Lemay

I'm David Lemay, a lover of tech and have had an interest in drones for years. Bought my first few drones, before I started building my own. I want to share my passion with others, so I started this site to help others who want to get into the hobby.

Comments (0)