400ft Max Height
Under 100 MPH
Only line of sight
If you live in Alabama and would like to fly your drone safely (and legally), you’ll have to be familiar with the drone laws there. Drone flight in Alabama is broadly governed by the FAA, in this article we’ll look into the different laws regarding drone use.
Wondering if you can actually take your drone for a flight? Drones are allowed in Alabama for recreational and commercial uses!
They’re however regulated by a myriad of laws and regulations. There are three types of drone laws in Alabama which we’ll go over in this article.
Starting with the first and general type of laws; federal drone laws.
Federal laws are laws created by the federal government, and that apply to every US state, including Alabama.
I’ve gone in-depth on that in this article. You’re free to check that out before continuing in this article but we’ll brush over the federal laws in this section.
There are two types of drone flying. Recreational and commercial:
Recreational flying is flying as a hobby, for fun. All you have to do to fly your drone recreationally is pass the TRUST test.
It’s a simple online test that you can pass for FREE from an approved test administrator. Beware of anyone who tries to charge you for it as the FAA requires it to be free (my personal recommendation are Uavcoach, they’re an FAA approved test provider).
Commercial drone flight is every drone activity that you’re compensated for, according to the FAA. Even if you’re just selling pictures you captured from your drone. To be able to fly commercially you’ll have to study for and pass the 107 test. I have done a complete guide on that test here.
There are also various other conditions that you need to fulfill. You can check them here.
Below are the federal drone laws in Alabama that you’ll have to keep in mind:
You can check my US drone laws article, where I go over airspace classifications and various other things related to drone regulations.
State laws are laws that were created by Alabama’s legislators and that apply only to Alabama. We’ll go over each one of them in this section.
According to the Alabama Department of Transportation there are no state-wide drone laws here. Meaning all you’ll have to keep in mind are the federal laws discussed above.
Again, I recommend you checkout my previous article for that.
These local drone laws are laws that only apply to certain cities or regions within the state of Alabama. They’re created and enforced by the local authorities.
There are two cities in Alabama with extra drone laws that I could find:
According to this city’s legislature, you’re prohibited from flying your drone over any city-owner property. That means parks and any other recreational areas are off limits.
Furthermore, in Oxford, law enforcement has the right to enforce drone laws and regulations (which is normally a job for the FAA themselves).
In this city, you can’t fly your drone within 500 feet of any venue, outdoor special event, or gulf beach area unless given explicit permission by the city administrator.
You can read more about that law here.
Well, the FAA will rarely go for the maximum. Usually you’ll get a small fine, which is like a slap on the wrist.
For accidental first-offenses, the FAA tends to require a temporary suspension of their UAS Airman certificate and remedial training.
For the more egregious offenses, such as flying in an airport vicinity, expect slightly more serious repercussions. Should an illegally operated drone crash and injure someone, the operator will then face serious trouble and possibly jail time.
In conclusion, just make sure you keep the federal laws in mind as they are the most important. Have fun and fly safely, most of these laws are just common sense.