Arkansas defines drones as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Drone fliers should pay strict attention to laws and regulations set by the FAA before flying in Arkansas. The scenic views in Arkansas are breathtaking and fall under certain regulation classes, which should be adhered to when flying over any region.
Drones are allowed in Arkansas for commercial and recreational use subject to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines and local government regulations. The laws are created by different government bodies starting from the federal to state trickling down to the local laws and regulations.
Drone laws apply differently to each state in the U.S., Arkansas included and were crafted by the federal government. They are categorized into three sections, as indicated below.
To fly a drone as a government employee (Police or fire department) in the state of Arkansas, you need to follow the FAA’s part 107 rule or obtain a federal certificate of authorization (COA).
To fly a drone for commercial purposes in Arkansas, you’re required to operate under regulations set by the FAA’s Part 107 (small UAS Rule). This includes the aeronautical knowledge test by FAA to attain a remote pilot certificate.
Flying for recreational purposes or as a hobbyist in the state of Arkansas, it’s mandatory to take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) offered by FAA. Similarly, you have to follow the FAA’s recreational model aircraft rules.
These are drone laws created by the Arkansas general assembly and apply to the entire state of Arkansas. According to the Arkansas Department of transport, there are two state laws regarding the flying of drones.
This law prohibits drones users from violating an individual’s privacy.
This law makes it illegal to photographically or electronically gather information about critical state infrastructure without permission. Additionally, this law restricts operations of drones in Arkansas state parks without official documentation and approval from the office of the Director.
Although the state laws cover entire Arkansas, they vary according to various cities, countries, or regions. Different local authorities apply their laws. It’s advisable to learn the rules for the city you plan to fly your UAS and abide accordingly.
Hefty penalties- the FAA fines enforcement division follows up with penalties, especially if the violation falls under federal regulations, such as flying in an airport vicinity.
Temporary suspension- the FAA suspends your certificates in case of an accident violation. You’ll be required to enroll for training for a new certificate.
Arkansas has several scenic landscapes from its southern lowlands to northwest highlands. Whether flying commercial or recreational, seasonal drone pilots will objectively enjoy the glassy lakes, rivers, and deciduous forests views. Here are our top picks—however, they fall under certain regulation classes.
This is a class G drone zone, thus ideal for many drone fliers. The human-made reservoir is located in Mafloer and has sights to behold, especially during sunsets. The pierce creek public Boat Landing offers the best launching spot, giving you fantastic views of the entire creek.
This artificial water body close to the capital city has breathtaking hills and mountains begging to be filmed. Although popular among locals and tourists, the area is rarely crowded for drone activities. You get to freely explore the area as it falls under class G regulation.
You will enjoy this green earthy, glorious skyline view of the Arkansas River intersecting with Little rock. You get the USS Razorback and multiple busy bridge views, idyllic for aerial footage. Although it’s a class C controlled airspace, there is abundant free-flying space. However, a permit from FAA and local authorities is required to fly over the area.
This is an ideal view for the adventurous outdoors footage. You’ll capture the two river park bridges, woodlands, hike trails, wildlife, and gleaming swamplands, which look better from the top. The space is less restricted, and you’ll need approval from the local authorities.
Recreational drone pilots will enjoy the 244 acres of nature and greenery spots within wooded hills. The dense vegetation and trees give fantastic shots of the changing seasons. In addition, you get historic infrastructure, open fields, nature trails, and fishing areas. This area falls under class G, making a perfect spot to fly your drone for whatever purpose without prior approval.
Yes. Local parks have fewer restrictions to drone flying; you just need to abide by the laws and regulations set for recreational drone flying in Arkansas State. However, you’ll need a permit from the Director's office to fly a drone over state parks.
First, airports are restricted zones. The closer you can get to flying a drone near an airport is five miles away. The five miles away rule applies to other state-restricted zones.
No. Regardless of the size, all drones have to adhere to the Arkansas FAA’s rules and regulations. The only drone rule exception for this is license registration. You’re also limited to flying over crowds.
Technically the FAA lacks mechanisms to track drone operations licensed or otherwise. However, if you happen to fly above-set limits and collide with a crewed aircraft, you could face heft penalties when identified by the FAA as the drone pilot.
Yes, you must have your registration certificate from the FAA each time you’re planning to fly a drone. Otherwise, you might land in trouble in case a state or local officer asks for it and proof lacks.
It’s critical to know the laws, regulations, and restrictions regarding drones in your state. While Arkansas has unique drone-friendly spots, it doesn’t mean you shot videos aimlessly. Learn the laws, follow the rules and fly responsibly.