If you have ever been to Connecticut, you know it is a beautiful state with lots of things to do and see. You may have already planned to go there with your drone next time to capture the beautiful sights of Connecticut or just fly for recreational purposes.
But before you visit Connecticut, you must know all the laws of the state, federal and local counties within Connecticut. Knowing these laws is very important; otherwise, you may end up getting into trouble and have an awful experience there.
However, you shouldn't worry because this article explains all the state, local, and federal laws about commercial and recreational UAVs. After reading this guide, you will not be confused about any regulations regarding drones.
So without any further ado, let's get into it.
The first question that almost every newbie asks is whether drones are allowed in the state of Connecticut or not.
The answer to this question is yes, drones are allowed within Connecticut state; however, there are some rules and regulations for both commercials and recreational pilots. If you want to fly within the state, you must follow these rules.
As we all know, commercial and recreational drones are slightly different; therefore, their rules are also different. But luckily, we've covered them all on various stages, including state, local, and federal laws for drones in Connecticut.
Let's look at the rules for drones on each level to get a better understanding.
Whether manned or unmanned, all aerial vehicles come under the command of the Federal Administration of Aviation in the united states. To ensure the safety of the country's infrastructures and the safety of citizens, the FAA has introduced some rules and regulations for drone pilots.
If you are a commercial pilot and want to operate your drone within the state for commercial purposes, you must follow the FAA's part 107.
According to the FAA's rules for small UAS Part 107, All commercial drone pilots must pass the FAA's aeronautical knowledge test. Besides, pilots should also obtain their remote pilot certificate before flying their drones.
If you want to fly your drone just for recreational purposes, you will need to pass the FAA's special test for recreational drone pilots, which is called TRUST. In addition to this, you must also follow all the recreational model rules whenever you are flying your drone within Connecticut.
These rules include flying your drone within the line of sight (LOS) range and avoiding flying it directly over people. Moreover, the FAA rules also state that the drone must be less than 0.55 lbs; otherwise, you will be required to pay an additional $5 registration fee before flying it.
If you are a government employee such as a police officer or a fireman, you must operate under the FAA's part 107 or obtain the federal certificate of authorization.
Connecticut has its own set of drone laws that are specific to the state. These laws are meant to protect the state’s citizens and ensure that they remain safe while using drones.
According to SB 975 // 2017, all of the Connecticut municipalities are restricted from regulating drones. But at the same time, it allows any municipality that is also a water company, as defined in the 25-32a of the General statutes, to propose a bill or law that allows or prohibits the use of commercial and recreational drones over the municipality's water supply.
Furthermore, the Department of Energy and Environmental protection also prohibits the use of drones in state parks, forests, or any other land under its control. If someone wishes to fly within these areas, they must have a specifically authorized license from the commissioner.
Apart from that, all commercial and recreational pilots must follow the FAA's part 107 rules.
In addition to the state and federal laws, there are some local laws within Connecticut that every drone pilot must follow. According to the Town of Greenwich-Municipal code // 1983 act, the ordinance prohibits all commercial and recreational drones within any part of the state.
Therefore, you must always get authorization from the director to fly your drone commercially or just for fun. Besides that, you must always follow the Federal laws for drones too.
Apart from the above laws, there are also some strict rules for operating drones within the proximity of airports in Connecticut. According to the rule of the FAA, you are not allowed to fly your drone within a 5-mile radius of any airport within the state.
Apart from that, the FAA also made a law in 2012 which requires all hobbyist drone pilots to contact the air traffic control before flying their UAS within a 5-mile distance from the airport.
However, this law is enacted nationwide, not specifically for Connecticut.
You will need to contact either the air traffic control tower of the airport nearby or contact the airport operator before taking off. You will also need to establish an agreed-upon operating procedure with the ATC or the airport operator.
Now that you have learned about all the state, local, and federal aviation administration’s rules and regulations, you might be a bit confused. You may not know about the best places where you can fly your drone within the state without violating any rules.
To help you in such a situation, here are the five best places where you can easily fly your drone without any issue whatsoever.
The first place that you should visit with your drone is the Mystic Seaport. It is a colonial port and a shipbuilding town known for its splendid sights. The seaport village is something where you must fly your drone because it is one of the most astonishing sights within Connecticut.
This place has fascinating buildings from the 19th century that were imported from New England. Besides that, there is also a museum that contains many historical artifacts. Therefore, you can take your drone along with you and capture amazing pictures of the seaport.
If you are interested in exploring old towns, the Old Saybrook is something you shouldn't miss while exploring with your drone. The 1660 ft. Amtrak truss bridge is worth giving a visit. It has intricate steel beams and struts that give a splendid industrial look.
Apart from that, the Saybrook on the Connecticut River is another amazing thing that is worth capturing with your drone. This place is very famous for its antique shops and art galleries, and there are also many other things to explore in this quaint little town.
Hartford is another place that you can visit with your drone in the state of Connecticut. Although state parks are restricted for drones but still Bushnell park, the oldest publicly funded park in the US with 50 acres of green space along with a pond and a marry-go-round, will make your day.
I highly recommend getting special permission from the park authorities before taking off because rules and regulations are subject to change. Getting approval is always the best way to enjoy your flights uninterruptedly.
Saville Dam is another fantastic place where you can fly your drone if you are a recreational pilot. It is a 135 ft. tall and 1950 ft. long dam that features an iconic tower with a cone roof and unique wooden doors. This site gives a very similar look to the game of thrones (if you enjoy the season).
Moreover, the tower is connected to a beautiful water reservoir, adding life to the drone-captured pictures. I am pretty sure it will make your trip to Connecticut state a memorable one. You will find green trees on all sides, especially if you visit in fall, the changing color of the tree leaves is something worth looking at.
Last but not least, Westport is another beautiful location where you can fly your drone freely without any issue whatsoever. Westport is a lovely New England town split by the Saugatuck River, which is famous for drone flying.
When you visit this place, chances are you may see a lot of drone flyers out there because people love capturing the beautiful scene. Although there are some restrictions on drones, as long as you respect others' privacy and follow all the rules and regulations, you will be good to go.