400ft Max Height
Under 100 MPH
Only line of sight
If you live in Iowa and would like to safely as well as legally fly your drone there, there are several laws and regulations you need to be aware of.
Drone operation in Iowa 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 Iowa for recreational and commercial uses!
They’re however regulated by a myriad of laws and regulations. There are three types of drone laws in Iowa 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 Iowa.
Since federal laws are the most important here I recommend you check out my previous article where I cover them in detail. I’ll still brush over the federal laws in this section though.
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 Iowa 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 Iowa’s legislators and that apply only to Iowa. We’ll go over each one of them in this section.
According to the Iowa Department of Transportation there is only one state-wide law that I could find.
There is a law in Iowa that makes it illegal to use drones by law enforcers to enforce traffic laws. Any evidence obtained through drone use has no effect in court unless it was obtained after getting a warrant.
These local drone laws are laws that only apply to certain cities or regions within the state of Iowa. They’re created and enforced by the local authorities.
There have been no local drone laws in Iowa that I could find. Which means you’ll just have to follow the federal and state laws discussed above.
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.