Kansas is one of the most drone-friendly states in the country. There are no laws specifically regulating drones, and the state has been very welcoming to drone pilots and businesses.
Whether you are looking to fly your drone above magical sceneries like Santa Fe Lake or Wichita's Old Town, Kansas is a great place to do it.
However, that doesn't mean that there aren't any rules you need to follow when flying your drone in Kansas. There are a few areas where drones are not allowed, such as near prisons and power plants. Also, the city of Wichita has an ordinance that prohibits drones from being flown over people or property. The FAA still has jurisdiction over all airspace, so you'll need to follow their rules and regulations. This is especially so when planning to fly in regions like Kansas City, which has a lot of air traffic.
You also need to be aware of your surroundings and make sure you're not flying in a way that could endanger people or property. With a little common sense, you should be able to fly your drone safely and legally in Kansas.
This article delves into the laws you need to get familiar with if you plan to fly a drone in the State of Kansas.
It’s perfectly legal to fly a drone for commercial or recreational purposes in Kansas. However, it’s prudent that you understand the dos and don’ts.
Kansas has a few specific laws guiding drone piloting, although they mostly emphasize and elaborate what the Federal laws dictate. The key aspect, therefore, is to understand the Federal airspace laws since they overrule and override any other.
Most drone laws for the State of Kansas derive from the Federal government as stipulated and enforced by the FAA. These laws distinguish between the requirements of flying a drone commercially and for recreation purposes. However, most of them are general rules that apply in both circumstances as we find out below.
Federal law demands that you undertake a free test known as the Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST). Let’s explore this a little more.
TRUST is part of the certification you need to fly a drone as a hobby in Kansas and the entire USA. This is a law created by the Federal government, hence applicable across board. Certification is granted once you pass a free online test. It would take you not more than an hour to get this done.
The FAA also requires that you register your drone and have the registration number visibly affixed to the aircraft before commencing any flight. The drone or any Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) should also not exceed 55 pounds.
Unmanned aerial vehicles are described as aerial vehicles that:
1. Have no human operator on board
2. Make use aerodynamic forces to lift up the vehicle
3. Can be remotely piloted or fly autonomously
4. Can be expanded via extra add-ons and are recoverable
5. May be used for carriage of lethal or nonlethal payload
Federal regulation demands registration of each aircraft individually at a cost of $5.
This web-based registration requires owners to indicate their name, address as well as email address. For each drone you want to fly, you are required to supply the make, model as well and the serial number (where applicable).
The good news is that once you have registered successfully, your registration number can be used on as many drones as you want.
Unlike recreational flying, you have to study and pass the Part 107 test. The test administered by the FAA is the final step to gaining full certification to enable you make commercial drone flights.
This test has 60 multiple-choice questions and the pass mark is at least 70%.It will take you between 4 and 6 weeks from the time you commence your studies up to the time you receive your FAA remote pilot certification.
Most importantly, to avoid any legal breaches when flying a drone in Kansas, you need to comprehensively understand Part 107. It elaborately dictates the dos and don’ts of drone piloting.
Here are a few more general laws for flying of drones in Kansas
General Laws that Guide Drone Piloting in Kansas
There are situations where a waiver on the above laws may be granted upon a written request from the relative authorities.
Kansas has one key law passed by its Legislature relating to drone flying. It’s anchored in the Protection from Stalking Act. This law, Senate Bill SB 319 // 2016, expounds the definition of harassment to include actions done through drone operations over occupied vehicles, houses or other spaces. The rationale here is that people should feel relatively safe and free from unwarranted surveillance or intrusion.
Further, the State of Kansas has specified that anyone flying a drone or any other UAV over private property without express permission is committing a crime. This law, however, exempts law enforcement personnel and government agencies or persons who may have a right to the property.
The State of Kansas has also provided guidelines on how entities such as the American army, the National Guard and institutions of higher learning may engage use drones for surveillance and training.
This is an ordinance in the City of Wichita that prohibits flying drones over certain city-owned property, including parks, reservoirs, and schools.
It stipulates that any UAV needs to get permission from the airport director before flying within five miles of Mid-Continent Airport.
This bill, which was passed in 2016, makes it a crime to use a drone to stalk or harass someone. It further stipulates that it's a crime to fly a drone in a way that interferes with someone's privacy.
This bill was passed in response to concerns about people using drones to spy on their neighbors or take pictures of them without their consent.
If you're found guilty of this offense, you could face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $500.
In the city of Prairie Village, flying drones and other UAS close to people, over private property or large events holding a multitude of people without prior consent is prohibited. Those who violate this law are liable to a fine of up to $500 and/or a maximum jail term of one month.
What are the repercussions of breaking the Drone laws in Kansas?
Like it is in many other states, the laws of flying a drone in Kansas are generally self-explanatory. They follow the rules of the whole country, with only a few additions in specific areas expounding on various aspects. With a good understanding and taking time to learn these laws, it’s easy for a drone pilot to stay away from trouble while flying a drone commercially or for recreational purposes in Kansas.