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Drone Laws in Louisiana: The Do's and Don'ts of 2022

Updated in 2022 by Paul Posea
Louisiana

The enactment of drone policies in Louisiana is associated with the rapidly rising drone technology in the state. Like everywhere in the USA, drone laws in Louisiana are the only way to improve the disruption to people and everything else in the state.

With so many drones floating around in Louisiana, you must abide by rules if you want to fly a drone here. Whether you live or plan to visit the state, following the guidelines will allow you to fly your drone without looking over your shoulder in 2022.

Getting to know Louisiana's federal and state laws and how easy or complicated it is to be a drone pilot in the state today will give you the soft landing (quite literally) that you'll need. The drone laws in Louisiana are from three governing bodies:

  •     Federal laws
  •     State laws
  •     City or Local laws

Federal Laws

The federal drone laws apply to every state in the US, including Louisiana. The FAA is working closely with the state and local law enforcement to help enforce drone laws due to limited resources.

For recreational purposes

  •     You must register your drone before flying to the FAA drone zone website
  •     You must fly within line-of-sight
  •     Your drone must be under 55 pounds
  •     You should not fly near another aircraft
  •     If you're flying within 5 miles of any airport, you must notify the control tower
  •     You should not fly near emergency response or law enforcement activities
  •     You are required to take the recreational UAS Safety Trust Test (TRUST) and carry proof of test passage
  •     You must follow the safety guidelines of existing aeromodelling organizations or use the FAA-provided safety guidelines per Advisory Circular 91-57BYou should give way to and do not interfere with crewed aircraft
  •     You must fly at or below 400 feet in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, and E) with authorization by using LAANC or DroneZone
  •     Do not operate the drone under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  •     Do not fly near or over critical infrastructure

For commercial use

  •     You must hold a remote pilot's license issued by the FAA. This includes passing the FAA's Aeronautical Knowledge Test
  •     You must register your drone with the FAA drone zone website. You'll be required to pay $5 to register. Mark your drone with the registration number (PDF) if it gets lost or stolen
  •     Your drone must be under 55 pounds
  •     You must fly in Class G airspace
  •    You should fly no higher than 400 feet above ground level
  •     You must fly during the day or at civil twilight, which is 30 minutes after sunset or 30 minutes before sunrise
  •     You must fly under 100 miles per hour
  •    You must yield the right-of-way to any crewed aircraft
  •     You should obtain a certificate of Authorization to operate drones commercially
  •     You should avoid flying near airports as it is difficult for crewed aircraft to see or avoid a drone while flying. You are responsible for any safety hazard your drone creates within an airport
  •     You cannot fly directly over people. This does not include people inside structures or stationary vehicles
  •     You cannot fly from a moving vehicle or aircraft unless you're in a lightly populated area

Some of these operations are not subject to the FAA's part 107 rules and may require a waiver to avoid them. However, you are required to go through the legal process. These include:

  •     You must fly in Class G airspace
  •     You must keep your UAV within visual line-of-sight
  •     You must fly at or below 400 feet
  •     You must fly during daylight or civil twilight
  •     You must fly at or under 100mph
  •     You must yield right of way to crewed aircraft
  •     You cannot fly directly over people
  •     You cannot fly from a moving vehicle or aircraft

Like every state in the USA, Louisiana State Legislature has issued several supplemental rules specific to Louisiana drone operations.

State Drone Laws in Louisiana

These drone laws apply to the entire state of Louisiana. According to the Louisiana State Legislature and the department of transportation, the state is governed by eight state laws:

SB 69//2017

This law affirms that only the state has exclusive jurisdiction over all aircraft. This rule pre-empts local regulations, ordinances, and rules.

SB 73//2016

This law states that intentionally crossing a police cordon using a drone is also a crime of obstructing an officer. The law also allows law enforcement or emergency responders to disable crewless aircraft in the area if they pose a potential danger to the public or an officer.

HB 19//2016

This law restricts using drones to conduct surveillance or collect information from schools, school premises, or correctional facilities. This law establishes a fine of $2,000 and six months jail time for the violation.

HB 335//2016

This law approves establishing registration and licensing fees for UAS in the state not exceeding $100 for education, safety training, and agricultural purposes.

HB 635//2016

This law adds unlawful use of drones into the current voyeurism and video voyeurism crimes in Louisiana. Video voyeurism includes taking images and recording audios to view, observe, photograph, or film persons without consent for foul purposes.

SB 141//2016

This law adds to the previous state laws. It prohibits surveillance by UAS and constitutes it as criminal trespass under established circumstances.

SB 183//2015

This law permits uncrewed aircraft in agricultural and commercial operations with regulations.

HB 1029//2014

This law creates the crime of illegal use of UAS, known as the intentional use of a drone to coordinate surveillance of a targeted facility without the owner's prior written consent. This crime carries a maximum fine of up to $500 and six months imprisonment.

The FAA has allowed every state to adopt its ordinances regarding the operation of drones. These laws apply to specific regions, counties, or cities within Louisiana. Several authorities created the laws within their jurisdictions.

Audubon Nature Institute Parks – Park Rules

This park rule restricts the use of drones in any parks owned by the Audubon Nature Institute.

City Park New Orleans – Park Rules

This park rule restricts the flying of drones within City Park. If you violate this rule, you risk your park pass being revoked.

FAQs

Q: Where can I fly a drone in Louisiana?

A: Louisiana is a beautiful state with gorgeous spots for great photos and videos. However, it would be best to be up-to-date with controlled and uncontrolled airspace and the laws regulating the area you want to fly your drone. The top five places you can fly are; Algiers point, Lake Martin St. Martin Parish, Fontainebleau state park, Laketown Fishing Pier, and Brechtel Park.

Q: Are drones legal in Louisiana?

A: Yes, drones are allowed for recreational and commercial purposes in Louisiana. Drones are subject to the FAA and local government strict regulations.

Q: Can you fly a drone over private property in Louisiana?

A: Property rights in Louisiana are highly regarded. However, the FAA regulates and considers the airspace to be public property. This means that any legal drone may fly there. Likewise, if you genuinely believe the drone is causing harm or being operated illegally, you can contact the police.

Q: Do you need a drone license in Louisiana?

A: The federal laws in Louisiana require you to follow the guidelines of the FAA's part 107 drone rules if you need to fly commercially in the state. If your drone weighs more than 55 pounds, it must be registered with the FAA.

Q: Can you shoot a drone over your property in Louisiana?

A: Shooting down a drone will bring the same legal trouble as shooting down a commercial aircraft. It all comes down to the fact that you don't own the airspace above your property. In the same breath, you have no right to destroy others' property even if they're inconveniencing you.

Q: How enforceable are drone laws in Louisiana?

A: Like every state in the USA, the law states that drones fit the legal definition of aircraft. This means that the existing FAA regulations bind them.

Drones have many uses, from enjoyment to a quieter, safer aerial cover for government purposes. That also doesn't take away that drones can be intrusive and annoying. Suppose you're planning to fly in Louisiana as a drone pilot. In that case, violating any of these safety requirements could be ground for criminal and civil penalties.

It is advisable that you go through all the state drone laws in Louisiana before you take off or land to avoid any trouble.

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.
paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.

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