400ft Max Height
Under 100 MPH
Only line of sight
If you live in Massachusetts, U.S. 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 Massachusetts is broadly governed by the FAA, in this article we’ll look into the different laws regarding drone use.
If you’re wondering whether you can actually fly your drone in Massachusetts, I have good news for you. Drones are allowed in Massachusetts for recreational and commercial uses!
They’re however regulated by a myriad of laws and regulations. There are three types of drone laws in Massachusetts which we’ll go over in this article.
Starting with the first and general type of laws; federal drone laws.
Federal laws are laws that apply to every state in the United States, including Massachusetts, and were created by the federal government.
Although I have covered them in-depth in my previous drone laws article, I’ll briefly go over them here (I recommend you check out my other article though).
According to the FAA, drone flying can be separated into two categories. Recreational flying, which means flying for fun, as a hobby. And commercial flying, which according to the FAA is any flying that you’re compensated for (even shooting and selling stock images).
In order to fly recreationally, you’ll need to pass a simple online test called the TRUST. Beware of anyone who tries to charge you for it as the FAA requires the test to be free.
If you want to pass the test, my personal recommendation are Uavcoach, they’re an FAA approved test administrator.
You’ll also need to register your drone, which will only cost you $5. Note that once you receive your registration number you have to write it on your drone.
In order to fly commercially, i.e receive money from your drone flights, you’ll have to study for and pass the 107 test. I have done a complete guide on that test here.
There are also other conditions that you must fulfill in order to be eligible to fly your drone commercially in Massachusetts. You can check them in-depth in my US drone laws article.
Below are the federal drone laws in Massachusetts that you’ll have to keep in mind:
This was a general view on the federal drone laws in Massachusetts. To fly safely, you’ll need more information and an in-depth view of the current drone laws landscape, check out my previous detailed article about the subject.
In addition to federal drone laws, there are state laws that apply only to the state of Massachusetts, and were created by its legislature.
There is only one major state law in Massachusetts regarding drone use. Here is the gist of it, according to the Massachusetts General Court.
This law prohibits:
These local drone laws are laws that only apply to certain cities or regions within the state of Massachusetts. They’re created and enforced by the local authorities.
There are 4 cities that I could find and that have extra drone laws, they’re as follows:
You can’t fly your drone at USACE water resources development projects. That includes all types of use: hobby, recreational, and/or commercial. It’s strictly prohibited unless you get permission by the district commander.
You can read up more on that here.
You can’t fly your drone over a public or private owned area in this town, according to this law.
You may not fly your drone over the Quabbin watershed. There has been some talk about this becoming allowed, but no official statement has been released. I recommend you check with them first before flying your drone there.
According to this city’s legislation, you cannot take off or land your drone on private property unless you have a written and signed permission from the owner.
Fines are up to the enforcement division, the FAA however will rarely go for the maximum.
In the case of an accidental first-offense, the FAA will probably just require a temporary suspension of your UAS Airman certificate and remedial training.
For the more egregious offenses, such as flying in an airport vicinity, expect slightly more serious repercussions.
In conclusion, just make sure you keep the federal laws in mind as they are the most important, and keep in mind to always ask for permission before flying in public parks.
Have fun and fly safely, most of these laws are just common sense.