Mississippi State describes drones as unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV), meaning they operate without a crew on board. They are classified as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)—a UAV with sensing devices and communication links. All drone operations in Mississippi are subject to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations.
There is no shortage of scenic views in Mississippi. The magnolia state overflows with spectacular views and locales. However, strict drone laws exist for flying over rivers, state parks, and other terrains. Learn more from this piece.
Yes, you can. Mississippi state legislature permits drone flying for commercial and recreational purposes subject to FAA guidelines. Although drone rules are broadly governed by the Federal USA agency responsible for drone safety, state and local jurisdictions have supplementary rules. See the enumerated highlights below.
These are general laws endorsed by the Federal USA government and apply to all U.S states, including Mississippi:
It’s mandatory to register a UAV above 0.55 pounds in Mississippi as per the FAA guidelines. First, you must be at least 13-years old to obtain a drone license and certificate legally. The process is either paper-based or registered online via the FAA official website. Start by filling in your name, home address, and email address. If your documents align, you’ll receive a certificate and proof of ownership. Once you have that identification number (lasts for 3 years), strictly affix it on your drone before setting out to fly.
All Mississippi drone operations for work or business purposes are subject to Part 107 FAA guidelines. Although Mississippi’s Federal drone laws apply, commercial pilots can apply for waivers to expand their operations. See below the critical requirements for commercial pilots in Mississippi:
You should be familiar with the FAA Part 107 guidelines, particularly vis-à-vis work or business drone operations. Some commercial operations are prohibited in Part 107 guidelines but are subject to a waiver. The waiver covers the following:
Register for the Aeronautical Knowledge Test by FAA and pass to obtain a commercial pilot certificate. Eligibility criteria for the test include:
This is a must-do before a flight. See above the registration process; it’s simple. Don’t forget to mark your drone with the given identification number visibly.
You can fly a drone less than 250g in Virginia for fun but adhering to the FAA guidelines. These drone laws in Virginia for recreational purposes are approved explicitly under FAA Part 107 guidelines. One primary rule is to take the Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST). Following these guidelines will keep you and your drone safe and avail the airspace for other drone pilots. These guidelines include:
These are statutes/bills enacted by the Mississippi General Assembly and apply to the entire state of Mississippi. According to the Mississippi legislature, there is one state-wide law concerning drone operations in Mississippi:
This law prohibits any drone operations from spying with lewd intentions on private property or individuals with reasonable expectations of privacy. Video voyeurism is considered a felony offense and can land you in jail for over five years. Furthermore, spying on children below 16 years adds to the penalty.
Each county or town in Mississippi has specific drone restrictions created by various local authorities within the state. Before a flight, check the local jurisdiction guidelines and adhere accordingly to avoid landing in trouble.
In 2021, the Drone Service Providers Alliance (DSP) referred to the proposed Senate bill 2262 and House bill 291 in Mississippi as “very scary standards.” According to DPS, if these two bills pass, it will be problematic to the drone industry in Mississippi. The statutes are enumerated below:
This bill creates a law that allows landowners to own the airspace above their properties–which contradicts the FAA’s initial airspace control. The bill also allows leasing roads and waterways to certain parties for exclusive use. Although this adds revenue to the Mississippi state, the law is absurd and negatively affects many drone owners.
The bill makes it unlawful for UAV operators to knowingly use drones to gather data, conduct surveillance, or record a critical infrastructure or correctional facility. You must have prior written consent from the authority of the owners of such properties. The raised issue by DPS is the proposed illegal drone zones list in this bill. For instance, ports, railroads, trucking terminals, and wired communications towers are added to the critical infrastructure list prohibiting drone flying.
No, you cannot. It’s illegal to fly drones over private properties in Mississippi, particularly for spying or unauthorized filming. You need approval from the owner or FAA if it’s an emergency. Trespassing in Mississippi is a felonious act subject to criminal charges.
No, you are not allowed to shoot down a drone. The National Transportation Safety board in Mississippi classifies drones as aircraft, thus, subject to protection. The same laws that prohibit you from shooting down a 747 apply to drones.
Yes, you are free to fly a drone at night in Mississippi. Of course, adhering to FAA guidelines. But first, your drone must have anti-collision lighting to fly at night. Notably, different regulations may apply depending on where and why you fly in the dark.
Yes. Whether you’re flying for fun or business purposes, you need to register your drone and acquire a license. Adhere to the FAA guidelines, which require you to pass the TRUST test and the Aeronautical Knowledge Test to obtain a UAV pilot certificate.
Mississippi is a beautiful state to capture nature in its fullness. However, the restrictions can demotivate you. If you’re not familiar with the guidelines, trouble awaits. The bills are always changing, and it’s important to keep up and follow them accordingly—for your safety and those of others.