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Drone Laws in Mississippi: What You Should Know (2022)

Updated in 2022 by Paul Posea
Mississippi

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.

Can You Fly a Drone Legally Over Mississippi?

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.

General Federal Drone Laws in Mississippi

These are general laws endorsed by the Federal USA government and apply to all U.S states, including Mississippi:

  • Fly at 400ft and below (unless approved otherwise by FAA).
  • You must register your unmanned aircraft with the FAA.
  • Keep your drone within line of visual sight and use co-located visual observers.
  • Give way to crewed aircraft and do not interfere with emergency operations.
  • Stay 5 miles away from airports and control towers unless with approval.
  • Avoid flying over crowds of people.
  • Do not fly over-controlled airspaces or critical restricted infrastructure.  
  • Always maintain a speed of 100mph or below.
  • Do not operate an unmanned aircraft from a moving vehicle or over busy routes.

What’s the Registration Process in 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.

Drone Laws in Mississippi for Commercial Pilots

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:

Know and Follow the Rules.

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:

  • Flying over crowds
  • Using visual observers and communication links,
  • Operating from a moving vehicle
  • Operating multiple UAVs.

Earn the FAA-Certified Drone Pilot

Register for the Aeronautical Knowledge Test by FAA and pass to obtain a commercial pilot certificate. Eligibility criteria for the test include:

  • Must be above 16 years old
  • Ability to read, write and understand English
  • Be mentally and physically fit 

Register the Drone With the FAA

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.

Drone Laws in Mississippi for Recreational Pilots

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: 

  • Before flying, you must register your drone with the FAA and affix the identification number.
  • Take and pass the TRUST test. Always carry the proof of passage when flying.
  • Do not fly over critical infrastructure (airports, communication towers, petroleum refineries).
  • Do not fly above 400ft.
  • Do not fly over-controlled airspaces unless with an approved permit from the FAA.
  • Do not interfere with manned crews and give way to emergency operations.
  • Do not lose sight of your drone.

State drone laws in Mississippi

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:

Senate Bill SB 2022(2015): Felonious Trespass

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.

Local Drone Laws in Mississippi

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.

Be in the know: Absurd proposed drone laws in Mississippi

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:

Senate bill 2262: Private Airspace

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.

HB 291 Section 3: Surveillance of critical infrastructure.

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.

Penalties for Violating Drone Laws in Mississippi.

  • Temporary suspension – The FAA has the power to confiscate your certificate and suspend any drone operations in case of a violation or accident. You’ll be required to retake the test and obtain a new certificate.
  • Jail – In Mississippi, intentionally trespassing private property can land you in jail for five years and above.
  • Fines - The FAA fines enforcement division follows up with penalties, especially if the violation falls under federal regulations, such as flying in an airport vicinity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you fly a drone over residential areas in Mississippi?

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.

Can I shoot down a drone flying over my private property in Mississippi?

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.

Is it safe to fly a drone at night in Mississippi?

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.

Do you need a license to fly a drone in Mississippi?

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.  

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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