Known for the largest indoor forest in the USA, Nebraska is home to the Platte River, lush green valleys, rich farms, and widespread grasslands. In short, Nebraska is a heaven on Earth for tourists and photographers.
If you love traveling, capturing heavenly landscapes, or are just tech-savvy in love with their drones, do not, and I repeat, do not miss Nebraska. You are going to fall in love with this place, for sure.
Having said that, before you set your drone to discover the wonders of Nebraska, make sure that you are well versed with the Drone laws that are observed in this state of the USA.
If you are not already aware, fret not, my dear, for we are here to the rescue. This article highlights all the different laws that are practiced in the state of Nebraska by Drone operators.
Be it the supreme Federal laws or the local laws devised by provincial legislation; this article will guide you on all you need before you are ready to fly your drone in the skies of Nebraska.
So let’s get going:
Are Drones Allowed in Nebraska?
You may be thinking about whether you can fly a drone in Nebraska or not? The answer to which is Yes!
The state of Nebraska allows drones for both commercials as well as recreational intents. However, it should be registered and in compliance with the flight control and drone laws devised by the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) and the local government.
Drone Laws in Nebraska
The state of Nebraska, like all the other states in the USA, follows three sets of rules:
- Federal Laws
- State Laws
- Local Laws
The state and local laws are secondary to the federal laws. If any of the state laws are in contradiction with Federal laws, they will be nullified.
Let’s discuss these laws one by one.
Federal Drone Laws in Nebraska
The federal laws are compiled by the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) and the federal government, and Federal laws are followed all over the USA.
These laws are categorized into three types:
Federal Drone Laws for Flying a Commercial Drone
If you are using your drone for work or as a business, you come under the category of commercial drone flyers.
- For flying a commercial drone in Nebraska, you have to follow all the rules stated in part 107 of the Federal Aviation Agency’s (FAA) Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems rules.
- UAS or Unmanned Aircraft Systems include every aerial vehicle powered and operated without a human pilot, such as drones.
- However, mapping vehicles and rockets are exempted from the list of UAS.
- You can look at a detailed overview of the FAA rules (part 107), here.
- All commercial drones need to be certified before they can be flown in the airspace of Nebraska.
- For obtaining the required certification, all commercial pilots need to clear the Aeronautical Knowledge test by the FAA.
- This Aeronautical Knowledge Test evaluates the pilots’ knowledge in terms of drone regulation, operation, radio communications, emergency operations, etc.
- Learn further details about taking the Aeronautical Knowledge Test here.
- Registration of drones is another prerequisite that needs to be fulfilled according to the Federal Drone Laws.
- The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) registers every drone weighing from 250g to 25kg for free.
- However, a fee of $5 has to be paid for registration if your UAS exceeds the aforementioned weight limit.
- For the process of registration, the pilot needs to file their name, email, and complete mailing address.
- Any additional accessories that come with the drone, eg. a camera, etc., have to be mentioned in the documents and registered along with the drone.
- After completing the registration process, each drone is allocated a unique number. This registration number is valid for three years.
- You need to be older than 13 years to get your UAS registered. The registration card is to be carried every time, all the time while flying the drone.
Federal Drone Laws for Flying a Recreational Drone
Drone pilots that tend to fly their drone for fun or as a hobby come under the category of recreational drone pilots.
For recreational purposes, you have to follow the below-mentioned rules:
- All recreational pilots are required to clear The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) before they are allowed to fly in Nebraska.
- For more information about taking the test, click here.
- Recreational drones that weigh between 250g to 25kg don’t come under part 107 of the Federal Aviation Agency’s (FAA),
- However, drones that are heavier than the mentioned weight limit have to follow the rules and registration protocol as mentioned in the FAA rules (part 107).
- For flying a recreational drone in Nebraska, the pilots have to follow the Recreational Model Aircraft rules instead. These rules are also devised by the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA).
- Invading private airspace or flying a drone over a person intentionally is strictly prohibited.
- Pilots can only fly their drones and other UAS within drone-friendly airspaces, such as Class G (uncontrolled) airspace.
- Even in Class G airspace, do not fly the drone above the line of sight, i.e., 400 feet.
- For more information, check Recreational Model Aircraft rules here.
- Recreational UAS pilots are supposed to always leave the way for the crewed aircraft.
- Recreational drone pilots are not allowed to intervene in emergency or law enforcement activities.
- Operating the drone while on drugs is strictly prohibited.
- Any damage caused to monuments and other important infrastructures can result in a penalty. Therefore avoid flying drones in close proximity.
Federal Drone Laws for Government Employees
The federal drone laws for government employees that want to fly drones, such as people from the police or fire department, have to follow the following rules:
- If required, Government employees can apply for a Federal Certificate of Authorization (COA) at the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA).
- This certification is not mandatory and depends on personal preference and departmental requirements.
- In order to get the Certificate Of Authorization (COA), the pilots have to clear a specific test prepared by the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA).
- Government employees can also fly their drones according to the rules stated in part 107 of the Federal Rules for Drones. These include,
- Flying the drones within class G airspace. In the case of any other airspaces, special authorization is required.
- Flying drones at night are strictly prohibited due to safety issues.
- If you have to fly a drone at night, you have to complete a specific training session in order to do so.
- Other than the session, your drone has to be equipped with all the essentials required for a nighttime flight.
- Flying the drone above the line of sight, i.e., 400 feet, is banned by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
State Drone Laws in Nebraska
The Legislation Department of Nebraska concocts the state drone laws, and these laws are to be observed all over the state of Nebraska.
There is only one law that is currently being followed in the state of Nebraska, i.e.,
Nebraska Games and Parks Commission // 2018
This state law strictly prohibits pilots from flying their drones in the state parks, historical areas, and recreational areas of the state.
Local Drone Laws in Nebraska
To date, there are no separately mentioned local drone laws applicable in Nebraska.
All the local governments and legislators follow Federal and State laws for drones.
Flying Near an Airport
Operating drones in close proximity to an airport are strictly prohibited as per the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) rules. This rule lies under part 101 of the Special Model Aircraft rules.
According to the rules, no drone can come within a 5-mile radius of the airport. If the drone gets near an airport by chance, or if you are a recreational pilot who resides near an airport, you need to inform the airport management and the air traffic control department.
The local airport management or the air traffic controller may ask you a few questions about the duration of your flight before agreeing on a mutual operating procedure.
In a Nutshell
If you want to discover the natural beauty of Nebraska, make sure you are in compliance with the above-mentioned drone laws.
Any disregard of these laws will be considered criminal negligence and can result in related civil penalties.