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Drone Laws in New Hampshire: State, Local and Federal Laws (2022)

Updated in 2022 by Paul Posea
Hampshire

Like every state in the US, the federal government created drone laws for New Hampshire to govern both drones and drone pilots. Due to the growing desire for drone flying, both commercial and recreational, the FAA has put regulations in place to ensure safe airspace for airplanes, people, and the property below.

With the increased use of civilian drones in New Hampshire comes more work for law enforcement. There's an increased workload as the police are constantly solving issues related to the invasion of privacy, trespassing, stalking, and noise. It may be too early to say if people will ever get used to drones and if these concerns will increase or diminish.

Following all the required drone laws for New Hampshire, like buying compliant aircraft and getting your operation certified, means that you can fly your drone freely in the state. While the current drone laws are fairly new and may require a little getting used to, this article will give you a good rundown of the recent regulations you need to follow before flying or landing in the state.

These federal laws apply to all the states in the USA, including New Hampshire.

Federal drone laws for New Hampshire

For Recreational Use:

  • You should only fly for recreational purposes
  •  You must follow the safety guidelines of existing aeromodelling organizations or use the FAA-Provided safety guidelines per Advisory Circular 91-57B. This is because the FAA has not yet begun officially recognizing Community-Based Organization (CBO) safety guidelines
  • You should keep your drone within the visual line-of-sight or use a co-located visually observer and in direct communication with you
  •  You should give right of 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
  •  You are required to take the Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and carry proof of test passage
  •  You must not interfere with emergency response or law enforcement activities
  •  You should avoid flying near or over critical infrastructure such as prisons, hospitals, power plants, etc.
  •  You should register your drone with the FAA drone zone
  •  Your drone must be under 55 pounds
  • You should never fly near another aircraft
  • If you're flying within 5 miles of any airport, you must notify the control tower

Note that: If you intentionally violate any of these safety requirements or operate your drone recklessly, you could be liable for criminal or civil penalties.

For Commercial Use:

  •     You must hold a remote pilot's license issued by the FAA
  •     You need to have a current registration, mark (PDF) your drone on the outside, and carry proof of registration
  •     You must register your drone with the FAA drone zone and must be under 55 pounds
  •     You must fly in class G airspace. If you're flying in controlled airspace, you should get clearance from ATC
  •     You must fly during the day or civil twilight, 30 minutes after sunset or 30 minutes before sunrise.
  •     You must fly at or under 100 miles per hour
  •     You must yield the right of way to any crewed aircraft
  •     You cannot fly from a moving vehicle or aircraft unless you're in a lightly populated area

Several operations are not covered by Part 107 and are subject to a waiver. However, you should read about the Part 107 waiver application and go through the legal process. Here are some of the laws that are subject to a waiver:

  •     Do not operate from a moving vehicle or aircraft
  •    You must fly during daylight or civil twilight
  •     You must fly your drone within visual line-of-sight
  •     You must yield right of way to crewed aircraft
  •     You should not fly directly over people
  •     You must fly in Class G airspace
  •     You must fly at or below 400 feet
  •     You must fly at or under 100 miles per hour

Though the FAA regulation trumps all local and state drone laws, including New Hampshire, they allow them to pass their laws around land use, privacy, trespass, zoning, and law enforcement operations.

New Hampshire Law on Drones

New Hampshire has only two state-wide laws you should follow if you plan to fly your drone in the state. The general court created these drone laws for New Hampshire.

SB 222//2015

This law makes it a violation to use a drone to conduct video surveillance of anyone fishing, trapping, or lawfully hunting without their permission. The law, however, exempts the law enforcement and Fish and Game Department personnel.

  •     The state also prohibits drone operators from flying their drones over any ski resorts without written consent

Law Enforcement Use of Drones in New Hampshire

Several New Hampshire Police departments have implemented the use of drones, including Strafford County and Derry. They use drones for several reasons, including suspect tracking, inspections, and investigations, search and rescue operations.

Other police departments are warming up to drone use, and purchase plans are underway. However, Granite state currently has no restrictions on law enforcement use of drones.

While the state has considered other bills to regulate drones without much success, there are potential state laws.

Potential State Drone Laws for New Hampshire

New Hampshire and other states have considered the following drone laws to protect the privacy and public safety:

  •     Restricting the use of drones over public property, especially critical areas such as hospitals, power plants, prisons, etc.
  •     Prohibiting the use of drones over private property without the owner's permission
  •     Regulating the use of drones for harassment or stalking purposes
  •     Prohibiting drone flying while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  •     No drones should be weaponized either for the public or law enforcement
  •     Law enforcement personnel are required to get a warrant before using a drone for investigation and to delete all irrelevant data collected by the drone within 24 hours
  •     Law enforcement should publicly announce drone use
  •     Drone operators must purchase liability insurance
  •     The drone pilot must maintain line-of-sight at all times
  •     All drone operators are required to label their drone with identifying information
  •     Drone operators are required to specify that they will not use the drone to harass or for voyeurism

How to Get Training on Drone Laws for New Hampshire

A UAV Coach offers in-person training in various cities within New Hampshire. The training goes for 2 hours and covers all the basics you need to start flying in the state. The UAV coach covers;

  •          Intelligent flight modes
  •           Hands-on flight time with an experienced instructor
  •           Education on everything you need before, during, and after a flight mission
  •           How to stay compliant and safe

The trainer also allows room for questions about everything that involves drone operation in New Hampshire and more. The coach also offers a fleet of practice drones for training purposes giving you a great head-start on flying. If you're trying to get into commercial flying, the courses will help you pass the required tests and learn how to fly the drones for profit.

FAQs

Q: Can I destroy a drone flying over my property?

A: Drones, like any aircraft, are bound by existing federal aviation regulations. If you interfere or destroy a legal drone operation in progress, it is no different than doing the same to a commercial airline flight. You may be criminally liable for destroying a drone or civilly liable for the cost of replacing the drone.

Q: Are drones legal in New Hampshire?

A: Yes, drones are allowed in New Hampshire for recreational and commercial purposes. If you want to operate a drone in the state, you're required to follow all the regulations by the FAA and the flight controls put in place by the local government.

Q: Do you need a drone license in New Hampshire?

A: If you're flying your drone in New Hampshire for recreational use, you must take the Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST). Similarly, if you want to fly commercially, you must take the Aeronautical Knowledge Test to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate.

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

A: This applies to commercial pilots flying above 400 feet in restricted and unrestricted airspace. You must ask for a waiver before flying at any level over public parks or privately owned land.

Q: Can I fly my drone in the White Mountains, New Hampshire?

A: Recreational use of drones is allowed on White Mountain National Forest lands if the landing isn't within ¼ miles of a Forest Protection Area. All the areas listed in Exhibit B of Forest order R9-22-19-01, including the Alpine Zone, are prohibited.

Q: Are there no-fly zones in New Hampshire?

A: Yes, there are. There is a policy that restricts the operation of drones within New Hampshire State Park boundaries. You cannot use your drone on all land administered by the National Park Service (NPS).

Drones have been used for a long time to get the best selfies, group shots, panoramas, and spheres which is all rewarding, but like any hobby or professional interest, you need to be careful. Just because they sell drones in toy stores doesn't negate the fact that they have the potential to cause harm or infringe on other people's rights.

The bottom line is, if you're unsure of the drone laws for New Hampshire, it is prudent to consult legal counsel or check the FAA guidelines before flying your drone in the state.

You can watch these videos for an updated version of the drone laws for New Hampshire.

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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