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Drone Laws in New York (Everything You Need To Know in 2022)

Updated in 2022 by Paul Posea
drone laws in New York
height flight limit 1

400ft Max Height

cant fly over crowds of people 1

Under 100 MPH

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Avoid airports

line of sight law 1

Only line of sight

If you live in New York, 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 New York is broadly governed by the FAA, in this article we’ll look into the different laws regarding drone use.

Can I Fly a Drone in New York?

If you’re wondering whether you can actually fly your drone in New York. Drones are allowed in New York for recreational and commercial uses!

The only exception is New York City, where drone flying is considered a crime. Drones in NY are regulated by a myriad of laws and regulations. There are three types of drone laws which we’ll go over in this article.

Starting with the first and general type of laws; federal drone laws.

Federal Drone Laws in New York

Federal laws are laws that apply to every state in the United States, including New York, and were created by the federal government.

I’ve actually gone over them in detail in my previous drone laws article, but I’ll briefly go over them here (I recommend you check out my other article though).

There are two types of drone flying, “recreational” which is flying for fun. And commercial flying, which according to the FAA is any flying that you’re compensated for (even shooting and selling stock images).

Recreational Flying

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.

Commercial Flying

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 New York. You can check them in-depth in my US drone laws article.

The General Federal Laws in New York

Below are the federal drone laws in New York that you’ll have to keep in mind:

  • Do not fly higher than 400ft
  • Do not fly in uncontrolled airspace without a permit (read up more on that here)
  • Always maintain visual line of sight
  • Never interfere with manned aircrafts
  • Do not fly over crowds of people
  • Your drone must be registered with the FAA on the FAADroneZone website.
  • Your maximum drone speed must not exceed 100 mph
  • Your maximum drone weight must be lower than 55 lbs, at takeoff.
  • You cannot fly from a moving vehicle.

This was a general view on the federal drone laws in New York. 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.

State Drone Laws in New York

new york

In addition to federal drone laws, there are state laws that apply only to the state of New York, and were created by its legislature.

There is only one state-wide law in New York regarding drone use. Here is the gist of it, according to the New York State Assembly.

Parks and Historical Structures

The launching, landing and flying of drones over state parks or near historical structures is prohibited unless you have an explicit permission from the OPRHP (New York Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation).

The OPRHP actively enforces this law, you can read up more on that here.

Local Drone Laws in New York

These local drone laws are laws that only apply to certain cities or regions within the state of New York. They’re created and enforced by the local authorities.

Currently there are two cities in NY with special drone laws:

New York City

According to NYC’s law, it is unlawful and a criminal offense to fly, take off or land your drone within the city limits. There are no exceptions to this rule, and no permission granted.

In fact, there is another law that downright declares drone flying in NYC as illegal, and advises anyone who spots a drone flying there to call 911.

What Happens if You Break the Drone Laws in New York?

Fines are up to the enforcement division, the FAA however will rarely go for the maximum. That is, unless you fly your drone NYC, in which case it’s a serious offense that can lead to jail time.

Generally though, 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.

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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