For a long time, drones have been used and misused equally with different motives. We now know, for example, that people have brought up reasonable concerns about invasion of privacy. Homeowners in Oregon have seen an increased use of drones that have raised valid concerns for lawmakers and the residents.
This is precisely why law enforcers require warrants before using drones in the state. Current federal laws about personal drone use in Oregon require the registration of all drones weighing over 55 pounds. Mini drones, however, are designed to subvert that requirement by following the Drone Laws in the USA defined by FAA Part 107 guidelines.
The issue, however, lies in the creation of straightforward rules and how each drone operator abides. Here are some of the rules you must adhere to as a drone owner. First of all, I suggest you check laws or community regulations for recreational drone flying.
Right now, the number of unmanned drones flying at Oregon's scenic parks has led to endless conflicts between the drone pilots, lawmakers, and other park users. A recently formed rules committee will gauge where drone operators can take off or land at state parks and the Oregon coast.
Obviously, while considering the drone's impact on personal privacy and wildlife. According to the new proposed laws, areas such as campgrounds, wildlife-safe zones, and parking lots will remain off-limits.
The full weight of the new rules has started hitting Oregon mainly because of the expanded use of drones over the years. Oregon County is governed by four state laws that we'll go through in this article.
Like every state in the United States, Oregon County has drone laws created by the federal government. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is responsible for regulating airspace.
As a federal agency, the FAA regulations override state and local laws. The FAA does not restrict recreational drones in the airspace below 400 feet above the ground (uncontrolled airspace). Similarly, the local and state laws still apply.
In addition to the uncontrolled airspace rules, the FAA has other requirements for drone operators:
Meanwhile, the FAA has recently announced plans to stretch its laws related to recreational drone use. The FAA may require drone operators to pass an online test and register their drones.
While federal regulations supersede state and local laws, there exist other rules created by the Oregon legislature:
This law restricts drones from being weaponized. It states that a pilot cannot knowingly fly drones above private property for reckless harassment or injury to the owner or occupants.
This law regulates drone operations by public agencies while managing how law enforcement stores, accesses and uses collected data.
This law defines the legal requirements and approved fees for public agency Unmanned Aircraft System.
This bill allows law enforcement agencies to use drones in line of duty, with a warrant, training purposes, and other enumerated exceptions.
As a drone hobbyist, you are required to pass the recreational UAS safety test (TRUST) as per (FAA) Federal Aviation Administration rules. You can take the test online for free with UAV Coach approved by FAA.
There are more recreational flyer rules from FAA, which we will later discuss in detail, including maximum drone weight, altitude, airspace, and always keeping your drone in sight while flying.
To fly a drone for work or business purposes, you must follow the rules set for commercial operators and pass the knowledge test by FAA. You must also register your drone with FAA at $5, valid for three years. Other regulations for commercial operators include:
In addition to the state laws, Oregon State has local drone laws.
Oregon State currently has two local drone laws:
This law prohibits drone and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operators from flying in or above city parks, except those allocated for recreational flying.
According to this law, drone use is prohibited within the boundaries of Oregon Metro Parks, except in officially reserved areas.
A few other counties in Oregon have slight differences in their laws. These include:
This county prohibits the operation on or above the permit area of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, by the general public.
The city of Eugene requires all drone pilots to be considerate of park users and other public spaces visitors. You're also not allowed to fly your drone in a disruptive way to wildlife or other animals.
A new rules committee will be expected to look at where operators can take off and land at state parks in the coming months.
Takeoffs and landings are now forbidden in Columbia George National Scenic Area Parks. The following trails are included under the directive:
Here are suggestions of drone-friendly places in Portland City based on attractions, accessibility, and airspace restrictions.
This state park is located away from the city with a rural setting and attractions such as wildlife, beautiful landscapes, and open grassy fields ideal for flying your drone and taking pictures and videos.
Molalla park is classified under controlled spaces( class D). You will have to contact the LAANC for authorization before flying your drone in this area. However, you will enjoy flying your drone in free space without the risk of damaging property or hurting anyone should the drone crash.
falls under class G, uncontrolled airspace; you will not require any airspace authorization to fly your drone in this area. The lake is located near Mt. Hood National forest, which provides an excellent picture view.
This museum is 16,000 square feet on top of a hill overlooking Portland city in Oregon. It falls under uncontrolled airspace, meaning you are free to fly your drone in this area without seeking authorization.
Enjoy the breathtaking architecture of this historic building and an excellent aerial view of Portland city from the hill. Please check with museum authorities for photography policies before using your drone.
Little lake falls under uncontrolled airspace making it ideal for flying your drone without authorization. Whether you are a hobbyist or a commercial drone user, meadows surrounding the lake with clear water provide a stunning view for capturing excellent photos.
No, you cannot shoot a drone for whatever reason in Oregon State. One reason, of course, is that drones are considered unmanned aircraft and are protected by the same law as any aircraft.
Unfortunately, you only own the air space as the tallest building on your property. This means that shooting a drone in Oregon will attract a hefty fine by the FAA.
Homeowners in Oregon State can sue drone operators if the drone flies below 400 feet over their property more than once without their permission. If a drone pilot flies a drone over your property, you have the right to file a criminal or civil complaint. However, you should first check laws or community regulations for recreational drone flying.
No, you cannot keep it. You cannot claim it except under highly unlikely circumstances involving the authorities. Ideally, to claim a lost item, you must provide sufficient proof of ownership. You are required to take care not to damage the drone. You are also required to make honest attempts to locate the real owner.
Even then, you could call authorities to investigate if you think the drone was breaching the law by spying on you. If the drone caused damage to your property, you can sue the owner but not keep it.
Suppose, for whatever reason, a public body operates a drone in the airspace over Oregon State without registering it with the Oregon Department of aviation. In that case, the FAA may impose a civil penalty.
While drones can be fun and invaluable toys, they have an inherent capacity to be invasive, loud, and unpleasant to people and animals, especially if in the wrong hands.
In other words, always do quick research or seek legal counsel before you think about taking off or landing in prohibited areas and being sued civilly. That said, responsible drone operators must practice common courtesy by minimizing disruption to people and animals within the area.