400ft Max Height
Under 100 MPH
Only line of sight
Utah is home to breathtaking sights, if you want to fly your drone legally there and take shots like the picture above, there are rules and regulations that you must follow and that we’ll go over in this article.
Wondering if you can actually take your drone for a flight? drones are allowed in Utah for recreational and commercial uses!
They’re however regulated by a myriad of laws and regulations. There are three types of drone laws in Utah which we’ll go over in this article.
Starting with the first and general type of laws; federal drone laws.
Federal laws are laws created by the federal government, and that apply to every US state, including Utah.
Since federal laws are the most important here I recommend you check out my previous article where I cover them in detail. I’ll still brush over the federal laws in this section though.
There are two types of drone flying. Recreational and commercial:
Recreational flying is flying as a hobby, for fun. All you have to do to fly your drone recreationally is pass the TRUST test.
It’s a simple online test that you can pass for FREE from an approved test administrator. Beware of anyone who tries to charge you for it as the FAA requires it to be free (my personal recommendation are Uavcoach, they’re an FAA approved test provider).
Commercial drone flight is every drone activity that you’re compensated for, according to the FAA. Even if you’re just selling pictures you captured from your drone. To be able to fly commercially you’ll have to study for and pass the 107 test. I have done a complete guide on that test here.
There are also various other conditions that you need to fulfill. You can check them here.
Below are the federal drone laws in Utah that you’ll have to keep in mind:
You can check my US drone laws article, where I go over airspace classifications and various other things related to drone regulations.
State laws are laws that were created by Utah’s legislators and that apply only to Utah. We’ll go over each one of them in this section.
According to the Utah Department of Transportation there are several state-wide drone laws here.
According to this law, chasing, disturbing, harassing or harming livestock with the use of your drone is prohibited.
Usually it’s strictly prohibited for law enforcers to use drones. However in Utah, this law allows them to do so in certain situations like search and rescue, granted that there is no expectation of privacy.
In other cases, they’re required to have a warrant in order to use drones no matter the reason.
This law prohibits flight over wildland fires in Utah, unless having permission from the FAA or being part of the responding team (also requires permission for drone flight).
You may not fly your drone over private property if you don’t have permission. The owner of such property has the right to take legal action against you.
You can read up more on the details of that law here.
There are extra laws that I've found in the state of Utah but none of them are of any use to you, except for this one law regarding privacy.
According to this law, you would not be guilty of what would otherwise be a privacy violation if you’re operating a drone for “legitimate” commercial or education purposes consistent with FAA regulations.
Doesn’t make sense really considering the privacy law already in place, but that’s how it is in Utah.
These local drone laws are laws that only apply to certain cities or regions within the state of Utah. They’re created and enforced by the local authorities.
There have been no local drone laws in Utah that I could find. Which means you’ll just have to follow the federal and state laws discussed above.
Well, the FAA will rarely go for the maximum. Usually you’ll get a small fine, which is like a slap on the wrist.
For accidental first-offenses, the FAA tends to require a temporary suspension of their UAS Airman certificate and remedial training.
For the more egregious offenses, such as flying in an airport vicinity, expect slightly more serious repercussions. Should an illegally operated drone crash and injure someone, the operator will then face serious trouble and possibly jail time.
In conclusion, just make sure you keep the federal laws in mind as they are the most important. Have fun and fly safely, most of these laws are just common sense.