Can You Fly a Drone In New York City?

In this article, I want to discuss drones in New City and determine if drones are legal in New York.

Imagine rising above the lively streets of New York City, capturing breathtaking aerial views of the iconic landmarks and the vibrant energy of this urban marvel.

It’s a dream for many drone enthusiasts. But before any imagination, we must know if we can fly a drone in New York City.

The answer depends on certain rules, regulations, and exceptions.

Can You Fly Drones In New York City Legally?

As a drone pilot, I’ve often wondered about the legality of flying drones in New York, this dynamic metropolis.

The thought of flying over Central Park, tracing the curves of the Brooklyn Bridge, or hovering above the Statue of Liberty was undeniably tempting. Still, I also knew that safety and compliance were paramount.

So, I learned more about the complexities of drone regulations in New York City; if you want to know about these experiences, stay here.

We can fly drones as a hobby or for commercial purposes. I want to explain both rules in Gotham City, so you have no worries.

Who Are the Key Regulators of Drone Operations In New York?

The agency that is responsible for regulating drones in New York State is the one that we all know and heard of: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Are Flying Drones Legal In NY?

If you pay attention to the FAA and some supplemental rules specific to NY State for drone operations, the answer is Yes! Drones are legal in New York City.

Drone flight regulations in New York

General & Specific Rules for Flying Drones in NY State

As you know some general rules are for all drone pilots, but each region has special rules based on their urban situation.

So, it is better to learn them before confronting any penalties by the government.

What Are the Federal Regulations?

FAA Part 107: This sets the national standards for commercial drone operations.

To fly a drone for commercial purposes, even in New York, you must have a Remote Pilot Certificate (AKA Remote Pilot Airman Certificate) and pass an aeronautical knowledge test.

You must also register your drone with the FAA.

Register the drone with the FAA

Read more:

Can I Fly a Drone in Florida?

How Much Does a Commercial Drone License Cost?

Do I Need a License to Fly a Drone Commercially?

Can You Fly Drones in National Parks?

FAA Model Aircraft Regulations: These regulations apply to recreational drone flights.

To fly a drone recreationally in New York City, you must be at least 16 years old and follow the following restrictions:

  1. Fly no higher than 400 feet above ground level (AGL)
  2. Maintain visual line of sight (VLOS) of the drone at all times
  3. You have to only during daylight hours
  4. Stay away from people, buildings, and other obstacles
  5. Do not fly over or near airports, heliports, or other restricted areas

Now let’s learn more in detail about the New York state rules.

What Are The New York State Regulations?

The New York State Aviation Law bans drone pilots from flying over certain areas, including prisons, hospitals, and other sensitive facilities.

It also requires drone operators to obtain written permission from the owner or operator of private property before flying over it.

Furthermore, the New York State General Business Law does not allow using drones for surveillance without an authorized permit.

Knowing all of this information pops a question in our minds! If these are the rules, why can’t we fly over New York City? The answer lies behind the local regulations.

What Are the Local Regulations for Flying Drones In New York?

New York City Administrative Code forbids the operation of drones in most parts of New York City, but some parts designated as drone zones are exceptions.

To fly a drone in New York City, you must obtain a permit from the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

Here are some specific examples of No-Fly areas in New York City:

  • Manhattan and the Bronx: All of Manhattan and the Bronx are considered no-fly zones, except for certain designated drone zones.
  • Central Park: Central Park is a designated drone zone, but commercial drone flights are banned.
  • NYC Parks: Drones are forbidden from flying in all NYC Parks except within designated drone zones.
  • NYCHA Housing: Drones are prohibited from flying within 500 feet of any NYCHA housing complex.

Do you know what happens if you fly in these forbidden zones? What if drone pilots don’t follow the rules?

What Happens If You Fly in Forbidden Zones In NY?

The penalties for violating drone regulations in New York City can be severe. For example, violating the no-fly zone restrictions in Manhattan and the Bronx can result in a fine of up to $1,000 or up to 15 days in jail.

Violating the FAA’s regulations can result in a fine of up to $25,000 and up to three years in prison.

If you want a safe flight in Gotham City, you must obtain any necessary permits from the FAA, state, and city, be aware of your surroundings, and avoid flying over or near restricted areas.

Following these tips, you can safely and legally enjoy the exciting experience of drone flying in New York City.

Where Can I Fly a Drone In New York City?

I want to introduce some of the places in New York where you can fly your drones with ease of mind. Just look at these places:

  • Calvert Vaux, Brooklyn
  • Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
  • Tanner Park, Copiague
  • LaTourette Park, Staten Island

Please note that American Model Aircraft Association membership is required to enter some of these locations. An adult “parks” access membership costs approximately $50 per year.

In Short

This is a comprehensive article about the important rules of flying drones in New York City. It is a gist of drone laws in New York City.

Mastering this intricate legal framework can transform your aerial ambitions into reality. Look at New York’s federal, state, and local regulations and secure permits and permissions.

Following the law makes you and your drone safe in the USA, specifically in the City of Dreams!



Hi, I'm Oliver, the content writer and translator. Growing up with a fascination for all things aviation-related, I was naturally fascinated by the concept of drones. I spent many hours each day learning everything I could about them. After some time, I decided to build my website about drones and answer all the questions and worries about drones and also evaluate new drones. I welcome your feedback and consideration. Message me using the form on the contact page

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