Drones are growing in acceptance and affordability for both pros and hobbyists. However, you must be informed of Arizona’s drone restrictions before using your drone in the air. These regulations aim to preserve people’s rights to safety and privacy as well as the integrity of the airspace.
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Federal Drone Laws in Arizona
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the principal agency in charge of regulating drone activities in the United States, which is the first thing you need to be aware of. Every state in the United States, including Arizona, is subject to a set of regulations and directives established by the FAA. These guidelines are based on the use and dimensions of your drone as well as the locations and methods of flight.
Recreational Drone Laws
You are regarded as a recreational drone user if you utilize a drone for enjoyment or amusement. These federal regulations must be followed by recreational drone users:
- If your drone weighs more than 0.55 lbs (250 g), it needs to be registered with the FAA. $5 is required for registration, which is good for three years. Online drone registration is available at https://faadronezone.faa.gov.
- Your registration information, including your contact information, must be written on the drone.
- The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) is a requirement, and you must fly with a copy of your test completion certificate.
- You are required to fly your drone within visual line of sight (VLOS), which entails that you can always see it without the aid of any technology other than corrective lenses.
- You must operate your drone no higher than 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or the Class G airspace ceiling, whichever is lower.
- Your drone must be flown at or under 100 mph.
- Avoid flying close to airports, helipads, or other aviation activities and give way to human aircraft.
- Flying a drone over people, moving vehicles, or stadiums is prohibited.
- Drone operation is prohibited close to emergency response situations like fires, accidents, or disasters.
- You must not operate your drone while intoxicated or using drugs or alcohol.
- Any local, state, or federal laws that are relevant to your drone operation must be complied with.
Commercial Drone Laws
You are regarded as a commercial drone user if you utilize a drone for professional or business objectives. These government guidelines must be followed by commercial drone users:
- The FAA must issue you a Remote Pilot Certificate. This entails completing a security background check and an FAA-approved testing facility’s aeronautical knowledge exam. The certificate can be renewed online and is good for two years.
- If your drone weighs more than 0.55 lbs (250 g), it needs to be registered with the FAA. $5 is required for registration, which is good for three years.
- Your registration information, including your contact information, must be written on the drone.
- The Part 107 of the FAA regulations’ operational guidelines must be followed. These consist of:
- utilizing visual line of sight (VLOS) or a visual observer who can constantly connect with you when you’re flying your drone
- Drone operation is restricted to 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or the Class G airspace ceiling, whichever is lower.
- Keeping your drone’s speed to or around 100 mph
- granting manned aircraft the right of way and avoids flying close to airports, helipads, or other aircraft activities
- A drone should not be flown over people, moving cars, or stadiums.
- Keeping your drone away from emergency response situations like fires, accidents, or disasters
- Not operating your drone while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- observing any regional, national, or local laws that may be relevant to your drone operation
- If you intend to fly your drone in a method that does not adhere to the Part 107 regulations, you must acquire a waiver from the FAA. For instance, if you wish to use your drone to fly above people or at night or beyond visual line of sight.
Government Drone Laws
You are regarded as a government drone user if you utilize a drone for a government organization, like the police or fire department. There are two ways for government drone users to legally fly their drones:
- According to Part 107 of the FAA regulations, you can adhere to the same guidelines and criteria as users of commercial drones.
- A Certificate of Authorization (COA) is available from the FAA. This is a unique permit that enables you to use your drone for a specific objective and in a certain location.
State Drone Law in Arizona
Arizona has established a state-wide drone law that is in addition to the federal regulations and is applicable to all drone operators in the state. The legislation, known as Senate Bill 1449, was passed in 2016. The following are subject areas of the law:
- Drone interference: It is forbidden to use a drone to obstruct a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, or an emergency responder from performing their job-related tasks. Additionally, it is prohibited to deploy a drone to obstruct the usage of manned aircraft or airspace.
- Drone harassment: It is prohibited to use a drone to annoy, harass, or otherwise disturb another person in a way that is likely to make them feel uncomfortable.
- Drone trespassing is the illegal use of a drone over private property without the owner’s or occupant’s permission, unless the drone is flown at a height of at least 250 feet above the ground and poses no threat to the property’s use or enjoyment.
- Drone surveillance: If a person has a legitimate expectation of privacy, it is forbidden to use a drone to take pictures or videos of them or their property without permission. Unless they are utilized for a legal reason, it is likewise prohibited to divulge or disseminate such pictures or recordings without getting their permission.
- Drone critical facilities: Using a drone within 500 feet horizontally or 250 feet vertically of any critical facility is prohibited unless given permission by the facility’s owner or operator. Oil and gas facilities, water treatment facilities, power plants, courthouses, military locations, and hospitals are just a few examples of critical facilities.
- Drone preemption: Arizona asserts exclusive jurisdiction over drone laws in the state. As a result, local governments, including cities and towns, are not permitted to implement drone laws or ordinances that are incompatible with or contrary to the state’s drone regulations.
Specific Drone Regulations for Different Types of Drone Users
You might need to abide by particular rules that are applicable to your sort of drone use depending on the use and size of your drone. Here are a few instances:
- Model aircraft: You must abide by the safety regulations of a community-based organization (CBO), such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), if you operate a drone that satisfies the definition of a model aircraft (an unmanned aircraft capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere; flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft; and flown for hobby or recreational purposes).
- Big drones: According to Section 44807 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, you must get an exemption from the FAA if you operate a drone that weighs more than 55 pounds (25 kg).
- drones for delivery You must abide by the guidelines and standards of Part 135 of the FAA regulations if you wish to utilize a drone to deliver goods or services. This entails getting an FAA air carrier certificate and adhering to particular operational guidelines.
No-Fly Zones and Restricted Areas in Arizona
There are some regions in Arizona where you cannot fly your drone without a specific permit or license, even if you abide by all federal and state drone rules. These consist of:
- All national parks in Arizona, including the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, and Saguaro National Parks, are subject to a drone use ban by the National Park Service (NPS).
- Navajo Nation lands: The Monument Valley Tribal Park, Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, Tseyi Dine Heritage Area, and Little Colorado River Gorge are among the Navajo Tribal Parks where drones and other aircraft are not permitted.
- Airspace that is restricted: The FAA forbids drone flight over some airspace that is set aside for military, security, or other specialized uses. Aeronautical charts identify these regions as restricted or special use airspace.
- temporary limits on flight: To designate a specific area of airspace where air traffic is restricted for a length of time and for a particular purpose, the FAA may issue temporary flight restrictions (TFRs). TFRs might be granted for important sporting events, presidential moves, or sensitive security zones, for instance. TFRs may have an impact on drone operations, thus you may need to get permission or abstain from flying there.
- Local restrictions: Some local governments, such as cities and towns, may have their own rules or ordinances that restrict drone takeoffs and landings in certain areas, such as parks, schools, or public buildings. For instance, the city of Scottsdale has identified a number of areas where drones cannot be launched or landed2. Before using your drone in a new region, you should make sure the local authorities are on board.
Resources and Tips for Finding More Information and Staying Updated on Drone Laws in Arizona
Arizona’s drone regulations are undergoing ongoing change as new technologies and difficulties arise. As a result, it’s critical to keep up with the most recent advancements and laws that have an impact on your drone operation. Here are some helpful links and advice for you:
- Website of the FAA The official source of information on federal drone legislation and regulations is the FAA website. On the FAA website , you can discover a variety of materials, including guidelines, FAQs, videos, webinars, and news updates.
- The smartphone app B4UFLY: You can schedule your drone flights using the free B4UFLY mobile app, which also allows you to look up local airspace regulations and requirements. The app is available on Google Play or the App Store.
- The website of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) The ADOT website has links to further resources and organizations that deal with drones in Arizona, as well as details on state drone legislation and regulations.
- the webpage for Drone Zone You can register your drone with the FAA, get waivers or authorizations, report mishaps or incidents, and use other online drone services on the Drone Zone website.
- The website Know Before You Fly: The Know Before You Fly website is a knowledge-sharing initiative that offers advice and industry-recognized best practices for drone operation.
Drones are incredible machines that can provide numerous advantages and chances for a variety of uses. They do, however, also present some dangers and difficulties that must be managed by abiding by the relevant rules and legislation. You can make sure that you operate your drone in Arizona safely, legally, and respectfully by being aware of and adhering to the state’s drone regulations.
We sincerely hope that this post has enlightened you on Arizona’s drone regulations and how they may impact your drone operation.
Do you need a permit to fly a drone in Arizona?
State parks in Arizona do not permit the usage of drones on their premises. In addition, pilots who are in need of commercial use of drones in Arizona must adhere to a film permit application. The FAA’s Part 107 rules apply to all drone pilots in Arizona.
Are there drone specific laws in the state of Arizona?
Yes, there are drone-specific laws in the state of Arizona. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Arizona State Legislature, Arizona has one state-wide law concerning the use of drones in the state. SB 1449 includes regulations such as UAS cannot interfere with police, firefighters, or manned aircraft. Flying a drone in “dangerous proximity” to a person or property is defined as Disorderly Conduct. UAS cannot fly within 500 feet horizontally or 250 feet vertically of any critical facility. These include but are not limited to oil and gas facilities, water treatment facilities, power plants, courthouses, military installations, and hospitals.
Can you fly a drone over private property in AZ?
Arizona does not currently have any specific laws about drones flying over private property. However, there are FAA guidelines that must be followed. It’s generally permissible to use drones for mapping, artistic purposes, or if flying drones is your hobby. There are laws in Arizona aimed at protecting people’s privacy.
How high can you fly a drone in AZ?
In Arizona, as in the rest of the United States, the FAA regulates the maximum altitude at which drones can be flown. According to FAA regulations, drones must fly below 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if flying within 400 feet of a structure, no higher than 400 feet above the structure’s immediate uppermost limit.