How Do You Know Where You Can Fly a Drone?
The notion of being able to fly your drone anywhere you want may seem like a lot of fun, but you must realise that you cannot just launch your drone and let it fly wherever and whenever you want it.
When it comes to flying a drone, there are rules and regulations that limit where you can and cannot go.
As for where you can’t fly, there are many locations where you CAN fly your drone, and vice versa.
So, how do you figure out where you’re allowed to fly a drone in the first place?
Can I Fly Drone In a Public park?
You must not fly over or above people or in a populous area. This could include beaches, parks, events, or sports ovals where there is a game in progress. Respect personal privacy( Source)
The FAA’s B4UFLY smartphone app may also tell you whether a particular area is off limits for flying.
A DJI drone, on the other hand, won’t allow you to fly when in a prohibited location.
It’s difficult to determine which areas are off-limits, particularly if you live near a no-fly zone.
Thanks to various techniques, it’s now possible to swiftly determine whether or not you’re allowed to fly your drone in a certain area without violating the law.
B4UFLY smartphone app
Users who just fly their drone for pleasure now have access to an enhanced app called B4UFLY, which helps show them where they can and cannot fly using interactive maps. These users only fly their drones for fun.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has formed a partnership with Aloft (formerly known as Kittyhawk) in order to redevelop the FAA’s first mobile application.
The goal of this partnership is to improve the user experience by allowing recreational drone pilots to determine whether or not it is safe to fly their drone. Recreational pilots and users of other types of drones can benefit from the app’s situational awareness features.
Users will not be able to receive airspace authorizations to fly in controlled airspace with this capability, since such authorizations can only be obtained through the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC).
The B4UFLY app may be downloaded totally free of charge from the App Store on iOS devices and from the Google Play store for Android devices( Source)
Where ARE YOU PROHIBITED FROM Flying YOUR DRONE in the USA?
One of the FAA’s restrictions on drone flying is that drone pilots are prohibited from flying in specific locations or regions that pose a danger to their safety or the safety of others. So, where precisely are you not permitted to fly your drone?
The FAA has designated the following locations as no-fly zones, which means you will be unable to fly your drone:
- Stadiums and Sporting Events
- Near Airports
- Security Sensitive Airspace Restrictions
- Restricted or Special Use Airspace
- The US capital City of Washington, DC
The reasons you are not permitted to fly your drones in certain areas have to do with the safety and security of those concerned.
Can I Fly a Drone in My neighbourhood?
For instance, you cannot fly your drone within five miles of an airport because aircraft must go a specific distance before reaching an altitude beyond which drones cannot fly.
You are not permitted to fly your drone within a 5-mile radius of an airport due to the possibility of it being entangled in the engines of an aircraft.
Another example is a sports stadium. While safety and security are not the primary concern here, the problem is more about the exclusive filming rights associated with such events, since some business partners have spent a lot of money to broadcast these sports events.
Thus, even if it is not a question of safety and security, flying your drone near stadiums and sports events may become an economic issue.
Other situations in which you are unable to fly your drone are linked to who or what may be around. You are unable to fly:
- A crowded area
- Vehicles that are Moving
- In inclement weather
Additionally, to the examples above, the following are other situations in which flying your drone is temporarily prohibited in a particular location:
- Rescue Operations
The reason you should avoid flying your drone near or during such events or occurrences is to ensure that emergency responders can perform their duties effectively.
Additionally, there are reaction teams who may be required to utilise their own drones, which should be allowed to fly freely without interference from your drone.
How do you determine where your drone IS PERMITTED to fly?
Looking at the list of circumstances and locations where flying is prohibited may lead you to believe that nearly everywhere is really fair game for flying your drone.
And you would not be far wrong, since there are many locations where flying your drone is both legal and safe.
However, there are a few points to consider. One is that local cities and towns retain the authority to impose their own limits on where drones may be flown, and the FAA compels drone pilots to comply with these local laws as well.
Therefore, if you live in New York City, you won’t find many locations where you can fly a drone.
Additionally, bear in mind that you may be unaware of airports or high-security facilities.
For example, the United States of America has approximately 5,000 public airports and over 14,700 private airports (source).
This implies that you will be unable to fly your drone inside a 5-mile radius of any of the country’s approximately 20,000 airports.
So, what is the most foolproof method to determine if the region in which you want to fly your drone is permitted?
Fortunately, the FAA has made it very simple to comply with the regulation.
They are not attempting to trip you up; rather, they are attempting to keep everyone safe.
Incident: A child in Auckland was recently permanently blinded in one eye after being struck by a drone, which happened not long ago.
Where am I legally allowed to fly my drone in Australia ?
You may fly your drone throughout Australia without notifying anybody as long as you stay inside open airspace and follow CASA’s regulations.
You may fly nearly everywhere as a leisure flyer, except within 5.5 kilometres of an airport.
To fly within 5.5 kilometres of an airport, a commercial drone pilot licence is required.
In certain places, such as neighbourhood parks or public spaces, you are obliged to notify the council of your flight to avoid confusion with police authoritie
There are, broadly speaking, three kinds of airspace in most countries – uncontrolled, controlled and restricted.
Are there any restrictions on where I may fly in Australia?
Yes. There are a few restricted locations, including private property, operational event sites, jails, government facilities, national parks, and marine parks.
For regular flight zones and airport zones, you may download an app that will determine if you are permitted to fly at a certain area.
We suggest OpenSky, which was developed by Wing Aviation and CASA, for this purpose. Enter any place and it will inform you of any limitations.
What rules/laws must I observe while flying my drone in Australia?
There are basic regulations you must follow no matter where you fly in Australia to guarantee a safe flight for you, the drone, and the public.
- Fly at a height of no more than 120 metres above the earth.
- Keep at least 30 metres away from people while flying.
- Only operate one drone at a time.
- Fly in a straight line of sight.
- Do not fly above people.
- Do not fly within 5.5 kilometres of restricted airspace.
Is it necessary for me to register my drone with CASA?
You do not need to register your drone with CASA at this time if you are flying recreationally and have no intention of earning money from the drone flights.
This will change in the coming years, with all drones weighing more than 250 grammes need to be registered in order to fly.
Do I need a License to Fly a Drone?
How can I get authorisation to fly my drone close to airports?
There is presently no method to seek authorisation to fly within 5.5 kilometres of an airport while flying recreationally.
You must first get your complete drone pilot’s licence. However, if your drone weighs less than 100 grammes, you may fly inside the restricted region.
Controlled airspace is defined as airspace in which aircraft fly under the supervision of air traffic controllers, often via specified air corridors and at specific altitudes. Standard operating procedures apply to all aircraft in this area, however it is completely safe to fly your drone inside it as long as you follow the regulations.
How Do You Know Where Can You Fly a Drone in the US?
1. Download FAA’s BUFFY App- Where Can I Fly map
The FAA’s B4UFLY app is the best method to find out where you can fly.
This is a highly helpful and easy-to-use software that was created especially for drone pilots in the United States.
You may use the app to determine where you can and cannot fly your drone, and you should avoid any prohibited airspace.
So Where can I Fly a drone near me?
The app offers the following functions, according to the FAA website (link):
- A clear “status” indication that tells the operator whether or not it is safe to fly. (For example, it indicates that flying in the Special Flight Rules Area around Washington, D.C. is forbidden.)
- Maps that are informative and dynamic, with filtering options.
- Controlled airspace, special use airspace, vital infrastructure, airports, national parks, military training routes, and temporary flight restrictions are all covered in this section.
- The ability to determine if it is safe to fly in various places by searching for one or changing the location pin.
- Other FAA drone resources and regulatory information are available through links.
2. Use The GEO system
If you own a DJI drone, the GEO system integrated into the drone’s software is a fantastic method to determine whether or not you can fly a drone in a certain area. Other businesses may have the same or a similar system, however, this system is often associated with DJI drone.
The GEO system automatically feeds map information to your drone through its GPS capabilities, so the drone knows whether or not it can fly in a certain area.
This method requires no human input; instead, the drone will intuitively conform to any recognised airspace limitations.
For example, if you try to fly into restricted airspace, your drone will automatically decelerate until it comes to a halt and hovers in position at the restricted airspace borderline.
Another excellent example is when you are trying to launch your drone while in restricted airspace. When the drone recognises it is in restricted airspace, it will not take off.
The drone may take off if it is unable to latch onto a GPS signal, but it will automatically land when it does get a GPS signal.
In other words, this technology acts like an invisible fence, preventing your drone from entering a restricted area even though you can’t see the borderline.
Instead, the barrier is inside the drone’s own GPS, since the system will inform the drone that it is not permitted to fly into that area.