Know Before You Fly - Drone Safety and Privacy

Before you take your shiny new drone or small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) out for your first flight, there are crucial safety and privacy considerations to consider. The most important safety guidelines are in the infographic below but ultimately you are responsible for checking with the FAA, nearby airports and control towers, and local authorities to determine where you can and cannot fly your drone. To help you understand where it is safe to fly your drone, use one of the recommended apps.

Infographic of drone safety guidelines.

Recreational or commercial use?

Using a drone in connection with a business is considered to be commercial use by the FAA. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Real estate, wedding or other photography

  • Inspection or survey services

  • Film or television Production

Know Your Surroundings

Some municipalities prohibit the operation of remote controlled aircraft within public spaces such as parks and school grounds. There are rules of the air you need to know. Always check with local authorities before you fly your drone.

  • If you own a drone, register it

  • Fly below 400 feet (for reference, an American football field is 360 feet long including the end zones)

  • Avoid flying over groups of people and stadiums

  • Never fly near other aircraft or airports

  • Keep well away from emergency response efforts such as fires

  • Fly within visual line of sight, meaning you as the drone operator use your own eyes and needed contacts or glasses (without binoculars), to ensure you can see your drone at all times

  • Be aware of FAA airspace requirements

  • Do not fly under the influence