Flying Your Drone in New York

Safety rule 101 for flying a drone covers topics like do not fly drones in crowded areas or close to buildings. Unfortunately, New York is a location known for its tall buildings and large crowds so for a hobbyist drone owner residing there, this can prove tricky.

To avoid sticky situations like picking up your destroyed drone after crashing into a building, or having to find a drone repair company, or having to apologize to an individual for your drone hovering over their heads, there are some things you need to acquaint yourself with regarding flying drones in New York:

The Federal Aviation Act (FAA) of 2012 also has a major say in the regulation of New York City drone flying.

Most of the things covered in the act will be explained:

a. Do not control a drone within 5 miles of al airports and airspaces

b. No drone cameras are allowed within national airspaces
Other than what has stated above, the FAA leaves the setting down of rules and regulations for state and local lawmaking bodies to do. Therefore, recreational and hobby drones laws for New York will be drafted by the legislators. Going by the fact that the creation of drone laws and regulations is a task for City Hall and the State Capital, a part of the responsibility will be dedicated to certain agencies of the government such as New York City Parks Department and the Department of Transportation.

At the moment, there have been no laid down rules by the State but the following apply:

  • There are 5 parks designated by the New York City Parks Department (NYCPD) for the use of drone fliers. The parks can be used to fly model aircraft such as helicopters, airplanes, radio-controlled recreational vehicles and your favorite drone. The Parks can be found in a location such as Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens. As of now, the Parks Department still gives the same treatment of model aircraft to drones so the rule that applies for one also applies to the other.
  • Due to the fact that the parks are at different locations, you might have to acquaint yourself with the specific rules of the respective fields as they can differ on certain aspects.
  • Flying our drone close to the airports such as JFK and LaGuardia is not permitted. If you find that you happen to be within distance of them, then get the all clear from the control tower so you can be sure no flights or take-offs are ongoing.
  • New York has a lot of buildings that are high rises so keep your drone in sight.
  • Priority for the flight of remote controlled aircraft in the designed parks and fields would be given to the Academy of Model Aeronautics. This is due to the fact that they specifically obtained permits from the New York City Parks for the events. To enjoy this privilege alongside the insurance coverage provided joining the Academy of Model Aeronautics is a good place to start.