Drone Laws in Colorado Explained (2023 Regulations)


Whether you are a seasoned pilot or just starting out with your first UAV, staying informed about drone laws in Colorado is essential for responsible operation.

Learn everything you need to know about the regulations governing drone operations in Colorado. By understanding these rules, enthusiasts can ensure they fly their drones safely and legally.

Federal Drone Regulations in Colorado

Federal Drone Laws in Colorado

In Colorado, both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and state legislature set regulations for recreational and commercial drone use, so it’s important to be aware of these guidelines.

  • Pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test for recreational flyers: Before taking off, make sure you’ve passed this essential test to fly drones for recreational purposes.
  • Follow FAA guidelines for safe drone flying: Adhere to FAA guidelines to fly drones safely and avoid violating federal drone laws.
  • Check local drone laws and regulations: Make sure to check local laws and regulations before flying drones in Colorado state parks, Denver park facilities, Boulder open space, or Colorado Springs parks.
  • Get written consent before flying over private property: Don’t fly drones over a person’s private property without written consent, or you could be violating local drone laws.
  • Avoid flying in controlled airspace: Stay away from areas where manned aircraft operate, such as airports or wildlife management areas, to avoid violating federal drone laws.

By following these guidelines and regulations, drone pilots can fly safely and legally in Colorado.

Register Your Drone with the FAA

Before taking off your drone in Colorado, verify if it needs to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to prevent any unlawful utilization of drones.

  • Commercial pilots must register their unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) regardless of exemption status.
  • Recreational flyers may be exempt from registration, but it’s still important to review the requirements.
  • Register your UAV according to federal guidelines to ensure compliance.
  • Follow FAA guidelines and state drone laws to fly safely and avoid penalties.

State Legislature on Drone Operation in Colorado

State Drone Laws in Colorado

In addition to federal regulations, you must also know Colorado’s state rules for drone operation. Notable state regulations include:

  • HB 1070​ – ​Study Drone Use By Public Safety Agencies: A call for the Department of Public Safety to perform a study on integrating UAS within state and local government functions. 
  • 406-0 #004 ​– Aids in Taking Wildlife: You cannot use a drone to scout wildlife for hunting or capture. 
  • Colorado State Parks Regulation #100-c.24: Drone operation is prohibited in all of Colorado’s State Parks. Some select parks may have designated drone areas, including Cherry Creek State Park and Chatfield State Park. 

For more information, check out the Federal Aviation Administration and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife websites.

City-Specific Rules Governing Drone Use

Local Drone Laws in Colorado

In Colorado, several cities have enacted unique rules governing drone usage within their jurisdictions.

City of Boulder | Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP)Drone operations are banned in Open Space and Mountain Parks or city-managed property in Boulder. 
Village of Cherry Hills | Ordinance No. 13Registration is required for drone operators in the Village of Cherry Hills. You cannot fly UAVs over city property (public parks, trails, streets)
City of Denver | Municipal LawAll flying objects, including drones, are prohibited in Denver Park. There are select designated areas. 
Town of Telluride | Municipal LawYou cannot fly a drone over private property or the town without prior written consent. 

Drone Use in Colorado State Parks and Wildlife Assistance

Colorado drone laws prohibit flying UAVs over state parks without prior approval from the relevant authorities.

  • Seeking approval: Contact local park management or the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department before operating your drone in state parks.
  • Hunting restrictions: Using drones for wildlife assistance during hunting activities requires special permissions based on specific circumstances.

For further details on laws and designated airspaces for unmanned aerial vehicles, check out the FAA’s website.

Colorado Drone Laws: Conclusion

Drone enthusiasts in Colorado must follow federal and state regulations, pass required tests, and register their drones with the FAA. 

Certain areas, including state parks, have restrictions on drone use. Understanding the laws can prevent legal consequences and ensure the safety and privacy of others.

Stay informed about Colorado’s drone laws to enjoy flying without fines or legal issues.

FAQs in Relation to Drone Laws in Colorado

Is it legal to fly a drone over private property in Colorado?

No, it is not legal to fly a drone over private property in Colorado without permission. This is considered trespassing. Be sure to have written consent from the property owner before taking off. 

What are the rules about flying a drone in Colorado?

When flying a drone in Colorado, you must adhere to federal, state, and local laws. Stay below 400 feet altitude, maintain line of sight with the operator, and avoid restricted airspace to follow FAA guidelines when flying drones in Colorado.

Do I have to register my drone in Colorado?

Yes, you must register your drone to fly it in Colorado if your drone weighs between 0.55 lbs (250 grams) and 55 lbs (25 kg). Register it with the FAA, regardless of your location within the United States.

For more information on drone registration, visit the FAA DroneZone website.

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I’m a huge fan of drones, cars, and anything that moves fast! Having bought, tested, and raced drones over the years, tinkering and experimenting with different parts and types, my fascination with drone technology led me to start this blog. So if you enjoy drone content covering the latest drone reviews, recommendations for the best drones for certain uses, and informative content on programming drones and other fun areas, stick around!

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