Navigating the skies with drones has become a popular pastime and professional pursuit.
However, the complexity of drone laws in Delaware requires both commercial and hobbyist flyers to be well-informed.
This article will explore the various drone laws applicable in Delaware.
Can You Fly a Drone in Delaware?
Yes, you can fly a drone in Delaware. However, you must comply with the relevant laws and regulations to ensure responsible drone usage and avoid legal consequences.
- Can You Fly a Drone in Delaware?
- Federal Drone Laws in Delaware
- State Drone Laws in Delaware
- Local Drone Laws in Delaware
- Penalties for Violating Drone Laws in Delaware
- FAQs About Drone Laws in Delaware
Federal Drone Laws in Delaware
Drone pilots in Delaware must adhere to the federal regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). These regulations include:
Commercial Drone Use:
Commercial drone use is any drone operation done for business or profit. To use a drone for commercial purposes in Delaware, operators must:
Recreational Drone Flying:
Recreational drone flying is done as a personal hobby, just for fun. Recreational drone operators in Delaware need to:
- Pass The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST)
- Follow CBO safety guidelines for drone operation, including flying under 400 feet
- Avoid flying in restricted areas, including near airports or prisons
Government Employee Drone Operation:
Government employees in Delaware, including those in the fire department or police, must adhere to the FAA’s Part 107 rule or obtain a federal Certificate of Authorization (COA) when operating drones for official purposes.
Note: The content in this article is accurate as of the last update, but drone regulations in Delaware can change over time. It is not intended to replace legal counsel.
State Drone Laws in Delaware
Delaware has specific drone laws that drone pilots must follow. These laws may cover various aspects, including flight restrictions, privacy concerns, licensing requirements, and more. The Delaware General Assembly and Delaware Department of Transportation outline one key state-wide drone law:
HB 195 // 2016 bans drones flying over any events with 5,000 or more people. These events include:
- Sporting events
- Auto races
This law also bans flying drones over critical infrastructure, like:
- Military facilities
- Government buildings
- Water treatment facilities
- Power plants
- Oil & gas refiners
Flying Drones in Delaware State Parks
Though not part of the above law, the Delaware state website also outlines that drones are not allowed in most Delaware state parks. The Director of the Division of Parks & Recreation may permit them in special circumstances.
Local Drone Laws in Delaware
Local jurisdictions within Delaware may have additional drone laws or ordinances that drone pilots must abide by. These laws may vary based on the county or city, so drone operators must research and understand the specific regulations in the area where you intend to fly your drone.
We uncovered one local drone law in Delaware:
- Town of Bethany Beach – Municipal Law bans drone operation on the boardwalk, beach, or town-owned public area.
Penalties for Violating Drone Laws in Delaware
Breaking Delaware drone laws can lead to serious consequences. Penalties depend on which law was broken and the number of offenses. For example, the first unlawful use of a UAS is an unclassified misdemeanor. But any subsequent offenses are class B misdemeanors. If another person was injured or property damaged, then the violation is a class A misdemeanor.
FAQs About Drone Laws in Delaware
Can I fly a drone over private property in Delaware?
Yes, you can fly a drone over private property in Delaware with the permission of the property owner. You must respect privacy rights, as violating those with your drone is a criminal offense.
Can I fly a drone in a Delaware state park?
No, you cannot operate a drone in a Delaware state park unless you have special permission.
Are drones allowed at the Delaware Water Gap?
No, you cannot fly a drone at the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River and Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area unless you have prior approval from the superintendent.