Drone Laws in Kentucky Explained (2023 Regulations)


Get insights into regulations, restrictions, and permits required for operating drones in the Bluegrass State. Stay informed and fly responsibly with our comprehensive guide.

Can You Fly a Drone in Kentucky?

Yes, you can fly a drone in Kentucky for both recreational and commercial use. However, you must adhere to FAA regulations, state, and local drone laws. 

Federal Drone Laws in Kentucky 

Federal Drone Laws in Kentucky

Drone pilots in Kentucky must follow all FAA regulations, including Part 107 drone registration requirements and rules for agency pilots. 

Commercial Drone Use 

To fly a drone for commercial use in Kentucky, you must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA and pass the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test

Recreational Drone Flying

Drone operators flying as hobbyists in Kentucky must adhere to the following: 

Government Employee Drone Operation

All government employees in Kentucky, including the fire department or police, must follow the FAA’s Part 107 rule or obtain a federal Certificate of Authorization (COA)

Note: This content is accurate up to the date it was last updated, and drone regulations in Kentucky can change over time. This is not meant to take the place of legal counsel.

State Drone Laws in Kentucky 

State Drone Laws in Kentucky

Kentucky has state-wide drone laws as well. According to the Kentucky General Assembly and Kentucky Department of Transportation, state-wide drone laws include:

  • HB 540 // 2017 dictates that commercial airports can create UAS facility maps. Drone operators cannot land, operate, or launch a drone in the no-fly areas of the map. According to this law, reckless drone operation is illegal as well. 
  • Senate Bill 157 defines trespassing with drones. You cannot fly drones above important infrastructure to injure, damage, or surveillance the property without the occupier’s consent. Government officials with a court order are exempt. 

Local Drone Laws in Kentucky 

Local Drone Laws in Kentucky

Local drone laws apply to specific counties or cities within a state. Currently, Kentucky does not have any posted local drone laws. However, drone laws are dynamic, so you should always check with the local government before operating a drone. 

Penalties for Violating Drone Laws in Kentucky 

Violating drone laws in Kentucky can lead to serious penalties. Breaking the state-wide law, HB 540 // 2017, is a Class A misdemeanor ($500 in fines and 12 months of jail time). If the violation seriously disrupts aircraft travel, it’s considered a Class D felony (one to five years of jail time).  

Breaking Senate Bill 157 is a Class B misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class A misdemeanor for subsequent violations. 

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