Responsible and compliant drone flying hinges on understanding the intricate interplay of federal, state, and local laws in Louisiana.
Whether you’re a hobbyist capturing breathtaking moments or a seasoned pilot utilizing drones for diverse applications, familiarity with Louisiana’s specific regulations is paramount. Read and empower yourself for responsible drone operation in the Pelican State.
Can You Fly a Drone in Louisiana?
Yes, you can fly a drone in Louisiana for commercial and recreational purposes. However, you must adhere to all FAA regulations as well as state and local laws.
- Can You Fly a Drone in Louisiana?
- Federal Drone Laws in Louisiana
- State Drone Laws in Louisiana
- Local Drone Laws in Louisiana
- Penalties for Violating Drone Laws in Louisiana
- FAQs About Drone Laws in Louisiana
Federal Drone Laws in Louisiana
Drone pilots in Louisiana must follow federal regulations set by the FAA, including Part 107 rules for agency pilots and recreational drone registration requirements.
Commercial Drone Use
Engaging in commercial drone operations involves using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) with the intention of generating a profit. In Louisiana, to fly a drone for commercial purposes, you must adhere to the following requirements:
Recreational Drone Flying
Recreational drone pilots operate a UAS for fun, or as a hobby. To fly a drone as a hobbyist in Louisiana, you must:
- Pass The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST)
- Follow CBO safety guidelines for drone operation, including flying under 400 feet
- Do not fly in restricted areas, including near airports or prisons
Government Employee Drone Operation
Note: This content is accurate up to the date it was last updated, and drone regulations in Louisiana can change over time. This is not meant to take the place of legal counsel.
State Drone Laws in Louisiana
Within the beautiful state of Louisiana, there are state drone laws. State-wide drone laws enacted by the Louisiana State Legislature and administered by the Louisiana Department of Transportation, govern the usage of drones. The state boasts eight state-wide laws that address the responsible and lawful operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) within its borders.
- SB 69 // 2017 states that only Louisiana state can regulate drone use. This law preempts local UAS regulation.
- SB 73 // 2016 makes it illegal to use a drone to intentionally cross police cordon
- Law enforcement or the fire department can disable UAS that endanger officer or public safety
- HB 19 // 2016 prohibits drone use for surveillance of a school/premises and correctional facility
- HB 335 // 2016 allows the state to charge registration and licensing fees for drones, up to $100
- HB 635 // 2016 includes drone use to crime of voyeurism
- SB 141 // 2016 defines surveillance with a UAS as a criminal trespassing crime
- SB 183 // 2015 defines how drones can be used for agricultural commercial operations
- HB 1029 // 2014 defines the unlawful use of a UAS
- Intentionally using a drone to conduct surveillance without consent
Local Drone Laws in Louisiana
While Louisiana state law preempts local drone laws, some counties, cities, and regions in the state have local drone laws. A couple notable local drone laws in Louisiana include:
- Audubon Nature Institute Parks — Park Rules bans drone use on any Audubon Nature Institute park lands.
- City Park New Orleans — Park Rules prohibit drone use in New Orleans city park, and breaking the rule can lead to parking pass removal.
Penalties for Violating Drone Laws in Louisiana
Violating drone laws in Louisiana may result in serious criminal and civil penalties. Common penalties include fines, drone confiscation, and even jail time.
For example, using a drone to surveillance a school or correctional facility can result in a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up to six months in jail.
Unlawfully using a drone for surveillance of a targeted facility without permission may lead to a fine up to $500 and up to six months in jail. Second offenses result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year of jail time.
FAQs About Drone Laws in Louisiana
Can I fly my drone over a school in Louisiana?
No, you cannot fly a drone over a school in Louisiana. Doing so is against state drone laws, and may result in a fine and/or jail time.
Can I fly a drone over private property in Louisiana?
No you cannot fly a drone over private property in Louisiana, as this may result in trespassing violations. Always get written permission before flying a drone over private property.
Where can I fly my drone in Louisiana?
There are plenty of great places to fly your drone in Louisiana. A few places to fly a drone around New Orleans, LA include:
Bonnabel Boat Launch
Laketown Fishing Pier
Can I fly a drone in a Louisiana State Park?
Yes, you can fly a drone in Louisiana State Parks as a hobbyist according to their website. However, you must not harass other park visitors or animals and should stay away from historic sites/activities. To fly a drone commercially, you must get approval ahead of time.