Drone Laws in New York Explained (2023 Regulations)


Drone laws in New York are a complex and evolving topic that every drone operator, enthusiast, or recreational flyer should be aware of.

We offer an extensive overview of the federal and state regulations for drone operations in New York, including registration requirements, local ordinances for flying locations, and more. 

Can You Fly a Drone in New York?

Yes, you can fly a drone in New York as long as you follow all federal, state, and local rules.

Federal Drone Laws in New York 

Federal Drone Laws in New York

Before taking flight in New York, you must register your drone with the FAA to avoid any legal complications.

Recreational Drone Operation

  • Drone size: Drones weighing between 0.55 lbs and 55 lbs must be registered.
  • Registration fee: The registration fee is $5 per drone.
  • Age for registration: You must be at least 13 years old to register a drone.
  • Compete The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST): Pass the aeronautical knowledge and safety test, known as TRUST

Commercial Drone Operations

Want to fly a drone for fun? You don’t need a license to fly a drone recreationally in New York, but follow the rules and respect other airspace users.

  • Commercial drone operations require a Remote Pilot Certificate under Part 107 FAA regulations.
  • Part 107 FAA regulations cover altitude limits, operational restrictions, and equipment requirements to ensure safe and responsible drone operations.

State Drone Laws in New York

State Drone Laws in New York

There’s currently one state law for drone operation in New York. The OPR-PCD-018—New York Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation // 2015 requires prior written approval for UAS operation in state parks and historic sites. OPRHP determines if a UAS has approval or not. 

Local Drone Laws and Restrictions in New York

Local Drone Laws in New York

Don’t get caught breaking the law – know the drone regulations in New York, including the local drone laws throughout the state:

City of Syracuse—Municipal Law // 2016City officials in Syracuse cannot use drones until sufficient state and federal laws protect citizens’ 1st and 4th amendment rights. 
National Park Service RegulationsOperating drones in national parks requires prior authorization
New York City Administrative Code § 10-126Violation of NY drone laws may result in fines or punishment 
New York DEC Drone PolicyDrone operations are prohibited in state wildlife management areas or land owned by the Department of Environmental Conservation to protect wildlife from disturbance.
New York City—Administrative Code § 10-126(c) // 2017You cannot launch or land a drone anywhere in NYC outside of designated areas. 
New York City—City Restriction // 2017It is illegal to fly a drone in New York City. 

Drone Operations in New York State Parks and Historical Sites

Drone enthusiasts must follow New York State’s unique regulations when flying drones in state parks and historical sites.

Obtaining Permission to Fly Drones in State Parks

You cannot fly a drone in a New York state park without written approval. To fly your drone in a New York state park, you must pass a test on local drone laws and safety practices and submit an application form for written approval.

Safety Guidelines for Drone Operations at Historical Sites

  • Always keep your drone in sight.
  • Avoid flying over crowds or near sensitive structures.
  • Respect others’ privacy by not capturing images without consent.
  • Follow any additional rules set forth by the specific site’s management team.

For further information on the laws and regulations related to drones in New York State, please refer to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Penalties for Violating Drone Laws in New York

New York Drone Law Penalties

Breaking drone laws in New York can lead to serious consequences. According to the New York City Administrative Code § 10-126, violating drone laws in New York City can result in fines and penalties. 

FAQs in Relation to Drone Laws in New York

What are the laws for drones in New York?

In New York, drone operators must follow federal FAA regulations, including drone registration, as well as local ordinances. You cannot fly a drone in a state park or historical site without written approval. 

Is it legal for someone to fly a drone over your house in New York?

Yes, someone may fly a drone over your house in New York. Flying a drone over private property is not explicitly prohibited by FAA regulations. However, drone operators should respect privacy rights and avoid causing disturbances. 

Why are drones banned in New York?

Drones are not entirely banned in New York but face restrictions depending on location and purpose of use. For example, flying within five miles of an airport requires authorization from air traffic control. Moreover, New York State Parks, historic sites, wildlife management areas often prohibit or limit drone usage.

Where can you use a drone in New York?

You can operate drones legally outside restricted zones in New York. Some popular spots for drone operation include designated model aircraft fields at certain parks. Always check local ordinances and obtain necessary permissions before flying.

Can I fly a drone in New York City?

No, you cannot fly a drone in New York City, except in an emergency or in designated areas.  

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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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