Drone Laws in Texas Explained (2023 Regulations)


If you’re planning to use a drone for aerial photography in Texas, you must know the federal drone laws as well as state drone laws and local regulations before taking off. 

Whether you’re a recreational flyer or commercial operator, there are certain requirements for you to fly a drone in Texas. 

But what are the key state drone laws in the Lone Star State?

Even recreational drone pilots must register their drones with the FAA. Commercial drone flying requires a Remote Pilot Certificate. 

Additionally, some areas in Texas are restricted from drones due to safety concerns. These include airports and Harris County Parks. Moreover, local governments have control over UAS regulations during special events. It’s also crucial to note wildlife protection policies and privacy rights under Texan legislation when using drones. 

By being well-informed about these rules beforehand, you can enjoy your next adventure in unmanned aerial vehicles without any legal complications.

Federal and State Drone Regulations in Texas

Federal Drone Laws in Texas

Hey there, drone operators, recreational flyers, and drone enthusiasts. Let’s dive into the drone laws in Texas, both at the state and federal levels.

Aeronautical Knowledge and Safety Tests for Recreational Pilots

If you want to fly your drone recreationally in Texas, you must pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test. This ensures that you’re well-versed in FAA guidelines and safe operation practices.

Registering Your Drone with the FAA

Additionally, you need to register your unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with the FAA. This applies to drones weighing between 0.55 lbs (250 grams) and 55 lbs (25 kg), even for drone operators flying for recreational purposes. If you’re caught flying a drone without meeting FAA regulations, you may face fines or other legal consequences. 

Requirements for Commercial Drone Operations in Texas

State Drone Laws in Texas

Are you planning to fly your drone for business purposes in Texas? If so, you must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure that you have sufficient knowledge about safe operation practices.

How to Obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA

To get started, you need to pass an approved written exam that covers topics such as airspace classifications, flight restrictions, and emergency procedures. Once you have passed the test, you can apply for your certificate through the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA).

Preparing for the Approved Written Exam

Don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed. There are plenty of resources available to help you prepare for this important step. The FAA offers a free online training course called “Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems”. 

With dedication and practice, you’ll be ready to ace the exam and start your commercial drone operations in Texas.

Restricted Areas and Local Government Guidelines

Local Drone Laws in Texas

Attention, drone enthusiasts!

Before you fly your drone in Texas, you must where drones are restricted. Let’s talk about some key areas that are off-limits for drones:

  • Airports: Keep a safe distance from airports; flying too close could lead to serious consequences. Check out the B4UFLY app by FAA for guidance on airspace restrictions.
  • Critical Infrastructure Facilities: Avoid buzzing around power plants, hospitals, military installations, water treatment plants, oil and gas facilities, or courthouses without proper permission. You don’t want any trouble with law enforcement.

Complying with Local Government Guidelines During Special Events

Flying during special events, like festivals, might be tempting, but beware of additional restrictions from the local governments. To ensure smooth flying, always check local regulations before taking off at these events.

Stay informed about restricted areas and respect local guidelines while enjoying your aerial adventures in Texas.

Wildlife Protection Laws for Drones in Texas

In Texas, you can’t just fly your drone around capturing stunning shots of animals without proper authorization. So, what do you need to legally use your drone for wildlife photography or hunting?

Acquiring Aerial Management Permits (AMPs)

If you want to use your drone for wildlife photography or hunting, you need an Aerial Management Permit (AMP) issued by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. This permit ensures that you’re using your drone responsibly and not causing unnecessary disturbance to our furry friends.

Gaining Landowner Consent for Wildlife Photography

If an AMP isn’t applicable, then get written confirmation from the landowner. Get permission from the person who owns the property where those majestic creatures roam free before snapping away with your high-tech flying camera.

Now that we’ve covered these essential points on wildlife protection laws concerning drones in Texas, go capture nature’s beauty!

Privacy Rights and Drone Usage in Texas

When it comes to drone usage in the Lone Star State, capturing images without consent can land you in hot water. Texas legislation takes individual and property owners privacy rights very seriously. You can find more information on Texas state drone laws.

No one wants a lawsuit on their hands, right? So before you start snapping away with your drone camera, make sure you have permission from those being photographed or filmed.

Exceptions to Privacy Laws for Specific Use Cases

Now don’t fret. There are some exceptions to these strict rules. If your drone usage is for scholarly research, insurance company operations, border security, or fire suppression purposes – congratulations. You’re off the hook (with proper documentation).

Conclusion: Drone Laws in Texas

As a drone operator or enthusiast in Texas, you should know both federal and state drone laws. The last thing you want to do is realize you’re accidentally breaking drone laws! From obtaining a Remote Pilot Certificate for commercial operations to understanding restricted areas and wildlife protection requirements, there are several state drone laws and regulations to follow in Texas. 

Additionally, local government control can also impact UAS usage, particularly during special events. 

If you’re looking for more information on drones and how they can benefit your business or organization, check out DroneSourced. Our team of experts can help you navigate the complex world of drones and find the right solutions for your needs.

FAQs in Relation to Drone Laws in Texas

Can I Fly a Drone in My Neighborhood in Texas?

Yes, you can fly a drone in your neighborhood in Texas as long as you follow federal and state regulations. Ensure that your drone is registered with the FAA, maintain a visual line of sight, avoid flying over people or private property without permission, and stay below 400 feet altitude. Be aware of local ordinances that may apply to specific areas.

Is It Legal to Fly a Drone over Private Property in Texas?

Flying a drone over private property is not explicitly prohibited by Texan law. However, doing so may violate privacy rights under Texas Government Code Section 423. Obtain permission from the property owner before flying over their land to avoid any legal issues.

Can You Shoot a Drone over Your Property in Texas?

No, shooting down a drone is illegal and considered destruction of someone else’s property. If you believe that someone is using their UAS unlawfully on or near your premises, contact local law enforcement for assistance.

Can I Fly a Drone in a Public Park in Texas?

You may be able to fly drones at certain public parks if they have designated areas for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) usage. For example, Harris County Parks has established specific zones where recreational pilots can operate drones safely.

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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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