Can I Fly Drone in a No Fly Zone? A Handy Guide


Are you planning on flying a drone in a no fly zone?

Before you take off, it’s important to know whether or not it’s legal to do so. The rules and regulations regarding drone flight can vary depending on the location, so it’s important to do your research beforehand.

In this article, I’ll answer the question: can you fly a drone in a no fly zone?

In short, the answer is NO! You cannot fly drones in a no fly zone due to safety and security concerns.

The laws around drone flight can be complex. So, I’ll also let you know about FAA regulations, security concerns, permissions needed, and penalties (if any) so that you’re fully informed.

Can I Fly Drone in a No Fly Zone

FAA Regulations on Flying Drones in a No Fly Zone

Due to the following FAA regulations, you are not allowed to fly drones in a no fly zone:

  1. Restricted Airspace: The FAA prohibits drone flight over certain areas of airspace, making them no-fly zones for UAVs unless special authorization is granted.
  2. Local Restrictions: State, local, territorial, or tribal government agencies may impose their own No Drone Zones, restricting drone takeoffs and landings within specified areas. However, these restrictions typically do not apply to the airspace above the designated area.
  3. Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs): TFRs limit air travel within a specific area for a set period due to various reasons such as major sporting events, presidential movements, or security-sensitive areas. The FAA may use the term “No Drone Zone” to identify an area with a TFR, and all pilots must adhere to the restriction details, including size, altitude, date/time, and permitted or restricted operations.
  4. Part 107 – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rule: This section of the FAA regulations contains specific rules for nonrecreational drone use, which must be followed in addition to any federal, state, and local restrictions.


Security Concerns

Flying a drone in a no fly zone comes with its own set of unique security concerns, which are worth considering before launching your drone. Here are some potential security concerns to keep in mind.

Security Concerns for Flying Drones in a No Fly Zone

  1. Privacy Invasion: Drones can be equipped with cameras, which may inadvertently capture video or images of people and property in no-fly zones, violating their privacy rights.
  2. Public Safety: Flying drones in no-fly zones may interfere with emergency services, such as police operations, firefighting efforts, or medical helicopters, posing a risk to public safety.
  3. Air Traffic Interference: Drones operating in no-fly zones can obstruct air traffic, causing disruptions or potential collisions with manned aircraft, which can lead to accidents and pose a serious threat to aviation safety.
  4. Security Breaches: Drones flying in restricted areas might access sensitive information, capture images of classified locations, or be used for espionage purposes, compromising national security.
  5. Regulatory Violations: Flying drones in no-fly zones is a violation of local and federal regulations, which can result in fines and penalties for drone operators, and may also undermine the credibility of the drone industry.

Permissions and Permits

To fly a drone in a No Fly Zone, obtaining both airspace authorization and land use approval is crucial. Airspace authorization ensures that your drone is legally allowed to operate in the restricted airspace, while land use approval grants permission to take off and land from the property designated as a No Drone Zone.

Keep in mind that having one type of authorization does not automatically grant the other, and both permissions are necessary for safe and legal drone flight in restricted areas.

Penalties for Flying a Drone without Authorization

Penalties for flying drones without authorization in a No Fly Zone can be quite severe. Violating Traffic Regulation §16.2.90 can result in arrest, a $300 fine, and/or 90 days imprisonment. Additionally, individuals may face further federal civil and criminal penalties for unauthorized drone operations in restricted areas. It is crucial for drone operators to be aware of and adhere to local regulations to avoid these consequences.

Also check:


1. Can I Fly Drones in a No Fly Zone if I am not a Licensed Drone Pilot?

No, you cannot fly a drone in a No Fly Zone if you are not a licensed drone pilot. No Fly Zones are designated areas where drone operations are restricted or prohibited for safety, security, or privacy reasons. These zones often include areas near airports, critical infrastructure, or sensitive locations. Flying a drone without proper authorization in these areas can lead to fines, legal consequences, and potential risk to public safety. Always check local regulations and obtain necessary permissions before flying your drone.

2. Who can Authorize the Use of Drones in a No Fly Zone?

The authorization to use drones in a No Fly Zone typically comes from the respective aviation regulatory body or authority in the country where the No Fly Zone is established. In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for granting permission to fly drones in restricted areas, provided that the drone operator meets specific requirements and demonstrates a legitimate need for the operation. It is essential to consult with the local aviation authority to understand the process and regulations for obtaining permission to fly a drone in a No Fly Zone.

3. Can the Police Fly Drones in a No Fly Zone?

Yes, the police can fly drones in a no-fly zone under certain circumstances. Law enforcement agencies are usually granted special permissions and exemptions to operate in restricted areas when it’s necessary for public safety, criminal investigations, or emergency response. However, they must follow specific guidelines and coordinate with aviation authorities to ensure safe and legal operations.


In conclusion, before flying a drone in a no fly zone, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the appropriate resources and tools. Download the B4UFLY mobile app to easily find safe and legal flying locations.

Drone laws are subject to change, and information in this blog may become outdated; always consult official sources for the latest regulations.

And if you have a related query, kindly feel free to let me know in the comments.

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Peter Karanja is a licensed drone pilot from Kenya, freelance writer and drone enthusiast. He has been using drones for land survey, GIS, and photography for the past three years. Being a drone user, he loves writing about drone applications, safety tips for using drones, and the best ways to get the most out of a drone.

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