Can You Fly A Drone in Custer State Park? (Answered)


In this blog post, we’ll explore the question, “Is drone flying allowed in Custer State Park?”.

So, let’s jump in and discover everything you need to know — regulations, penalties (if any) and safety tips to keep in mind!

Can You Fly A Drone in Custer State Park

Can You Fly a Drone in Custer State Park?

Yes, you can fly a drone in Custer State Park. However, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the local regulations and guidelines to ensure a safe and legal flying experience. Here drone flights are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which has specific rules and restrictions in place to protect public safety and privacy. By adhering to these regulations and respecting the local authorities’ guidelines, drone enthusiasts can enjoy capturing stunning aerial footage while exploring Custer State Park’s beautiful landscapes.

Overview of Drone Regulations

Let’s take a look at some of the key points for drone regulations:

Maximum Altitude Limits

  • All drone operators must limit their drone’s maximum altitude to 400 feet above ground level to ensure safe operation and to avoid interfering with other aircraft.
  • Operators must strictly abide by the altitude limit and avoid flying over sensitive areas or near wildlife, as this can cause disruptions to the park’s natural environment.

Distance Restrictions

  • Drones must maintain a minimum horizontal distance of 500 feet from all wildlife. This distance restriction is intended to prevent disturbances to the park’s wildlife and their habitats.
  • Pilots are required to keep their drones within a visual line of sight at all times, not exceeding a maximum distance of 400 feet vertically and 1000 feet horizontally from the operator. This is to ensure the safety of other park visitors and to prevent potential conflicts with manned aircraft.

Prohibited Activities and Actions

  • Drone operators must not fly their drones above an altitude of 400 feet. Exceeding this limit could potentially interfere with local fauna, and other air traffic and is strictly prohibited.
  • Use of drones must not disturb or harass wildlife. Any behavior causing stress or alteration in the natural activities of wildlife within the park is strictly forbidden.

Privacy and Data Protection Considerations

  • All drone operators must ensure they do not capture or record any visual or audio data of individuals without their explicit consent, complying with all relevant privacy laws and regulations.
  • Any data collected by drones, including images, videos, or other forms of data, must be securely stored and properly managed to prevent unauthorized access, inadvertent disclosure, or potential data breaches, consistent with state and federal data protection laws.

Commercial Operations

  • All commercial drone operations must obtain a valid permit from the park management prior to any flight. Failure to do so will result in strict penalties and potential banishment from future operations within the park.
  • Flights over populated areas, wildlife, or sensitive ecosystems are strictly prohibited to avoid disturbances and maintain the park’s natural integrity.

Penalties for Violating Drone Regulations

Violating drone regulations can result in serious penalties, which are designed to deter individuals from endangering safety, privacy, and protected environments. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the authority to impose fines for noncompliance with drone laws. Penalties can range from $1,000 for minor infractions such as flying without proper registration, to up to $27,500 for more serious breaches. In some instances, if the violation is found to be extremely reckless or endangering, criminal charges can be filed, leading to fines up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.

In addition to federal penalties, specific locations such as Custer State Park may have their own rules and consequences for breaking them. These might include being banned from the park, paying additional fines or facing legal action. The severity of these penalties often depends on the nature of the violation, such as whether it disrupted wildlife or posed a risk to other park visitors. It is always recommended to understand and adhere to local regulations to avoid any such consequences.

Tips for Safe and Responsible Drone Flying in Custer State Park

To ensure a positive drone flying experience and comply with the regulations, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  1. Know the Rules: Familiarize yourself with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) guidelines and Custer State Park’s specific drone policies before flight to ensure safe and legal operation.
  2. Maintain Line of Sight: Always keep your drone within your visual line of sight to avoid collisions with wildlife, trees, or other obstacles.
  3. Respect Wildlife: Maintain a safe distance from animals to avoid disturbing them or causing potential harm. Remember, this is their natural habitat.
  4. Plan Your Flight: Pre-plan your drone’s flight path to avoid sensitive areas and public gatherings, ensuring both legal compliance and safety.
  5. Check Equipment: Ensure your drone is in proper working order before each flight to prevent malfunctions that could lead to accidents.


Can I Fly My Drone at Night in Custer State Park?

Yes, you can fly your drone at night in Custer State Park. However, it’s always advised to check the latest park regulations or contact park authorities to ensure there haven’t been any recent changes to drone usage rules.

Can You Bring a Drone to Custer State Park?

Yes, you can bring a drone to Custer State Park. However, please ensure to operate it responsibly in compliance with park regulations, FAA rules, and respect other visitors’ enjoyment of the park.

Do I Need a License or Permit to Fly a Drone in Custer State Park?

Yes, to fly a drone in Custer State Park, you need to possess an FAA-issued Part 107 license. Additionally, park-specific permits may be required. Always check local regulations and guidelines for the most current drone operation rules.


Before you launch your drone into the Custer State Park skies, it’s crucial to understand the area’s drone laws and regulations.

This applies not only to Custer State Park but also to other destinations around the world. For example, if you’re heading to Amsterdam, it’s important to know the specific rules and guidelines for drone flying there. Similarly, if you have dreams of capturing breathtaking footage of Jones Beach or exploring drone opportunities around Brooklyn, it’s essential to be aware of the local drone regulations in those locations as well.

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

So, whether you’re planning a leisurely flight or engaging in commercial drone operations, make sure to fly responsibly, and stay informed.

Resources and Further Information:

Photo of author
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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