Can You Fly A Drone in Minneapolis? (Answered)


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

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 Minneapolis

Can You Fly a Drone in Minneapolis?

Yes, you can fly a drone in Minneapolis. 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 Minneapolis’s beautiful landscapes.

Overview of Drone Regulations

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

Maximum Altitude Limits

  • Drones must not exceed a maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level, unless flying within a 400-foot radius of a structure, in which case a higher altitude is permissible as long as it does not exceed 400 feet above the structure’s immediate uppermost limit.
  • Drone pilots must ensure they do not enter controlled airspace which is typically above 400 feet and around airports, without obtaining proper authorization from Air Traffic Control.

Distance Restrictions

  • Drones must not be flown within a five-mile radius of any airport unless permission has been obtained from the airport authorities.
  • The maximum allowable altitude is 400 feet above ground level unless the drone is flying within 400 feet of a structure, in which case it can fly higher than the structure’s immediate vicinity.

Prohibited Activities and Actions

  • Drone operators are strictly prohibited from flying their unmanned aircraft over people without their consent and over private property without the owner’s permission, in accordance with Minnesota state privacy laws.
  • All drone pilots are required to maintain a line of sight with their drones at all times during flight, and are forbidden from operating their drones in a manner that interferes with other aircraft, as per Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

Privacy and Data Protection Considerations

  • All drone operators must adhere to the principle of data minimization, collecting only necessary data for the intended purpose and not retaining any personal or identifiable data longer than necessary for the purpose of the flight operation.
  • Drone users must obtain informed consent before capturing images or videos of identifiable individuals, unless the recording is made in a public place where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy or for legitimate public safety reasons.

Commercial Operations

  • All commercial drone operations must adhere to the FAA Part 107, which requires operators to have a Remote Pilot Certificate, fly below 400 feet, keep the drone within visual line-of-sight, and operate the drone only during daylight hours.
  • Commercial drone operators must obtain proper airspace authorization for flights within controlled airspace, including near Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport, and must not fly over people or moving vehicles without appropriate waivers.

Penalties for Violating Drone Regulations

If you violate drone regulations in Minneapolis, you could face significant penalties, including both fines and imprisonment. The exact punishment varies depending on the severity and nature of the violation. In some cases, individuals have been fined up to $27,500 for civil violations, and up to $250,000 for criminal offenses. Serious violations can also result in imprisonment for up to three years.

Remember, these penalties aren’t just for flying in restricted areas. They can also be imposed for not registering your drone, flying near other aircraft, or operating a drone in a reckless manner. Violations involving trespassing, privacy invasion, and interference with emergency response can also result in legal consequences beyond FAA penalties. It’s essential to understand and comply with all local, state, and federal drone regulations to avoid these costly and potentially life-altering penalties.

Tips for Safe and Responsible Drone Flying in Minneapolis

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

  1. Follow FAA Regulations: Always adhere to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules, such as not flying over 400 feet, ensuring the drone is within your line of sight, and not operating in restricted airspace.
  2. Respect Privacy: Avoid flying over private properties or crowded public areas to maintain people’s privacy and prevent potential harm.
  3. Drone Registration: Ensure your drone is registered with the FAA if it weighs between 0.55 and 55 lbs, as required by law.
  4. Check Weather Conditions: Avoid flying in bad weather conditions like high winds or heavy rain which can cause loss of control over the drone.
  5. Drone Maintenance: Regularly check your drone’s condition and keep it well-maintained to avoid technical failures during flight.


Can I Fly My Drone at Night in Minneapolis?

Yes, you can fly your drone at night in Minneapolis. However, you must ensure your drone is equipped with appropriate lighting to avoid collisions and is operated in a safe manner respecting local regulations and privacy laws.

Can You Bring a Drone to Minneapolis?

Yes, you can bring a drone to Minneapolis. However, while flying your drone in Minneapolis, ensure you adhere to all FAA guidelines and local laws to ensure safe and legal operation.

Do I Need a License or Permit to Fly a Drone in Minneapolis?

Yes, you need a license to fly a drone in Minneapolis if it’s for commercial purposes. For recreational use, no license is necessary, but you must comply with FAA guidelines and Minneapolis local laws. Always verify current regulations before flying.


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

This applies not only to Minneapolis but also to other destinations around the world. For example, if you’re heading to Mackinac Island, it’s important to know the specific rules and guidelines for drone flying there. Similarly, if you have dreams of capturing breathtaking footage of Colosseum or exploring drone opportunities around Ocean City, Maryland, 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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