Can You Fly A Drone in New Orleans? (Answered)


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

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 New Orleans

Can You Fly a Drone in New Orleans?

Yes, you can fly a drone in New Orleans. 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 New Orleans’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 drones are subject to a maximum flight altitude limit of 400 feet above ground level (AGL) to ensure safety and avoid potential conflicts with manned aircraft.
  • For operations in controlled airspace, drone pilots must request and receive prior authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and abide by any altitude restrictions specified in the authorization.

Distance Restrictions

  • Drones must not be flown above 400 feet in altitude to avoid potential interference with manned aircraft.
  • All drone operations should maintain a minimum distance of 5 miles from any airport unless specific permission has been granted.

Prohibited Activities and Actions

  • All drone operators are strictly forbidden from flying within a 5-mile radius of any airport, heliport, or seaplane base without obtaining prior authorization from the appropriate authorities.
  • Operators must not fly drones over populated areas, crowds, or during public events, to ensure public safety and privacy. Drones must remain within the operator’s visual line of sight at all times.

Privacy and Data Protection Considerations

  • All drone operators must abide by the data privacy rules which stipulate that they cannot record or transmit any personal data without explicit consent from the individuals involved. This includes video footage, audio recordings, or any other form of data that could infringe on a person’s privacy rights.
  • Any data collected by drones, including photos or video footage, must be securely stored and handled to prevent unauthorized access or leaks. Drone operators are responsible for implementing sufficient data protection measures and can be held liable for any breaches.

Commercial Operations

  • All commercial operators intending to fly a drone must hold a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
  • The operation of drones commercially is strictly prohibited within a 5-mile radius of any airport without proper FAA authorization.

Penalties for Violating Drone Regulations

If you violate drone regulations in New Orleans, be prepared to face serious penalties. These penalties can range from hefty fines to potential imprisonment depending on the severity of the violation. For instance, flying a drone in a no-fly zone or restricted airspace can result in civil fines of up to $27,500 and criminal fines of up to $250,000, and/or imprisonment for up to three years. If a drone is used for illegal activities, additional charges could be filed, further increasing the penalties.

It’s also important to know that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the authority to assess civil penalties against those who interfere with a crew member’s duties by flying a drone unsafely. This can result in a fine of up to $35,000 and/or possible jail time. Penalties can also vary if it’s considered a repeat offense. The key to avoiding these penalties is to fly responsibly, respecting all local and federal regulations for drone use.

Tips for Safe and Responsible Drone Flying in New Orleans

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

  1. Respect Privacy: Avoid flying over private properties or crowded areas to respect people’s privacy and avoid disturbance.
  2. Follow FAA Rules: Adhere to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines, which include not flying above 400 feet or near other aircraft.
  3. Weather Awareness: Check the weather before flying. High winds, rain, or other harsh conditions can cause loss of control over the drone.
  4. Nighttime Restrictions: Do not fly at night unless your drone is equipped with proper lighting to prevent collisions.
  5. Stay Sober: Never operate a drone under the influence of alcohol or drugs as this can significantly impair your judgement and reaction time.


Can I Fly My Drone at Night in New Orleans?

Yes, you can fly your drone at night in New Orleans, but it’s critical to follow FAA regulations. These include using anti-collision lighting and avoiding flights over people or moving vehicles for safety.

Can You Bring a Drone to New Orleans?

Yes, you can bring a drone to New Orleans. However, when flying a drone in the city, ensure you comply with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and any local drone ordinances.

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

Yes, you can fly a drone in New Orleans, but you may need a license or permit. The FAA requires drone pilots to have a Remote Pilot Certificate. For certain areas, like parks or near airports, you might need additional permits from local authorities. Always check local regulations.


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

This applies not only to New Orleans but also to other destinations around the world. For example, if you’re heading to Estes Park, it’s important to know the specific rules and guidelines for drone flying there. Similarly, if you have dreams of capturing breathtaking footage of Tennessee State Park or exploring drone opportunities around Clearwater Beach, 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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