Can You Fly A Drone in Ocean City, Maryland? (Answered)


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

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 Ocean City, Maryland

Can You Fly a Drone in Ocean City, Maryland?

Yes, you can fly a drone in Ocean City, Maryland. 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 Ocean City, Maryland’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, to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules.
  • All unmanned aircraft operations must avoid manned aircraft and are prohibited from interfering with operations and traffic patterns at any airport, heliport, or seaplane base.

Distance Restrictions

  • All drone operators must maintain a minimum distance of 50 meters away from any manned aircraft, person, or moving vehicle that is not part of the drone operation.
  • Drone flights are prohibited within a five-mile radius of any airport unless special permission is obtained from the airport authority and FAA. Further, a drone must not be flown beyond a visual line of sight (VLOS) of the operator.

Prohibited Activities and Actions

  • It is strictly prohibited to operate drones over people or moving vehicles, for the safety of individuals and to prevent hazardous occurrences.
  • All drone operators must adhere to FAA guidelines, including not flying in restricted airspace such as near the airport and above 400 feet altitude, and must obtain necessary permissions and licenses for commercial drone usage.

Privacy and Data Protection Considerations

  • All drone operators must respect the privacy of individuals. They must not intentionally capture images, video, or audio recordings of individuals without their expressed consent. This includes not flying over private property for the purpose of surveillance or data collection.
  • Any data collected using a drone, including images, video, or other forms of data, must be securely stored and handled. Unauthorized data sharing or data breaches can lead to severe penalties under the Maryland Personal Information Protection Act (MPIPA).

Commercial Operations

  • All commercial drone operators must have a Remote Pilot Certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); this regulation applies regardless of the nature of the commercial activity. The pilot should always have the certificate on hand during operations.
  • Commercial drone flights are permitted during daylight hours or civil twilight (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) with appropriate anti-collision lighting. Night operations beyond these times require a special waiver from the FAA.

Penalties for Violating Drone Regulations

If drone regulations are violated in Ocean City, Maryland, individuals might face substantial consequences. The penalties can range from financial fines to possible jail time depending on the severity of the violation. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can impose civil penalties up to $27,500 for each violation. Moreover, criminal penalties can involve fines up to $250,000, or imprisonment for up to three years. It’s crucial to remember that these penalties can multiply if there are multiple violations or if a single act breaks more than one regulation.

Furthermore, disregarding local laws specific to Ocean City might lead to additional penalties. These local laws may include restrictions related to no-fly zones, required permits, or other specific guidelines in place to protect people’s safety and privacy. Non-compliance with these laws could result in additional fines or legal repercussions. Each case is assessed individually, considering the nature and gravity of the violation. It’s always best to fully understand and abide by all the regulations to avoid these penalties.

Tips for Safe and Responsible Drone Flying in Ocean City, Maryland

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

  1. Respect No-Fly Zones: Ocean City has designated no-fly zones, particularly around the airport and populated areas; always adhere to these for safety.
  2. Monitor Weather Conditions: Sudden weather changes can affect drone operation; ensure to check the forecast beforehand.
  3. Observe Altitude Limits: Maintain your drone below the FAA-specified 400 feet altitude limit to avoid potential collisions with aircraft.
  4. Follow Privacy Laws: Avoid flying over private properties without permission to respect other people’s privacy and to comply with local laws.
  5. Learn Emergency Procedures: Familiarize yourself with emergency controls; understanding how to navigate a drone in emergency situations can prevent accidents.


Can I Fly My Drone at Night in Ocean City, Maryland?

Yes, you can fly your drone at night in Ocean City, Maryland. However, you must follow Federal Aviation Administration regulations, which require drones to be equipped with anti-collision lights for nighttime operation.

Can You Bring a Drone to Ocean City, Maryland?

Yes, you can bring a drone to Ocean City, Maryland. However, be aware of certain restrictions and guidelines, such as not flying drones over crowded areas, to ensure safe and legal operation.

Do I Need a License or Permit to Fly a Drone in Ocean City, Maryland?

Yes, you can fly a drone in Ocean City, Maryland, but you are required to follow FAA regulations. For commercial use, a Part 107 license is necessary. Additionally, local ordinances may restrict drone usage in certain areas, so it’s essential to verify local laws.


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

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