Can I Fly Drone on Military Bases? A Handy Guide


Are you planning on flying a drone on military bases?

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 on military bases?

In short, the answer is NO! You cannot fly drones on military bases 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 on Military Bases

FAA Regulations on Flying Drones on Military Bases

Due to the following FAA regulations, you are not allowed to fly drones on military bases:

  1. The FAA uses its authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) § 99.7 – “Special Security Instructions” to restrict drone operations over 133 military facilities for national security concerns.
  2. Drone flights are restricted up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of these facilities, with only a few exceptions that require coordination with the individual facility and/or the FAA.
  3. Operators who violate the airspace restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.
  4. To ensure public awareness of these restricted locations, the FAA has created an interactive map online and included the link in their B4UFLY mobile app, which will be updated within 60 days to reflect these airspace restrictions.


Security Concerns

Flying a drone on military bases 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 on Military Bases

  1. Unauthorized Surveillance: Drones can be used to capture sensitive information and monitor military activities, potentially compromising security measures.
  2. Weaponization Potential: Drones can be equipped with weapons or explosives, posing a direct threat to military personnel and infrastructure.
  3. Interference with Operations: Drones flying in restricted airspace may disrupt military training exercises or communication systems, compromising mission success.
  4. Collisions and Accidents: Drone crashes could cause damage to military equipment, infrastructure, or even injure personnel on the base.
  5. Intentional Disruption: Adversaries may use drones to test military base defenses or intentionally provoke a response, potentially diverting resources from other priorities.

Permissions and Permits

Flying drones on military bases is strictly prohibited without proper authorization.

To obtain permission, drone operators must coordinate with the respective military installation’s Public Affairs Office or the Installation Command to request a waiver or exception to the policy. Approval is granted on a case-by-case basis and may require the submission of necessary documents, proof of FAA certification, and adherence to specific guidelines and rules set by the military installation.

It is crucial to understand and follow the established regulations to ensure safety and prevent any legal repercussions.

Penalties for Flying a Drone without Authorization

Unauthorized drone flights on military bases can result in significant penalties, as they pose a risk to piloted aircraft and can disrupt runway operations. If found guilty of flying a drone without proper authorization, individuals may face federal misdemeanor charges. Penalties for such violations can include up to a year in jail and a hefty fine of $100,000. It is crucial to follow regulations and obtain necessary permissions when operating drones in restricted areas.

Also check:


1. Can I Fly Drones on Military Bases if I am not a Licensed Drone Pilot?

No, you cannot fly a drone on military bases if you are not a licensed drone pilot. Military bases are classified as restricted airspace or “no-fly zones” for both licensed and unlicensed drone pilots. Unauthorized drone flights over or near military bases pose security risks and can lead to serious consequences, including fines, confiscation of your drone, or even criminal charges. Always check with the local authorities or consult the FAA guidelines before attempting to fly a drone in any area.

2. Who can Authorize the Use of Drones on Military Bases?

The authorization to use drones on military bases typically falls under the jurisdiction of the base commander or an appropriate higher authority within the military chain of command. This individual has the responsibility to assess the potential risks and benefits associated with drone usage in the area, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations, policies, and security measures. To obtain permission, one must submit a request or proposal to the appropriate authority outlining the purpose, specifications, and intended operation of the drone.

3. Can the Police Fly Drones on Military Bases?

Yes, the police can fly drones on military bases, but only with proper authorization and under specific circumstances. Law enforcement agencies may collaborate with the military for joint exercises, training, or security operations, and in such cases, they might be granted permission to operate drones within the designated area. However, the use of drones on military bases is strictly regulated, and any unauthorized drone activities can lead to serious consequences, including legal penalties and confiscation of equipment.


In conclusion, before flying a drone on military bases, 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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