Can I Fly Drone Over a Cemetery? A Handy Guide


Are you planning on flying a drone over a cemetery?

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 over a cemetery?

In short, the answer is YES! You can fly drones over a cemetery, but there are some important considerations and regulations to keep in mind.

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 Over a Cemetery

FAA Regulations on Flying Drones Over a Cemetery

Even though it’s allowed to fly drones over a cemetery, here are some FAA regulations that you need to keep in mind:

  1. Follow FAA guidelines, including limiting your drone’s altitude to no more than 400 feet above ground level.
  2. Obtain a permit or special permission if required, particularly if you plan to film at the cemetery.
  3. Avoid flying your drone near crowds, such as during funerals or other gatherings at the cemetery.
  4. Exercise utmost respect and sensitivity when flying a drone over a cemetery, keeping in mind the emotional significance of the location for many individuals.


Security Concerns

Flying a drone over a cemetery 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 Over a Cemetery

  1. Privacy Invasion: Flying a drone over a cemetery may inadvertently capture mourners grieving at gravesites, violating their privacy and causing emotional distress.
  2. Vandalism Risk: Drones pose a risk of accidentally damaging headstones or other cemetery structures when navigating in tight spaces or during inexperienced operation.
  3. Disturbing Peace: Drones create noise and may cause a disturbance to funeral services or individuals seeking solace in the cemetery’s peaceful environment.
  4. Unauthorized Surveillance: Unauthorized drone operations over cemeteries can result in unwarranted surveillance, potentially exposing sensitive information about visitors and their activities.
  5. Safety Hazards: Drone-related accidents, such as collisions with people, vehicles, or structures, can cause injuries or property damage within the cemetery grounds.

Permissions and Permits

Permissions and permits required for flying drones over a cemetery depend on various factors.

Though cemeteries are generally considered public property, you may still need a permit or special permission, particularly if you plan to film on the premises. Additionally, adhering to FAA guidelines is crucial, which involves limiting your drone’s altitude to no more than 400 feet. It is essential to be mindful of people’s presence, as getting close to crowds is not allowed.

The primary instance when a crowd may gather at a cemetery is during a funeral, so it is vital to exercise caution and respect in such situations.

Also check:


1. Can I Fly Drones Over a Cemetery if I am not a Licensed Drone Pilot?

No, if you are not a licensed drone pilot, you should not fly a drone over a cemetery. Flying a drone in such a sensitive area may violate local regulations, privacy, and the peace of mourning families. Always check and adhere to local laws and guidelines, and respect the wishes of the people present. Additionally, if you wish to fly a drone for commercial purposes or in regulated airspace, obtaining the necessary licensing and permissions from the relevant authorities is crucial.

2. Who can Authorize the Use of Drones Over a Cemetery?

The authorization to fly a drone over a cemetery typically falls under the jurisdiction of the cemetery management or the local government responsible for managing the cemetery grounds. It is essential to respect local laws and policies, as well as privacy concerns when considering drone flights over such sensitive areas. Additionally, drone pilots must follow the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations regarding airspace, altitude, and safe practices. It is always advisable to seek permission from the relevant authorities before flying a drone over a cemetery to ensure compliance with all applicable rules and guidelines.

3. Can the Police Fly Drones Over a Cemetery?

Yes, the police can fly a drone over a cemetery if it is within their jurisdiction and for a legitimate law enforcement purpose, such as investigating a crime or conducting surveillance. However, they must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations governing drone use, including those pertaining to privacy rights and airspace restrictions.


In conclusion, before flying a drone over a cemetery, 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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