Can I Fly Drone Over a Crowd? A Handy Guide


Are you planning on flying a drone over a crowd?

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 crowd?

In short, the answer is NO! You cannot fly drones over a crowd 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 Over a Crowd

FAA Regulations on Flying Drones Over a Crowd

Due to the following FAA regulations, you are not allowed to fly drones over a crowd:

  1. According to the FAA, it is illegal to fly drones over protests or large groups of people, and doing so may result in misdemeanor charges for both recreational and commercial pilots.
  2. Commercial pilots with a Part 107.39 waiver are exempt from this rule, but all other pilots, including recreational flyers, must adhere to these regulations.
  3. Flying drones over people and vehicles is prohibited, regardless of whether the operator is flying under Part 107 or recreationally.


Security Concerns

Flying a drone over a crowd 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 Crowd

  1. Privacy invasion: Flying a drone over a crowd may inadvertently capture private moments, leading to potential privacy violations and legal implications.
  2. Malfunction risk: Drones can experience technical malfunctions, causing them to crash into the crowd and lead to injuries.
  3. Terrorist threats: Drones can be misused for criminal activities, such as carrying explosives or spying on high-profile events, which may pose security threats.
  4. Signal interference: A high concentration of drones in an area may cause signal interference, leading to loss of control and potential accidents.
  5. Regulatory breaches: Flying a drone over a crowd may violate local regulations, resulting in fines or other legal consequences for the drone operator.

Permissions and Permits

Flying drones over a crowd requires compliance with specific regulations and obtaining necessary permissions to ensure public safety.

In United States, flying drones over people is prohibited by FAA, unless a waiver or special permit is granted. To obtain such permission, drone operators must demonstrate their ability to operate the drone safely and adhere to specific guidelines. These may include restrictions on the drone’s weight, flight altitude, and required safety features.

Additionally, local laws and ordinances may also apply, so it is essential to research and comply with all applicable regulations before attempting to fly a drone over a crowd.

Penalties for Flying a Drone without Authorization

Flying a drone over a crowd without proper authorization can lead to serious penalties. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations prohibit drone pilots from flying over people who are not directly participating in the drone operation or are not under a covered structure or vehicle. Potential penalties include fines up to $30,000 for civil violations and up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years for criminal violations. Additionally, unauthorized drone pilots may face revocation of their Remote Pilot Certificate or other FAA-issued licenses. It is crucial to understand and adhere to the FAA guidelines to ensure safe and legal drone operations.

Also check:


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

No, flying a drone over a crowd is not recommended, especially if you are not a licensed drone pilot. According to the FAA regulations, recreational drone users must avoid flying directly over people or moving vehicles, and maintain a safe distance to ensure public safety. Violating these rules can result in penalties and fines. It is essential to become familiar with the local regulations and obtain necessary permits before flying a drone in public spaces.

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

The authorization for the use of drones over a crowd typically falls under the jurisdiction of the local aviation regulatory authority or the national civil aviation agency, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. To obtain permission, drone pilots must meet specific safety requirements, such as obtaining a Part 107 waiver or adhering to local regulations. Additionally, event organizers and property owners may also have a say in whether drone flights are permitted over their gatherings or venues. It is crucial to consult with all relevant authorities and follow the necessary guidelines before operating a drone over a crowd.

3. Can the Police Fly Drones Over a Crowd?

Yes, the police can fly a drone over a crowd, provided they have the necessary permissions and follow the regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local laws. Law enforcement agencies use drones for various purposes, such as monitoring public events, traffic control, and public safety. However, there may be privacy concerns, and it is essential for the police to ensure they respect citizens’ rights and privacy while collecting data during drone operations.


In conclusion, before flying a drone over a crowd, 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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