In the state of Arizona, a number of regulations were signed into law in 2016. These laws encompass the entire state and prohibit cities and towns from enacting their own drone laws and regulations.
These laws coincide with federal regulations regarding the use of a drone. One specific law that came to be after in signing of the bill states that it is considered Disorderly Conduct to fly a drone in ‘dangerous proximity’ to a person or property without their permission. A copy of the bill can be viewed here.
Flying for Fun vs. Flying for Money
Are you flying a drone for fun or are you a business in need of drone services? Either way it is important that you know the difference between flying as a hobby and commercial use.
If you’re simply flying for fun there are still a strict list of laws and regulations that you must abide by in order to keep the skies and the public safe. Even though you don’t need a license, you do need to register your drone through the FAA drone portal. If you are in any way helping a business, you must be licensed by the FAA.
Any business that uses a pilot must make sure that the pilot is licensed by the FAA. Any pilot or business that pays for commercial use of a drone pilot that is not licensed can be subject to large fines.
Drone Rules and Laws
This summary of drone rules apply to both hobbyist and commercial pilots.
- Your drone must be licensed with the FAA. This can be done on the FAADoneZone website.
- You must always have visual sight of the drone and stay below 400 feet
- You may only fly in the appropriate airspace (see below)
- Your drone and its payload must weigh less than 55 lbs
- You can never fly over people
- You can never fly under the use of drugs or alcohol
- You may only fly during the daylight
- You must always yield to manned aircraft
- A further summary of the drone rules imposed by the FAA
Many of these rules can be worked around by commercial drone pilots by filling out an FAA waiver or contacting the local aircraft control tower in charge of the airspace.
If you are a business hiring a drone pilot your must make sure that the pilot is licensed by the FAA or be subject to large fines from the FAA.
Although anyone over the age of 16 is able to to take the exam it is not your typical driving test. This is a difficult test covering areas such as how to read an air space map, classes of US airspace, how weather and physics affect the flying, Morse code and other aviation-related subjects.
Air Space Maps
Air Space Maps allow pilots see where they can and cannot fly. The last thing that any drone pilot would want is to come into contact with a manned aircraft or be arrested for flying in illegal airspace.
Whether you are flying commercially of for fun you have to have an understanding of airspace maps. Some of the most common unlawful airspace to fly your drone include:
- Within 5 miles of an airport
- Above 400 feet
- Over a prison
- In a National park
- In an area declared a disaster zone
The truth is that there are many different agencies and governments, at both the federal state and local level, with overlapping rules and regulations. If you need any type of drone work done for your business important to work with a professional who is licensed and knowledgeable about the Drone Laws in your area.