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Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones as they are commonly referred to, are a growing part of the aviation community. Aside from routine recreational use, more and more commercial and government activities are being approved by the FAA.

Before operating a UAS, the operator must be aware of the rules and regulations that govern the use of drones.

Recreational users must register their UAS with the FAA and are asked to follow basic guidelines for safety. Operators wishing to use their UAS for commercial enterprise must obtain a Section 333 Exemption prior to operating, and governmental agencies must obtain a Certificate of Authorization (COA).

UAS Registration

  • Owners must be 13 years of age or older.
  • Owners must register their UAS if it weighs between 0.55 and 55 lbs.
  • Any UAS weighing in excess of 55 lbs. must be registered with the FAA as an aircraft.
  • FAA UAS Registration

Operating Your UAS

  • There are restrictions in place that limit how you can and cannot operate your UAS.
    • The UAS must remain within the operator's line of sight.
    • No over flights of pedestrians, moving vehicles, public infrastructure, or within 25 feet of private property.
    • If operating within five miles of an airport, UAS activity must be coordinated with airport management.
  • To help UAS operators know where they can and cannot operate their UAS, the FAA has developed the B4UFly smartphone app that helps you determine whether there are any restrictions or requirements in effect at the location where you want to fly.

No Drone Zones

The FAA has developed a digital "No Drone Zone" toolkit to help state and local authorities educate the public that flying UAS in certain areas is prohibited.

For more information and news on UAS operation and registration, go to the FAA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems page.