State Drone Laws… Keeping them straight
As the FAA struggles to grasp the ever-changing drone technologies, the task is complicated by sometimes conflicting local and state laws. The courts recently overruled a drone law in Newton, Massachusetts that did not allow drones to fly BELOW 400 feet over private and city property while the FAA rule does not allow drones to fly OVER 400 feet. Also, there was a regulation in Newton that required a drone operator to register with every municipality that it would fly over. This case illustrates the gauntlet of rules the drone pilot must regulate just to stay in the air.
They called it a “landmark case”, but it’s a constant problem for drone operators to keep track of the maze of state and local drone regulations which often conflict with FAA rules.
I asked attorney Steve Hogan, “Does the Newton ruling keep in place the Newton city registration requirement? How does that balance with the Sterling registration ruling? ” His reply? “Answering that would be legal advice. Best of luck.”
Steve Hogan is one of two prominent attorneys trying to help with publications that outline the many state drone regulations.
Both provide excellent resources for Drone Pilots who need the flexibility of operating in different states or just to keep up with the changes in drone regulations in their own state.
The Drone Professor has a training course that explores the applications and implications of Florida’s “Freedom from Surveillance Act”, (FS934.50) as it affects business and public drone operations.