The drone laws in Pennsylvania are generally consistent with FAA regulations. For example, it’s illegal to fly a drone within 5 miles of an airport without permission from the airport manager. It’s also illegal to fly your drone over groups of people or stadiums full of people (i.e., “bird’s eye view” photography).

The most common violation is flying at night without getting permission first from either the FAA or local authorities—specifically your local police department or fire marshal office. In short: if you’re unsure about whether or not you can fly somewhere, just contact them beforehand and ask!

Note that these rules only apply in open areas like parks and fields—not in cities where there are buildings around as well as trees that could fall because of wind gusts caused by drones flying overhead (this has happened before!).

Also note that this guide is for recreational use only; if you plan on using your drone for commercial purposes such as filming weddings or taking photos/video footage for real estate listings then be sure to check out our other article on what kind of requirements those jobs require before operating any type of aircraft:

Drone Rules In Pennsylvania

Drone Rules In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Drone Law Is Generally Consistent With Faa Regulations

Pennsylvania drone law is generally consistent with FAA regulations. This means that Pennsylvania’s drone laws are more restrictive than federal drone laws, which are less restrictive than most other states’ drone laws—including New York’s.

In general, you need to have a current pilot’s license if you’re operating a small unmanned aircraft (UAS) for commercial purposes in Pennsylvania. If you don’t have one, then you may not fly your UAS for any purpose other than recreation or personal use within the state of Pennsylvania.

Operating A Drone As A Hobby

All recreational drone operators are required to register their UAS with the FAA. You can register by clicking here! Make sure you’ve got a nice, clear view of your drone at all times (and try to avoid flying near other aircraft)

Make sure that you never fly within 5 miles of an airport without special permission from the air traffic control tower. Never fly over groups of people or emergency situations—you could end up causing harm if anything goes wrong.

Respect others’ privacy when flying your drone!

Register Your Drone Before You Fly Outdoors.

Registration with the FAA is free and available online, by mail or by phone. Registration is required for all drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds (the weight of your average drone).

You can also register your drone with the FAA by fax if you’re feeling old school and have one of those lying around in a drawer somewhere.

If you’re registering more than one unmanned aircraft system (UAS), a separate application must be submitted for each UAS that will be flown outdoors in Pennsylvania.

Make Sure You Can See Your Drone At All Times

If your drone goes outside of your line of sight, it must be equipped with an automatic return-to-home feature.

This means that if you lose control of your drone and it flies away from you, it will automatically return to its launch location (or a nearby location) and land safely. Make sure that this feature is active before you take off!

You can also use a camera with lights on the front so that everyone else can see where you’re flying. This will make things safer for everyone involved.

Never Fly Near Other Aircraft, Especially Near Airports

  • Never Fly Near Other Aircraft, Especially Near Airports.
  • Always check with the airport if you’re not sure whether it’s a drone-friendly zone.
  • If you see any aircraft, including drones or helicopters, don’t fly in their vicinity. The last thing you want is an accident that could ruin your flying experience!

Never Fly Over Groups Of People, Public Events, Or Stadiums Full Of People

Be smart when flying and never fly over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people. Avoid flying near airports as well. Never fly over emergency response efforts and definitely don’t fly anywhere near fires—that’s a surefire way to ruin your day in court. And if you live in Pennsylvania, it’s also illegal to use drones during hurricanes or tropical storms.

Never Fly Near Emergencies

  • Never Fly Near Emergencies such as any type of accident response, law enforcement activities, firefighting, or hurricane recovery efforts.
  • Never fly over people who are not directly involved in the operation of your aircraft.
  • Never fly within five miles of an airport without contacting air traffic control and receiving authorization to do so.

Never Fly Under The Influence Of Drugs Or Alcohol.

The rules are the same as other aircraft laws. You can’t operate a drone in Pennsylvania under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

This is no different than any other state in the country, so if you’re flying a drone in California, Texas or anywhere else, make sure you’re not intoxicated while operating it.

Respect Privacy When Flying Your Drone

There are privacy laws in the U.S., as well as around the world.

  • If you want to shoot someone, make sure they know you’re filming them and get their permission first.
  • If you don’t want to be filmed, say so clearly and firmly.
  • Don’t assume that just because a person is in public, they don’t mind being on camera; it’s not like “not having the right to privacy” is written into any sort of law anywhere!

How To Register A Drone In Pennsylvania

How To Register A Drone In Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, you can register your drone by mail or in person. You need to be at least 13 years old to register a drone.

You can also use an online service to help you with the process of registering your drone. In Pennsylvania, these services are authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and are available for purchase at a local bookstore or library.

The website will walk you through all of the steps in registration process and provide guidance along the way.

If you choose not to use an online service or if there is no website available where you live, then follow these instructions:

  • Register your drone at a local police station within 30 days after it was purchased if it weighs less than 25 pounds; otherwise contact them within 15 days after purchase if it weighs more than 25 pounds.
  • Register with any federal post office within 30 days after purchasing your new toy. Bring proof of ownership (such as receipt) when going into any local library so they can verify whether or not they should allow this type of item inside their building or not!

Drone Registration Cost

If you are planning on flying in different states throughout the country, you should note that most states require their own separate registration process—so if this becomes cumbersome for you (or if the idea of having multiple licenses makes it hard for you to keep track of them all!) we recommend just getting a permanent Pennsylvania registration instead of going through the hassle of switching between different registrations every time you cross state lines.

Drones That Do Not Need To Be Registered

While it’s not a lot of fun to deal with registration for your drone, there are some circumstances where it’s not necessary. For example, your model rocket doesn’t need to be registered as long as it weighs less than one pound and can’t fly higher than 400 feet.

The same goes for model boats and cars, helicopters and planes, submarines, trains (if they don’t have engines), tanks (if they don’t have engines), rocket engines (without propellant), and even rocket motors (without propellant). If you’re making a toy that uses these things to move around or makes noise—even if you’re using them right now—you’ll still be fine!

Drones That Are Exempt From Registration

The following drones are exempt from registration:

  • A drone that weighs less than 0.55 pounds and is used for recreational or educational purposes
  • A model aircraft or hobbyist unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operated in accordance with an FAA-issued Special Airworthiness Certificate for Model Aircraft (FAA Model Aircraft Registration). This does not include any UAS operated by a foreign entity within the United States.
  • A drone used by federal, state or local government entities. This includes any law enforcement agency operating a UAS in the performance of official duties and other public agencies using small UASs to provide important services such as disaster relief efforts, land management activities, aerial survey work and academic research projects.

Where To Fly Your Drone In Pennsylvania

You can fly your drone at night, over people and buildings, over roads and parks, and even over farms. But be careful: if you fly your drone somewhere that’s not okay—like a school playground or an airport runway—you could get in trouble with the law.

You Might Be Able To Fly Your Drone Without Registering It.

As of December 1st, all recreational drone users must register with the FAA if they want to fly their unmanned aircraft. Recreational drones are those that weigh less than 55 pounds and have been purchased for personal use.

If you’re not sure whether your particular drone fits into this category, check out our detailed guide on how to register your drone.

However, if you are flying for non-commercial purposes (like hobbyists), then it may be possible for you to fly without registering your aircraft. It will depend on whether or not the FAA considers what you’re doing a “hobby” or simply a recreation activity (i.e., something akin to going fishing).

Are Drones Allowed In Pennsylvania

Yes, Drones Are Allowed In Pennsylvania

To start with, you’re in luck: drones are allowed in Pennsylvania.

Drones can fly up to 400 feet above ground level, which is the equivalent of about 13 stories. However, if your drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds total weight (with batteries), it must remain below 400 feet when flying within five miles of an airport or heliport. You can find a list of airports and heliports near you on the FAA’s website here.

And what if you want to fly your drone somewhere else? No problem! Pennsylvania has some great spots for aerial photography—and there’s no need for a permit unless you want permission from landowners first (more on that later).

Drones Can Be Flown For Recreational Use In Pennsylvania.

Whether you’re a novice or an expert, it’s important to know where and when you can fly your drone. Drones Can Be Flown For Recreational Use In Pennsylvania.

However, drone operators must be at least 13 years old and follow the rules set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Drone operators must also follow state laws about where drones are allowed and what kinds of insurance requirements apply.

If you plan to fly within city limits, check with local law enforcement officials about whether there are any specific restrictions on drones in your area.

Finally, know that most parks have their own rules regarding drone operation—so if you plan on flying near parks or other venues that have special regulations regarding unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), be sure to comply with those rules too!


So, there you have it. These are the drone laws in Pennsylvania, and the best way to stay on the right side of them is by following the rules listed above. If you’re still wondering about other states or countries, check out our article here!

Frequently Asked Questions (drone Laws Pennsylvania)

Are There Any Laws That Govern Recreational Drone Use In Pennsylvania?

The following laws govern recreational drone use in Pennsylvania:

  • There are no laws that specifically govern recreational drone use.
  • There is no law that prohibits the operation of a commercial drone without a license or certification, so long as the operator has permission from the property owner and complies with FAA regulations.
  • There is no law that prohibits the operation of a non-commercial (i.e., recreational) drone within state parks or public lands, whether they be hiking trails, state forests or wildlife preserves. However, you should always ask for permission from any private landowners before flying your drone over their property to avoid trespassing charges being filed against you.
  • There are no rules governing where it is legal or illegal for drones to fly near airports or military bases; however, if you plan on flying close enough to one of these areas that air traffic control personnel might notice your aircraft — say within about 1 mile — then it would probably be best practice to contact them first so there aren’t any misunderstandings later on down the road when someone spots something strange in their airspace (like an unidentified flying object).

Do I Need To Register My Drone With The State Or Federal Government Before I Fly It In Pennsylvania?

As long as your drone weighs less than 55 pounds and you are not using it for commercial purposes, you do not need to register it. You can fly your drone in Pennsylvania without needing a license and without needing to register it.

Does The State Of Pennsylvania Require Drones Be Flown Only Within Line Of Sight?

Yes, Pennsylvania law requires you to fly your drone within line of sight. As such, this means that you must be able to see the aircraft at all times during flight. This rule is important to keep in mind when flying in or near populated areas where you may find people and vehicles parked or traveling on roads below.

The other major restriction for drone pilots living in Pennsylvania is regarding altitude limits (or “flight ceilings”). In order to legally fly a drone under 400 feet above ground level (AGL), you must receive prior approval from the FAA through an online application process called Part 107. If approved under Part 107, then there are no additional restrictions on how high or low you can fly your UAV—but without that approval from the FAA first thing’s first: no flying higher than 400 AGL until we get those materials together!

The final thing worth mentioning here is proximity restrictions while operating a UAV over populated areas such as cities or townships within 5 miles of any airport; these locations may also require special permission before entering them with an unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV).

Does The State Of Pennsylvania Have Any Laws Concerning Flights Near Airports?

Yes. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established a number of rules for drone flights, including those near airports. The FAA prohibits any flight within five miles of an airport without permission from the airport operator or air traffic control tower.

If you are flying in a restricted area and you do not have permission from the FAA, it is important that you contact the nearest manned air traffic facility immediately to report your position and altitude so that they can notify nearby aircraft about your presence.

You can find out if there is any restriction on flying near an airport by visiting this FAA website:

What Are Some Rules I Should Follow When Flying Over Private Property In Pennsylvania?

  • You need to get permission from the property owner before flying over private property.
  • You must not fly closer than 400 feet from the ground, or more than 3 miles from your starting point.
  • If you are flying over public property, such as a city park or highway, you don’t need permission from property owners. However, there may be other rules that apply where you are flying (such as requiring a permit).
  • If you fly over an event open to the public—such as a sporting event or concert—you cannot use your drone within three nautical miles of the event area (this applies even if it’s on private property).

What Are “no-drone Zones” In Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, there are a number of restricted areas where drones are not permitted. These include:

  • National parks and monuments
  • National wildlife refuges
  • Military bases and installations, including military hospitals and prisons
  • Airports

Where Can I Find More Information About Flying Safely And Legally In Pennsylvania?

If you want to learn more about drone laws in Pennsylvania, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation or the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA has a B4UFLY mobile app that can help you find out whether or not it’s legal to fly your drone at a particular location. You can also contact your local state police station for more information on flying safely and legally in Pennsylvania.

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