Drones are fun, but they can cause problems if you’re not careful. If you want to fly your drone recreationally in Virginia, there are some rules to follow. You Must Register Your Drone With The Faa Before You Fly It.
The state of Virginia has strict laws regarding the operation of drones. You may not fly drones within five miles of an airport without notifying the airport manager, and you may not fly drones at night unless you have a special permit from the FAA.
You Must Fly Below 400 Feet In Virginia. You Must Keep Your Drone Within Sight Of Yourself At All Times (this means no flying over people without their permission).
And lastly, be aware of any other restrictions for the area you intend on flying in (for example: near airports or military installations).
Drone Rules In Virginia
There Are Some Rules To Follow When Flying Your Drone Recreationally In Virginia
In Virginia, there are a few rules you should know before you fly your drone recreationally. First and foremost, it’s important to register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). You can do so here.
Secondly, if you want to fly your drone recreationally in Virginia, you must keep it below 400 feet in altitude. This is FAA regulation for all drones under 55 pounds that don’t have an airworthiness certificate for operation over people or beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).
Thirdly and finally, if flying over non-participants like wildlife or property owners without their permission would be considered trespassing on private property then BVLOS cannot be used.
You Must Register Your Drone With The Faa Before You Fly It
You can register your drone online, by mail, or by phone. You can also visit a local hobby shop with an FAA-approved seller’s number to complete your registration. Some local drone stores offer packages that include everything you need for takeoff–including drone insurance and warranties–plus installation services and more.
You should register your drone if:
- Your drone weighs over 0.55lbs (250 grams)
- You plan to fly within the United States
You Must Fly Below 400 Feet In Virginia
This is the maximum altitude for recreational drone flying in Virginia. Flying at this altitude is considered a “low altitude.” This is a safety precaution to prevent collisions with other drones or aircraft.
You Must Keep Your Drone Within Sight Of Yourself At All Times
You Must Keep Your Drone Within Sight Of Yourself At All Times. If you cannot see it, the FAA recommends that you land your drone immediately.
If you are flying in a group and have more than one person operating drones, each operator should keep his or her own drone within sight at all times. The most experienced operator should also keep an eye on the other drones to ensure that they don’t fly into each other’s paths or cause any damage.
You Are Not Allowed To Fly Over People Unless You Have A Waiver
You must have a waiver to fly over people, and the waiver must be approved by the FAA. The following conditions apply:
- Waivers are only valid for the time period of their approval. If you want to renew your waiver, you’ll need to apply again and provide updated information about yourself and your operation.
- Waivers can be revoked at any time if there is reason enough to do so.
Be Aware Of Any Other Restrictions For The Area You Intend On Flying In
Keep in mind that there are additional restrictions on flying over sensitive areas.
- You cannot fly a drone near airports or military bases.
- You cannot fly a drone over or within 3 miles of any stadium during the period beginning one hour before and ending one hour after a scheduled sports event at the stadium.
- You cannot fly a drone within 4 nautical miles of an active Federal prison, unless you have permission from the prison’s warden (or equivalent).
You should also be aware of local laws regarding drones and other aircraft when flying in your area. In some cases, it may be legal for you to operate your drone under 400 feet only if you’re not closer than 500 feet to any airport tower/control tower/supervisor sign structure or aviation air traffic control facility while doing so.
In Order To Fly Your Drone In Virginia, You Must Follow Rules
In order to fly your drone in Virginia, you must follow these rules created by the FAA and Virginia state law.
- Register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before flying it. This can be done online at https://faa.gov
- Fly below 400 feet in Virginia. Most drones will automatically stay under this limit when they’re powered on, but make sure you know what altitude yours will be able to maintain.
- Keep your drone within sight of yourself at all times.
- Do not fly over people unless you have a waiver from the FAA.
How To Register Drone In Virginia
The FAA is more than happy to regulate who, what, and when you can fly your drone. The first step to flying legally is buying a drone that meets the FAA’s requirements for being a safe, stable aircraft. After that, there are four additional steps you need to take in order for your new toy to be considered legal:
1. Buy A Drone
Before you even think about registering your drone, you need to make sure you have one. If you’re just starting out with flying drones, it’s important to buy a model that is appropriate for your skill level and budget.
When buying a new drone, keep in mind what type of flying you want to do: hobby flying or other more advanced activities such as racing or aerial photography.
2. Register Your Drone In Virginia
You must register your drone in Virginia. You must register your drone before flying it. You must register your drone before it weighs more than 0.55 pounds. You must register your drone before you fly it over 400 feet
3. Get A Hobbyist Pilot Certificate If Necessary
If you are a hobbyist, you do not need to have a certificate. However, if you are a professional or student pilot, your drone must have one.
As for aerial photographers: if your photography business is based in Virginia but uses drones from another location, then it may be necessary to obtain a certificate from that state as well.
4. Get Faa Test Prep And Pass The Part 107 Remote Pilot Exam
The remote pilot exam is a pre-requisite to obtaining a remote pilot certificate in Virginia. To take this exam, you must have completed your drone registration with us and have at least 40 hours of flight time as a pilot with at least 20 hours being solo.
If you are not able to meet these requirements by yourself, we offer online training courses that will teach you all the skills needed to pass this test. You can also use our online simulator which allows you to practice without having any actual experience in flying drones yet!
5. Get Faa-approved Drone Insurance
The FAA requires drone owners to get insurance before flying. There are several types of insurance, including liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, collision/crash/damage protection and personal umbrella policies.
The type of policy you need depends on how often you plan on flying your drone and the type of drone you have. It’s important that your policy covers any damage or injury that could happen as a result of pilot error or malfunctioning equipment.
You should also make sure your policy includes the proper amount of coverage for potential accidents—if a plane crashes into someone’s home while being flown by an inexperienced pilot without adequate training or supervision.
Even if there was no malicious intent involved but an accident nonetheless occurred because they were untrained then they might be liable for damages paid out by their homeowner’s insurance company
These Are The Five Steps You Need To Take To Fly Your Drone Safely And Legally In Virginia.
The following steps should help you to fly your drone safely and legally in Virginia.
- Register your drone with the FAA (if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds). You can do this on their website at www.faa.gov/uas/
- Get a hobbyist pilot certificate from the FAA or take an online course that provides certification.
- Your certificate does not expire if it has been approved by the FAA and issued under Part 107 of Title 14 of CFR: Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
Are Drones Allowed In Virginia
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has strict rules about drone use. In Virginia, it’s illegal to fly a drone without first registering your drone and getting an FAA Certificate of Authorization. These requirements are in place to keep people from flying their drones in unsafe areas or conducting illegal operations.
The Following Rules Apply To Any Drone Operation In Virginia
The Following Rules Apply To Any Drone Operation In Virginia. You must be at least 16 years old and have a drone pilot certificate.
You must register your drone with the FAA. The UAS Registry is free, fast, and easy; there are no fines for registering late.
You must obey FAA regulations while flying a UAS over 400 feet (the national airspace) or within 5 miles of an airport without specific permission from that airport’s tower or manager.
You must not fly over people who are not participating in the operation of your aircraft, unless you’ve obtained permission beforehand from each person involved in the flight operation and they are wearing a visual distress signal (VDS).
You Must Operate Your Drone According To All Applicable Faa Regulation.
You must operate your drone according to all applicable FAA regulations, including the following:
- You may not operate a drone in a careless or reckless manner.
- You may not fly over groups of people.
- You may not fly within five miles of an airport without contacting that airport’s air traffic control tower unless you are flying model aircraft under two pounds and less than 25 feet off the ground.
You Can’t Fly Your Drone Higher Than 400 Feet Above Ground Level.
As a general rule, the FAA prohibits drone flights over 400 feet above ground level (AGL). Since drones are classified as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), they must fly below this altitude unless they receive special permission from the FAA.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. In certain circumstances, you can apply for an exemption to fly your drone higher than 400 feet AGL. If you’re on a film set or working in an airfield zone and operating within two miles of an airport runway, then you may be able to get approval from the FAA to fly at higher altitudes—but then again, maybe not! The rules related to waivers vary depending on which type of drone operator you are:
- If your flight is being conducted by someone who meets one of three criteria—a public agency; a private entity with an exclusive use airspace waiver; or any person engaged in business as a commercial operator under Section 333(c)(5)—then it’s possible that no waiver will be required at all!
- If your flight is being conducted by someone other than those listed above but still qualifies under Section 333(c)(3)(A) (part 107 commercial operations), then only specific types of aircraft operation require waivers from the FAA:
o Commercial operators must have liability insurance covering up to $100 million per occurrence before applying for an exemption; private non-hobbyists must have insurance covering up to $25 million per occurrence before applying for an exemption.
You Can’t Fly Over People Unless You Have The Faa’s Permission
You can’t fly over people without getting a waiver from the FAA.
The FAA has an entire section of its website devoted to drone safety guidelines, which includes a page dedicated to flying over people. Section 107 says that you can’t fly any drone that weighs more than 55 pounds above any person or animal unless you have permission from the FAA. If you do plan to fly over people, there are certain restrictions:
- Drones must be within 400 feet of the ground at all times (this is 200 feet higher than the national standard for aircraft)
- There can’t be any sporting events, stadiums, or other crowded areas nearby when flying over people
You Can’t Fly Over Stadiums And Sporting Events
You can apply for a waiver from the FAA if you are flying for a commercial purpose. If you do not have one of these waivers, then you cannot fly over stadiums or sporting events when it is crowded without getting in trouble with the law.
You Can’t Fly Your Drone Near Emergency Response
You can’t fly your drone over or near an emergency response. This includes any type of accident or fire.
You also can’t fly your drone above people who are gathered in large groups, such as marathons, parades and protests. It’s best to check with the local government before flying your drone anywhere that might be considered an emergency situation or sensitive area.
You Can’t Fly After Dark
- You need a waiver from the FAA to fly after dark.
- The waiver is specific to the area in which you want to fly, so you’ll need one that covers your area.
- You can’t just download it online and think it will be valid everywhere. It won’t be! You have to make sure it’s right for where you’re going, and then make sure you have it with all of your paperwork when flying or landing anywhere but home base.
Flying Illegally May Get You In Trouble
If you fly illegally, then you could get into serious trouble. Under the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA), it’s illegal to use a drone for commercial purposes without first obtaining a certificate from the FAA.
The maximum civil penalty for flying drones outside of regulations is $5,000 per violation—$25,000 if there are multiple violations within five years.
If you’re caught flying your drone in an unsafe manner or if it results in property damage or bodily injury, then the fine will be higher than this standard amount.
The FAA may also take additional action such as suspending or revoking your pilot’s license, or banning you from operating any type of aircraft in the future.
Virginia drone laws require a drone operator to be at least 16 years old, and the drone must weigh less than 55 pounds. The operator must also have an FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate. If you buy a new drone, it should come with the necessary paperwork for registration.
Flying your drone in Virginia is an exciting activity and we hope you have fun doing it. Just remember to follow all of the FAA’s rules, as well as any other state laws that may apply.
We love drones here at Drone Lawyer, so if you have any questions about flying drones or need help registering yours with the FAA, give us a call today.
Frequently Asked Questions (drone Laws Virginia)
Where Can I Fly My Drone In Virginia?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that you fly your drone in a manner that keeps it within your line of sight at all times. That means you must be able to see the aircraft and have it under your control at all times, including when taking off and landing.
If you’re flying for commercial purposes, the FAA generally requires a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating or an FAA-issued student pilot certificate with a UAS rating. The only exception is if you’re operating under Part 107—however, as we’ll discuss below, even if you’re following this rule there are some limitations on where and how often you can fly.
Can I Fly My Drone At Night In Virginia?
You can fly your drone at night as long as you can see it. Flying at night is not illegal in Virginia, but it is certainly not recommended.
Can I Fly My Drone Over People In Virginia?
The answer is no. You can’t fly your drone over people, crowds, groups of people or stadiums for example.
You should also avoid flying your drone over police or rescue operations and other safety situations where you would be impeding emergency responders from their duties.
Can I Use My Drone For Commercial Purposes In Virginia?
Yes, you can use your drone for commercial purposes in Virginia. However, you will need to apply for a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA). You may be required to get a pilot’s license as well.
You will have to file a flight plan with the Federal Aviation Administration and comply with all FAA regulations.
How High Can Drones Fly In Virginia?
In Virginia, drones must stay under 400 feet at all times. It is also illegal to fly a drone within 5 miles of an airport. If you are within this radius, you can’t fly your drone higher than 400 feet and must keep it away from any aircraft.
Drones are also prohibited from flying over sports stadiums during games or within 1 mile of hospitals, schools, prisons, jails and other institutions for the detention of people in Virginia.