Drones have become more popular, and that means more people are flying them. This can be awesome news for you as a drone enthusiast. But it also means that there are more drones flying around where they shouldn’t be, creating safety hazards for both people and property.
If you’re just starting out with your own drone, or if you’ve already taken to the skies with your new toy but aren’t sure what the rules are for flying in Washington state, read on!
Drone Laws Washington
Fly At Or Below 400 Feet
It’s important to fly at or below 400 feet.
You can find this information on the drone rules website, but it’s also implied in the FAA’s statement that “if you fly at an altitude under 400 feet above ground level (AGL), you don’t need a certificate.” This is because drones operated at higher altitudes can interfere with manned aircraft and cause safety concerns for people on the ground.
The maximum allowable altitude is determined by either your drone operator certificate or model’s flight manual—the latter of which should be given out if you purchase your drone from a reputable dealer.
Drones cannot be flown near airports without permission from air traffic control, so make sure that if you’re planning on flying near one, it will be safe before taking off!
Related: Drone Laws South Carolina
Keep Your Drone Within Visual Line Of Sight
You must always fly your drone within visual line of sight. This means that you must be able to see the aircraft with your own eyes, not just through an electronic device like binoculars or a camera attached to it.
You may not fly your drone in any location where it would be:
- interfere with first responders, manned aircraft or law enforcement operations.
Beware Of Airport Traffic
There are a number of things you should keep in mind when flying your drone.
- Drones must be kept at least 5 miles from any airport or heliport. If you’re flying near an airport, make sure not to approach any kind of aircraft (including helicopters) and always give them plenty of space.
- Stay at least 3 miles away from hot air balloons, blimps, kites, parachutes or anything else that might be airborne at the time. If there are any special events happening nearby involving these types of aircrafts, like an air show or fireworks display—even if they aren’t technically taking place near an airport—you should also stay clear because they could disturb the flow of traffic around the area.
If you’re flying your drone, don’t fly over people or vehicles without their permission. The FAA has a no-fly list of restricted areas that you should avoid:
- Private property
- Parks and beaches
- Stadiums and other places where large crowds gather
- Prisons, jails, and police stations A general rule of thumb is to stay away from any place where someone could be harmed by an out-of-control drone. For example:
- Schools or universities (including athletic fields) It’s also important to respect local laws regarding drones—some cities have passed restrictions on their use within city limits. Check with your local government before flying!
Never Fly Near Emergencies
Never fly near emergencies such as any type of accident response, law enforcement activities, firefighting, or hurricane recovery efforts. Some examples include but are not limited to:
- Law enforcement officials conducting traffic stops.
- Emergency responders at accidents or other incidents.
- Firefighters fighting fires (including wildfires).
- Medical personnel responding to an emergency call or transporting a patient in an ambulance.
never Fly Under The Influence
The first and most important thing to know about drone laws in Washington state is that there are no federal drone laws. This means that the federal government does not have any jurisdiction over what you do with your drone, which leads us to our second point: state law determines how to regulate personal drones.
The National Conference of State Legislatures keeps track of how each state handles its own drone policies, and they’ve compiled a list of those states’ regulations. Among them are Washington’s strict guidelines on recreational drone usage:
- You must be at least 16 years old to fly a recreational drone without supervision (with some exceptions).
- Drone pilots must stay below 400 feet above ground level unless they receive permission from air traffic control or an airport authority; otherwise, you can only fly at an altitude where other aircraft won’t be affected by your presence in the sky (that’s basically 200 feet). If you’re flying within 5 miles from an airport or heliport, FAA rules require you notifying the control tower before takeoff so they can monitor air traffic around their facilities.
how To Register Drone In Washington
Ever wonder how to register a drone in Washington? Well, we’ve got you covered. It is important to register your drone before you fly it.
The Drone Registration Task Force was formed by Congress in late 2015 and charged with developing a plan for registering non-military drones weighing less than 55 pounds. In December 2016, the task force released its report recommending that all drones be registered with the FAA before being flown outdoors in the United States.
visit The Faa Website
To start the registration process, visit the FAA’s drone registration page and click on “Begin Registration.” After that, select your state from a dropdown menu. In Washington, you must register your drone with both the FAA and the state of Washington.
Once you have selected your state, follow all instructions on the website until you reach a form asking for personal information about yourself and your drone. The FAA requires this information because it uses it to prevent fraud (e.g., multiple registrations by one person).
create An Account
Now that you have your drone and a compatible smartphone, it’s time to create an account on the FAA’s database. You can do this by going to www.faa.gov/uas or by downloading the official FAA app from Google Play or Apple App Store.
Once you’ve created an account, you’ll be asked to enter all of your information—and any other relevant information that applies specifically to you as an individual pilot (for example, if you live in Washington state). The FAA will then send a confirmation email with instructions on how to login and complete this process successfully.
register Your Drone
If you’re flying a drone in Washington, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, it’s important to register your drone before you fly it. If you don’t register your drone with the FAA, not only could they fine you up to $27,500 per violation (yikes!), but if an accident happens and someone is injured or killed as a result of your unregistered drone’s careless operation.
They could also sue you for damages up to three times their actual monetary loss (so much worse than just paying fines!) In addition to registering with the FAA, it is also recommended that operators check local regulations before taking off anywhere in Washington state—and this goes double if operating near an airport or within five miles of any building used for military purposes (because those rules apply everywhere).
label Your Drone
Now you have to label your drone. The FAA recommends that you place the label on the main rotor blade of your quadcopter, but this can be done anywhere on your aircraft. Just make sure that it will not be damaged or obscured by any part of your drone (e.g., if you mount it to the propellers).
If you’re using a plastic label, they are fairly easy to remove if you decide to sell or give away your quadcopter at some point: just scratch off the adhesive backing using a coin or similar object, then peel off the printed label material itself.
For paper labels like those provided by [Company Name], simply tear along one edge and remove all four corners first so as not to damage them; separate each layer before removing from its backing tape (which should leave an adhesive residue behind); then fold up into quarters and cut away any excess paper before folding back into eighths again (for most models).
are Drones Allowed In Washington
is Recreational Use Of Drones Allowed On National Parks In Washington?
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has a drone policy that allows the use of drones in state parks, as long as users obtain a permit.
Permits are only granted to people who are filming for commercial purposes, so if you’re only using your drone for personal use—such as taking photos of your vacation or sharing them on social media—you’ll have to leave it at home when visiting Washington’s National Parks.
is It Okay To Fly A Drone In National Forests In Washington?
Yes, it is completely legal to fly a drone in the national forests of Washington State. However, you must stay within designated areas and observe some important restrictions.
You can only fly your drone between sunrise and sunset during daylight hours. You must also not fly over crowds or groups of people; maintain line-of-sight with your drone at all times; do not exceed 100 feet above ground level; avoid flying within a half mile of an airport (unless you get prior permission); and follow any other rules set by the National Forest Service.
can I Fly My Drone At A Public Park In Washington?
You can fly your drone at a public park in Washington as long as you follow the rules. You must have a valid drone license, and you must keep your drone in sight at all times.
There are many public parks throughout Washington where you can fly your drone. Some of the most popular include:
- Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend
- Lake Meridian Park, Puyallup
can I Fly My Drone On The Grounds Of A Government Building Or Facility In Washington?
No, not without permission. With some exceptions, no drone is allowed to fly over, land on or take off from any property that’s owned or leased by the state of Washington, including:
- Government buildings and facilities (such as courthouses)
- Prisons and jails
- National parks and national seashores
are There Any Limits Or Restrictions On The Photography Or Videography Of People In Public Places With Drones In Washington?
Washington State law allows you to photograph or record other people in public places. However, if you are using a drone to do so, there are some restrictions on how you can use it.
- You cannot use a drone to interfere with or harass people in public places.
- You cannot use a drone to invade people’s privacy intentionally or recklessly under circumstances where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy (such as taking photographs of them while they are in their backyard).
The same is true for police officers and other government officials acting in their official capacities; they also have an expectation of privacy that is protected by state law.
Flying a drone is fun, and it’s a great way to document your world. But the question that remains is: how do we make sure that the future of flying drones will be fun and safe? For this reason, it’s important to know and follow the rules. You can start by familiarizing yourself with where you can fly legally in your state or city.
It may seem like there are a lot of restrictions out there—after all, there are laws forbidding people from flying drones near airports or jails—but if you look carefully enough at each one of them, they won’t interfere too much with what you want to do with your drone! Plus, knowing what not to do when flying will help keep everyone safe out there