Drone Laws in Florida

Purchasing a drone is such an exciting moment. Unboxing it basically feels like Christmas all over again. But before you get it up in the air, it is crucial that you are aware of all the laws and regulations that are associated with owning and flying a drone. Specially, knowing the drone laws in your state. Drone laws in Florida are different from those in other states, and even cities like Miami have their certain rules.

Owning a drone is a huge responsibility and it comes with consequences when not taken seriously.

Firstly, Florida drone laws are also inline with federal laws. Before even thinking about taking your drone for a test run, you must register it. Lately children has been receiving drones as presents due to the rise in popularity, however, you must be at least 13 years of age to register. While the drone may be registered in another person’s name, children are legally allowed to fly it. But remember that the responsibility and any consequences comes down to the registered owner.

Also keep in mind that any drone that is heavier than 55 pounds is strictly prohibited. Drones heavier than that can be hazardous to not only people but also buildings. Take note that any add-ons, such as a camera, adds to the weight of your drone. If your drone exceeds 55 pounds, you must receive a special license and permission before launching.

Laws by state and federal also consist of airport restrictions. This means that you absolutely prohibited from flying within a five mile radius of any airport. If, for whatever reason, you feel the need to fly within that area, you must contact the airport directly. Another area restriction is anywhere there is a sporting event, this includes Major League Baseball, Major League Football, NCAA Division One Football, and much more. You cannot fly within three miles of any of this events.

For drone laws in Florida, there are a bit more specific restrictions. For any area that is fenced and has a sign with phrases similar to ‘authorized personnel only’, you are not allowed to fly in that area. This can include areas with power generators, mobile towers, natural gas stations, and more. Your flight may interfere with their operations. Try to avoid the surrounding area, but if you feel that you are a bit close, perhaps give them a phone call and personally find out what distance they comfortable with you flying.

There was once a viral video on YouTube that depicted a drone with an attached pistol. Don’t even bother trying that in Florida. Drone laws in Miami and all other Florida regions restrict weaponizing a drone. This includes items such as knives, explosives and firearms.

Other Miami drone laws and Florida as whole include privacy concerns. This means that you are not allowed to capture images of people without their permission. Obviously, this includes drones flying over private property such as their homes, but also public places. Unless you have business or government approval.

If a person feels like you have breached their privacy or even caused them injury with the use of your drone, then they can seek consequences for your actions. Civilian drone laws are in place to keep everyone safe, please do not abuse it.

The use of drones are still a new concept, so you can expect change in the future. These existing laws may be amended and also the addition of new ones. Florida has actually already proposed a few new laws. One of them is banning drones that drop off weapons, drugs, and other contraband. This has been seen over and nearby correctional facilities. Another proposal that is being talked about is banning registered sex offenders from operating drones.

Don’t let these drone laws scare you from flying your own. After all, Florida is the sunshine state and it really has a lot to offer in terms of views. The weather conditions are almost always perfect, so you will have no problem optimizing your drone range. Fly safe, stay informed, and have fun!

3 Comments

  1. Hi Dhia, we plan to visit Bradenton Florida in the very near future. I’m finding contradictory information something I would like to avoid. I’m new to the droning world and just like to fly and get beautiful pictures, videos to bring back for memories. So do I need any permits, anything other than the obvious height, proximity of airports and other points you’ve mentioned above?

    • mm

      Hi Andrew,

      What you can do is to go to the office and ask the person with the badge who is in charge that day.
      You can also visit https://app.airmap.io to check how restrict your surroundings are and how you can ask/notify them of you flying your drone!

      “Also remember to be courteous. If someone objects to where you’re flying, try to stay friendly, explain that you’re just doing your hobby, and perhaps land the quad and move to another location.”

      Hope that helps!

  2. Thanks very much for the advice and tips. 👍

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