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Drone Laws in Arkansas

Summary of Drone Laws in Arkansas

Hobbyist Drone Laws For Residents of Arkansas and USA

Drone Operations in Arkansas are regulated.


  • Hobbyist drone flights are allowed
  • Hobbyist drone pilot license may be required for certain operations.
  • A TRUST Test is required.
  • Hobbyist Drone registration is required for hobbyists flying a drone of more than 0.55 lbs.
  • Drone Remote ID is required for hobbyists, although full implementation is delayed
  • Drone Insurance is not required but recommended for hobbyists’ drone operations

Read below for more details on Hobbyist Drone Laws in Arkansas and to find links to regulators and other credible sources!

Commercial Drone Laws For Residents of Arkansas and USA

Drone Operations in Arkansas are regulated.


  • Commercial drone flights are allowed
  • A commercial drone pilot license is required
  • Commercial Drone registration is required in Arkansas
  • Drone Remote ID is required for Commercial Drone Operators. However, full implementation has been delayed
  • Drone Insurance is not required but recommended for commercial drone operations

Read below for more details on Commercial Drone Laws in Arkansas and to find links to regulators and other credible sources!

Drone Laws For Foreign Visitors To Arkansas (not USA Residents)

Drone Operations in Arkansas are regulated.


  • Foreign visitor drone flights are allowed in Arkansas
  • Foreign visitor drone pilot license is required
  • Drone registration is required for visitors/tourists
  • Drone Remote ID is required in Arkansas for tourists. However, full implementation has been delayed.
  • Drone Insurance is not required but recommended for tourist drone operations

Read below for more details on Drone Laws in Arkansas for Visitors (Tourists) and to find links to regulators and other credible sources!

Drone Laws For Government Drone Operators

Drone Operations in Arkansas are regulated.


  • Government drone flights are allowed in Arkansas
  • Government drone pilot license is required
  • Drone registration is required for Government operations
  • Drone Remote ID is required in Arkansas for Government operations. However, full implementation has been delayed.
  • Drone Insurance is not required for Government drone operations

Read below for more details on Drone Laws in Arkansas for Government Drone Operations and to find links to regulators and other credible sources!

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the State of Arkansas

Federal Aviation Administration

FAA Drone Website: https://www.faa.gov/uas/


UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Arkansas

Drone operation in the State of Arkansas is broadly governed by The Federal USA agency responsible for drone safety, the FAA. Click here for details on FAA USA Drone Laws.

In addition, the Arkansas legislature has enacted several supplemental rules specific to Arkansas drone operations. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the links above.

Are drones allowed in Arkansas?

Drones are allowed in Arkansas for recreational and commercial use, subject to FAA regulations and flight controls put in place by local governments. Read on for details.

Specific additional drone use laws by Arkansas State legislature

House Bill 1770 (2015)

Arkansas defines “drones” as “unmanned aircraft systems.” Arkansas’ definition of an “unmanned aircraft system” is very broad, covering any “unmanned, powered aircraft that: 

  1.  Does not carry a human operator; 
  2.  Can be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated; and 
  3.  Can be expendable or recoverable.”

Unmanned aircraft system” does not include:

  1. A satellite orbiting the earth;
  2. “Unmanned aircraft systems” that are being used by the federal government, the state after consultation with the governor, or as a result of a state or federal contract to inspect critical infrastructure
  3. An unmanned aircraft used by a law enforcement agency, emergency medical service agency, hazardous materials response team, disaster management agency, or other emergency management agency for the purpose of incident command, area reconnaissance, personnel and equipment deployment monitoring, training, or a related purpose.
  4. An unmanned aircraft system used under a certificate of authorization issued by the Federal Aviation Administration; or
  5. An unmanned aircraft used by a law enforcement agency, emergency medical service agency, hazardous materials response team, disaster management agency, or other emergency management agency for the purpose of incident command, area reconnaissance, personnel and equipment deployment monitoring, training, or a related purpose.

No drone operator must knowingly record a person or persons using a UAS to conduct surveillance or gather evidence. Nor shall they collect information on critical infrastructures without formal written consent from the structure’s owner.

Arkansas Critical infrastructures include, but are not limited to:

  • Petroleum refineries
  • Petroleum/chemical storage facilities
  • Electrical power generation/delivery systems
  • Rubber and chemical manufacturing facilities
  • Railroad operating facilities
  • Communication towers or communications facilities
  • Electrical power generation or delivery system
  • Food processing or manufacturing facility
  • A correctional or detention facility
5-60-103. – Unlawful use of unmanned aircraft system

A person commits the offense of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system if he or she knowingly uses an unmanned aircraft system to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record critical infrastructure without the prior written consent of the owner of the critical infrastructure.

Unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system is a class B misdemeanor. Second or subsequent offenses are a Class A misdemeanor.

5-16-102. – Voyeurism

5-16-101. – Crime of video voyeurism

Using a drone to spy or video someone without their consent is a punishable crime.

Specific additional UAV laws by local governments within Arkansas

There are no Arkansas local government drone laws on the books at the current time. We recommend checking the local jurisdiction for the latest regulations.

Specific additional laws in Jurisdictions within Arkansas

Many cities or towns within the state of Arkansas may have specific restrictions within their jurisdictions. We recommend checking the local jurisdiction for the latest regulations.

What you must know about Arkansas No Fly Zones or No Drone Zones

You need to know if you can operate your drone. Under what limitations? Whether you will need authorizations? And, if so, how to get those authorizations.

We encourage you to read our explainer. It provides more details here: Explainer – What You Must Know About No Fly Zones or No Drone Zones

How do I check for no-fly zones, no-drone zones, and uncontrolled or controlled airspace in Arkansas?

The FAA has partnered with Aloft to develop the B4UFLY mobile app. The app can tell you if there are any airspace restrictions where you want to fly.

If you are looking for a drone no-fly zone map, then B4UFLY is a good place to start.

The app provides situational awareness to recreational flyers and other drone users. You will need airspace authorizations to fly in controlled airspace. This app does not allow you to get airspace authorizations. Authorizations are available through the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC).

The B4UFLY app is available to download for free:

Get the B4UFLY at the App Store for iOS.  https://apps.apple.com/us/app/b4ufly-drone-airspace-safety/id992427109

Get the B4UFLY at the Google Play store for Android.  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.faa.b4ufly2&hl=en_US&gl=US

B4UFLY is also available as a desktop version for preflight planning and research. https://b4ufly.aloft.ai/ (“B4UFLY App | Federal Aviation Administration”)

How do I get authorization to fly in controlled airspace in Arkansas?

Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) is run by the FAA. It is the only way to get permission to fly in controlled airspace.

LAANC is available to drone pilots. It applies if you are operating under the Small UAS Rule Part 107. And it applies if you are operating under the exception for Recreational Flyers.

You can get access through one of the FAA-approved LAANC UAS Service Suppliers. Some providers have apps that can be used to apply for approval in near-real time.

There are two ways to use LAANC:

  • Submit a near real-time authorization request for operations. Applies to flights under 400 feet in controlled airspace around airports. This is available to Part 107 Pilots and Recreational Flyers.
  • Submit a “further coordination request.” This applies if you need to fly above the designated altitude ceiling in a UAS Facility Map, up to 400 feet.
    • You can apply up to 90 days before a flight. The approval is coordinated manually through the FAA. This is available to Part 107 pilots only.

LAANC is available at 726 airports. Use the manual process to apply for authorizations for airports not offering LAANC.


Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Arkansas

If you have a small drone of less than 55 pounds, you can fly recreationally by following Drone Laws in the USA defined by 49 USC 44809.

In Arkansas, recreational UAS operations (i.e., flying for recreational purposes) are approved under law, specifically 49 USC 44809. Please check the specific state jurisdiction for additional permissions, licensing, or clearance requirements.

Following these rules will keep you and your drone safe. And that helps keep the airspace available to everyone.

All recreational flyers must pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test. The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) meets this rule. You must provide proof of passage if asked by law enforcement or FAA personnel. 

TRUST provides education and testing on important safety and regulatory information. If you fly your drone recreationally under the Exception for Recreational Flyers, you must pass the test before you fly. 

Note: If your drone weighs more than .55 pounds (lbs), you must register your drone through the FAA’s Drone Zone.

For a complete discussion on drone registration, see our Drone Registration Explainer.

To fly your drone as a recreational flyer, it’s as easy as 1-2-3

  1. Understand recreational flying requirements
    • Note: Non-recreational drone use is when you fly drones for business or to help out, not just for fun. For example, real estate agents may use drones to take photos of houses they are selling. Roof inspectors might use drones to get a closer look at roofs. A high school might have someone fly a drone to record football games and post videos on their website. Doing volunteer work with drones also counts as non-recreational use. So, non-recreational drone use is any time you operate a drone to do useful work. Or help others out. It is when you are not just doing it to enjoy flying it for hobby or sport. If you’re unsure which rules apply to your flight, fly under Part 107 (See below).
  2. Take TRUST
    • You may take the free online test through any of the FAA-approved test administrators.
    • All FAA-approved TRUST test administrators offer the test free.
    • All test questions are correctable to 100% before issuing your completion certificate.
    • After completing TRUST, you must download, save, or print your completion certificate.
    • If you lose your certificate, you will need to retake TRUST.
    • View a list of TRUST Test Administrators
  3. Receive your certificate
    • After you pass the test, you will receive a certificate. The test administrator you selected gives you your certificate.
    • Test administrators will not keep a record of your certificate. If law enforcement officers ask, you must present a copy of your certificate.

General Rules for Recreational Flyers

USC44809 is the Exception for Limited Recreational Operations of Unmanned Aircraft. It is the law that describes how, when, and where you can fly drones for recreational purposes. Following these rules helps keep people, your drone, and our airspace safe:

  1. Fly only for recreational purposes (personal enjoyment).
  2. Follow the safety guidelines of an FAA-recognized Community-Based Organization (CBO). Read Advisory Circular 91-57C. It provides more information on how to become an FAA-recognized CBO, 
  3. Keep your drone within the visual line of sight. Or use a visual observer who is physically next to you and directly communicating with you.
  4. Give way to and do not interfere with other aircraft.
  5. Fly at or below FAA-authorized altitudes in controlled airspace with prior FAA authorization. Controlled airspace is Class B, C, D, and surface Class E designated for an airport. Get your FAA authorization using LAANC or DroneZone.
  6. Fly at or below 400 feet in Class G (uncontrolled) airspace. Note: Flying drones in restricted airspace is not allowed. Before the flight, drone pilots should always check for airspace restrictions. You can do so on the B4UFLY app or the UAS Facility Maps webpage.
  7. Take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and carry proof of test passage when flying.
  8. Have a current FAA registration. Mark (PDF) your drones on the outside with the registration number. And carry proof of registration when flying. Starting September 16, 2023, registered drones must broadcast Remote ID information. The FAA has delayed enforcement to March 16, 2024.
  9. Do not operate your drone in a manner that endangers the safety of the national airspace system.

Recreational drone pilots must not violate safety requirements. Nor should they operate their drone flight carelessly or recklessly. You could be liable for criminal and/or civil penalties if you do.

You do not need a drone license if your drone use is recreational and falls within the scope of 44809. But, to fly your drone commercially, you must first get a Remote Pilot Certificate (RPC). This is also true for flights under the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (Part 107). The RPC is also known as a drone license or a Part 107 certificate. You may want to get your drone license for the flexibility it allows in your drone flights.

For more details on drone licensing, please see our Drone License Explainer.

It is recommended that recreational drone operators consult the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations on the proper use of recreational drones and use common sense when operating these devices around crowded public areas, wildlife, or historic resources.


Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Arkansas

If you have a small drone that is less than 55 pounds, you can fly for work or business by following the Drone Laws in the USA defined by FAA Part 107 guidelines.

Commercial drone operations in Arkansas are approved under the FAA Part 107. Please check the specific state jurisdiction for additional permissions, licensing, or clearance requirements.

For a complete review of the FAA Part 107 regulation, please see our comprehensive FAA 107 Explainer.

Note: The Operations Over People rule became effective on April 21, 2021. Drone pilots operating under Part 107 may fly at night, over people and moving vehicles without a waiver as long as they meet the requirements defined in the rule. Airspace authorizations are still required for night operations in controlled airspace under 400 feet.

If you have a small drone of fewer than 55 pounds, you can fly for work or business by following the Part 107 guidelines. There are three main steps to fly under Part 107 rules.

Step 1: Learn the Rules

Ensure you understand what is and is not allowed under Part 107 rules.

If you are unsure if Part 107 rules work for you and your intended operation, check our user identification tool.

Some operations will need a waiver. Here are the regulations specified in §107.205 that are subject to waiver:

Learn more about Part 107 Waivers.

Drone operators should avoid flying near airports. It is difficult for crewed aircraft to see and avoid a drone while flying. Remember that the drone operator must avoid manned aircraft. You are responsible for any safety hazard your drone creates in an airport environment.

Step 2: Become an FAA-Certified Drone Pilot by Passing the Knowledge Test

For more details on drone licensing, please see our Drone License Explainer.

To be eligible to get your Remote Pilot Certificate, you must be:

  • At least 16 years old
  • Able to read, write, speak, and understand English
  • Be in a physical and mental condition to safely fly a UAS

Study for the Knowledge Test

Get an FAA Tracking Number (FTN)

Schedule an Appointment

Complete FAA Form 8710-13

Step 3: Register your Drone with the FAA

For a complete discussion on drone registration, see our Drone Registration Explainer.

Registration costs $5 and is valid for three years. You’ll need a credit or debit card and the make and model of your drone handy to register. Learn more about registering your drone.

  • Create an account and register your drone at FAADroneZone. Select “Fly sUAS under Part 107.”
  • Once you’ve registered, mark your drone (PDF) with your registration number. The number will be useful in case it gets lost or stolen.

Useful published information on flying drones in Arkansas

We have partnered with the FAA and other drone enthusiasts in supporting an internet educational campaign called Know Before You Fly. The tips, pointers, and resources apply to Arkansas Drone Users also. Please visit the site for additional information: Know Before You Fly


Authoritative Sources of Information on Arkansas Drone Laws

We will attempt to keep an updated list of online authoritative links to regulators and other official websites here:



NOTE: This page is about the Regulation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model Aircraft, toy, remote-controlled, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.


Find out why

We think you must use a Drone Preflight Checklist

And a Drone Post-flight checklist

Free Drone Flight Checklist PDF

This Drone Flight Checklists is better than others.

It’s free!

It includes both the preflight checklist and post-flight checklist

It’s an easy-to-use printable PDF that covers all your bases.


Traveling with a Drone?

Click here to read our Comprehensive Guide For Traveling With A Drone.



NOW IT’S YOUR TURN

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In The Comments Below


12 responses to “Drone Laws in Arkansas”

  1. Rhonda Hill

    Is it legal to use a drone for deer recovery in Arkansas? Injured deer only.

    1. Editorial Team

      Please check with the Arkansas Wildlife regulators

  2. Jerome Davis

    I live in Fort Smith.And I have been a victim of several people using their drones Thermal imaging cameras to track me in my home, and when I have contacted the police department,of course the drones move,but not only that the officers responses have all been the same reactions. Disbelief and a recommendation to go see a Doctor.No help what do ever.This activity is happening every night.

    1. Editorial Team

      You should document these intrusions, with video preferably. You should take it to your local law enforcement.

  3. Kay Maris

    Without opening every link, is a drone operator allowed to fly over your back yard and watch your daughter and her friend as they are watching a movie? Scared her to death. She then whipped out her phone and videoed it returning to operator and him snatching it up and running in his house.

    1. Editorial Team

      Arkansas has laws against voyeurism and video voyeurism. There may also be other privacy rules violated depending on the specifics. You should contact your local law enforcement.

  4. Eddie

    I have friends that are being hovered and followed by drones. I really thought they were exaggerating until i saw it myself There has to be laws against that kind of stalking.

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      If they are operated unsafely or in violation of privacy regulations, then you should contact your local law enforcement.

    2. Rabecca Merrifield

      This is happening to my family every day in Yellville Arkansas. It has really caused some people to have PTSD and they don’t feel comfortable in their own homes.

  5. Carla

    Recently, Ive had my home broken into, my wifi internet “hijacked” , and my banking information breached. I’ve also received notice that my information is posted on the dark web!
    When these issues began, I purchased a cctv system and have captured footage of drones LANDING ON MY HOME as well as flying near the cameras right before they mysteriously stop recording.
    If flying intellegent (“smart”) aircraft into the private and personal space of citizens is becoming the norm, it is an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY that it be more strictly regulated!!!!!
    I see how they could be fun…: but someone’s fun is NOT worth my sense of safety in my own home!!!! It’s unfortunate that the actions of a few evil-doers may ruin it for all…. But I would be perfectly fine if they were completely outlawed!!!!!
    By way of drone, these people have knowledge of when I’m home and when I’m not, if I’m alone or not, they have accessed my Wi-Fi and scrambled my security system to allow easier entry into my home and HAVE ENTERED MY HOME!!!!!! This is NOT OK!

  6. Michael Todd Clark

    Is there any way to tell who is flying all the drones in the southwest part of the state? Because it’s really getting creepy like they are spying on people. And myself I don’t really feel safe as a tax paying citizen should. So let me know if there is.

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      Michael, please contact your local law enforcement officials.

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12 thoughts on “Drone Laws in Arkansas”

  1. I live in Fort Smith.And I have been a victim of several people using their drones Thermal imaging cameras to track me in my home, and when I have contacted the police department,of course the drones move,but not only that the officers responses have all been the same reactions. Disbelief and a recommendation to go see a Doctor.No help what do ever.This activity is happening every night.

    Reply
  2. Without opening every link, is a drone operator allowed to fly over your back yard and watch your daughter and her friend as they are watching a movie? Scared her to death. She then whipped out her phone and videoed it returning to operator and him snatching it up and running in his house.

    Reply
    • Arkansas has laws against voyeurism and video voyeurism. There may also be other privacy rules violated depending on the specifics. You should contact your local law enforcement.

      Reply
  3. I have friends that are being hovered and followed by drones. I really thought they were exaggerating until i saw it myself There has to be laws against that kind of stalking.

    Reply
    • If they are operated unsafely or in violation of privacy regulations, then you should contact your local law enforcement.

      Reply
    • This is happening to my family every day in Yellville Arkansas. It has really caused some people to have PTSD and they don’t feel comfortable in their own homes.

      Reply
  4. Recently, Ive had my home broken into, my wifi internet “hijacked” , and my banking information breached. I’ve also received notice that my information is posted on the dark web!
    When these issues began, I purchased a cctv system and have captured footage of drones LANDING ON MY HOME as well as flying near the cameras right before they mysteriously stop recording.
    If flying intellegent (“smart”) aircraft into the private and personal space of citizens is becoming the norm, it is an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY that it be more strictly regulated!!!!!
    I see how they could be fun…: but someone’s fun is NOT worth my sense of safety in my own home!!!! It’s unfortunate that the actions of a few evil-doers may ruin it for all…. But I would be perfectly fine if they were completely outlawed!!!!!
    By way of drone, these people have knowledge of when I’m home and when I’m not, if I’m alone or not, they have accessed my Wi-Fi and scrambled my security system to allow easier entry into my home and HAVE ENTERED MY HOME!!!!!! This is NOT OK!

    Reply
  5. Is there any way to tell who is flying all the drones in the southwest part of the state? Because it’s really getting creepy like they are spying on people. And myself I don’t really feel safe as a tax paying citizen should. So let me know if there is.

    Reply

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