Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the State of Idaho
FAA Drone Website: https://www.faa.gov/uas/
Updated December 30, 2021
UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Idaho
Drone operation in the State of Idaho 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 Idaho State legislature has enacted several supplemental rules specific to Idaho drone operations. The highlights are enumerated below.
Are drones allowed in Idaho?
Drones are allowed in Idaho 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 Idaho legislature
“Unmanned aircraft system” (UAS) means an unmanned aircraft vehicle, drone, remotely piloted vehicle, remotely piloted aircraft or remotely operated aircraft that is a powered aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, can fly autonomously or remotely and can be expendable or recoverable.
“Unmanned aircraft system” does not include:
- Model flying airplanes or rockets including, but not necessarily limited to, those that are radio controlled or otherwise remotely controlled and that are used purely for sport or recreational purposes; and
- An unmanned aircraft system used in mapping or resource management.
21-213. – RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS — DEFINITION — VIOLATION — CAUSE OF ACTION AND DAMAGES
The statute prohibits surveillance of, the gathering of evidence or information about, and photographic or electronic recording of “specifically targeted” persons or private property without a warrant. An exception is made for emergency response for safety, search and rescue, and controlled substance investigations.
Any person who is the subject of prohibited conduct under subsection (2) of this section shall:
- Have a civil cause of action against the person, entity or state agency for such prohibited conduct; and
- Be entitled to recover from any such person, entity or state agency damages in the amount of the greater of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or actual and general damages, plus reasonable attorney’s fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.
36-1101 – TAKING OF WILDLIFE UNLAWFUL EXCEPT BY STATUTE OR COMMISSION RULE OR PROCLAMATION — METHODS PROHIBITED — EXCEPTIONS
Idaho law prohibits the use of any unmanned aircraft system to aid in hunting activities unless the hunter has a physical disability and obtains a permit for such use.
Specific additional UAV laws by local governments within Idaho
This ordinance states that all drone users operating in Ada County must register their model with the FAA. That includes all UAS regardless of the intended use or weight of the model. The rules also stipulate that pilots must operate drones in a safe manner to prevent potential damage to people and property.
No camera drone can capture visual images of persons or private property without prior consent. Nor should operators attempt to record audio in places where people have the right to a reasonable expectation of privacy.
This ordinance forbids UAS launches, landings, and flight operations in all Canyon County parks, natural and cultural resources. Moreover, no drone or other UAS can fly below 500ft AGL in any Canyon County park airspace. Exceptions are when drones and other UAS pilots have official authorization by the Director of Canyon County Department of Parks.
Local governments within Idaho may have specific restrictions within their jurisdictions. We recommend checking the local jurisdiction for the latest regulations.
UAS operation rules in Parks, Recreation and Cultural Preserves
This Idaho state law prohibits drone operations on all land managed by the state’s Fish and Game ‘Wildlife Management Areas’ or WMAs. The exceptions are for those with prior authorization and in areas with officially recognized public landing strips. Prior authorization is granted on a case-by-case basis. See the link above for details.
Specific additional UAV laws laws in Jurisdictions within Idaho
Counties or towns within Idaho may have specific restrictions within their jurisdictions. We recommend checking the local jurisdiction for the latest regulations.
Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Idaho
If you have a small drone that is less than 55 pounds, you can fly recreationally by following the Drone Laws in the USA defined by FAA Part 107 guidelines.
Recreational UAS operations (i.e., flying for recreational purposes) in Idaho are approved under Federal law, specifically the FAA Part 107. Please check the specific state jurisdiction for additional permissions, licensing, or clearance requirements.
Following these rules will keep you and your drone safe and will help keep the airspace available to everyone.
- Fly only for recreational purposes (enjoyment).
- Follow the safety guidelines of an FAA-recognized Community Based Organization (CBO). Note: We have not yet begun officially recognizing CBOs. Recreational flyers should follow the safety guidelines of existing aeromodelling organizations or use the FAA-provided safety guidelines per Advisory Circular 91-57B.
- Keep your drone within the visual line of sight or use a co-located visual observer (physically next to) and in direct communication with you.
- Give way to and do not interfere with crewed aircraft.
- Fly at or below 400′ in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, and E) with prior authorization by using LAANC or DroneZone.
- Fly at or below 400 feet in Class G (uncontrolled) airspace. Note: Drone flights may be prohibited in certain airspace or may require FAA authorization. A drone pilot can find navigable airspace, other Classes of airspace, and flying restrictions on our B4UFLY app or the UAS Facility Maps webpage.
- Take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and carry proof of test passage.
- Have a current registration, mark (PDF) your drones on the outside with the registration number, and carry proof of registration with you. For recreational flyers, the FAA does not require you to register or mark a drone which weighs less than 0.55 lbs (250 grams).
- Do not dangerously operate your drone. For example:
- Do not interfere with emergency response or law enforcement activities.
- Do not fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Avoid flying near or over critical infrastructure.
Recreational drone pilots should know that if they intentionally violate any of these safety requirements and/or operate their drone flight carelessly or recklessly, they could be liable for criminal and/or civil penalties.
Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Idaho
If you have a small unmanned aircraft 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 Idaho are approved under the FAA Part 107. Please check the specific state jurisdiction for additional permissions, licensing, or clearance requirements.
There are three main steps drone owners must follow To fly under Part 107 rules:
Step 1: Learn the Rules
- Make sure you understand what is and is not allowed under Part 107 rules. Review a summary of the Part 107 rules (PDF). Still unsure if Part 107 rules work for you and your intended UAS operation? Check the FAA user identification tool.
- Some operations are not covered by Part 107 and will require a waiver. Here are some common examples of Part 107 sections that are subject to waiver:
- Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft (§ 107.25) *
- Daylight operation (§ 107.29)
- Visual line of sight aircraft operation (§ 107.31) *
- Visual observer (§ 107.33)
- Operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems (§ 107.35)
- Yielding the right of way (§ 107.37(a))
- Operation over people (§ 107.39)
- Operation in certain airspace (§ 107.41)
- Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft (§ 107.51)
- *The FAA will not waive this section to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire.
- If your operation will require a waiver, read about the Part 107 Waiver application process.
- Commercial Drone Pilots should avoid flying near airports because it is difficult for manned aircraft to see and avoid a drone while flying. Remember that the UAS operator must avoid crewed aircraft and are responsible for any safety hazard their drone creates in an airport environment. Read more about flying near airports.
Step 2: Become an FAA-Certified Drone Pilot by Passing the Knowledge Test
- To be eligible to get your Drone License (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
- Review the entire process to get your Drone License or Remote Pilot Certificate.
- Study for the Knowledge Test by reviewing the Test Prep materials provided by the FAA.
- Obtain an FAA Tracking Number (FTN) by creating an Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) profile before registering for a knowledge test.
- Schedule an appointment to take the Knowledge Test at an FAA-approved Knowledge Testing Center.
- Once you’ve passed your test, complete FAA Form 8710-13 for a remote pilot certificate (FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application) using the electronic FAA Integrated Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application system (IACRA)*
- You are now eligible to operate as a commercial drone pilot
Step 3: Register your drone with the FAA
- 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.
- Visit dronezone.faa.gov and select “Fly sUAS under Part 107” to create an account and register your drone.
- Once you’ve registered, mark your drone (PDF) with your registration number if it gets lost or stolen.
Commercial rules in Parks, Recreation and Cultural reserves
We suggest you contact the local parks agencies and check for specific permissions required.
Useful published information on flying drones in Idaho
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 Idaho Drone Users also. Please visit the site for additional information: Know Before You Fly
Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International – Mostly for commercial drone service providers and users.
Academy of Model Aeronautics – Mostly for hobbyists
NOTE: 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 aircraft, Remote controlled aircraft, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.
Traveling with a Drone?
Click here to read our Comprehensive Guide For Traveling With A Drone
NOW ITS YOUR TURN