Drone Laws in NY State

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in New York State

Federal Aviation Administration

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

NY State Assembly – Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – Regulating Unmanned Aircraft Systems

UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in NY State

Drone operation in NY State 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 NY State legislature has enacted several supplemental rules specific to NY State drone operations. The highlights are enumerated below.

Are drones allowed in NY State?

Drones are allowed in NY State 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 New York State legislature

OPR-PCD-018 | New York Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation (2015)

This state-wide rule prohibits all drone operations in New York’s state parks and historical sites without prior written approval. Special UAS permits for flying drones specify times, locations, and type of use permitted under the conditions of the authority and discretion of OPRHP. Non-permit holders—or those awaiting approval—must not launch, land, or operate UAS in NY State Parks.

Specific additional UAV laws by local governments within NY State

City Of Syracuse Drone law: The city bans the use of drones by city officials until adequate federal and state laws are passed regarding the government’s use of drones in a manner that protects citizens’ 1st and 4th amendment rights.

Syracuse University restricts flights over the university property. The University will only approve drone flights on or above University property for University-related business. Recreational use of drones is not permitted on or above University-owned or operated property.

Village of Cooperstown Drone Laws: No person, pilot, or operator shall launch, land, retrieve, or otherwise operate an Unmanned Aircraft (“drone”) in the Village of Cooperstown or upon Village-owned property outside the Village boundaries except on or from the following locations:

  1. From or on an operator’s own private property, but not, however, during those times subsection “4” hereinafter applies.
  2. From or on another person or entity’s property, but only after first obtaining the express written permission of the owner of the subject property, and not during those times subsection “4” hereinafter applies.
  1. From or on any Village of Cooperstown owned, leased, or maintained property, including but not limited to streets, roadways, highways, lanes, sidewalks, parking lots, or Parks, whether within the Village of Cooperstown boundaries or outside (i.e. Fairy Spring, Three Mile Point, etc.), but only after first obtaining the express written permission of the Village as hereinafter provided.
  2. From or on any property situate in the Village of Cooperstown during a period extending from two (2) hours before and continuing two (2) hours after the conclusion and within one (1) mile of any Village designated “Special Event”, but only after first obtaining the express written permission of the Village as hereinafter provided.

Town of Hempstead Drone Laws:

  1. The Town Board further limits the private use of UAS in the vicinity of Town of Hempstead facilities.
  2. The Town Board recognizes that the Federal Aviation Administration has authority to regulate the use of UAS by public entities as well as UAS used for commercial purposes and that no person shall operate a UAS for commercial purposes without the express permission of the FAA.
  3. The following rebuttable presumption shall apply: The possession by any person of a UAS while on or in the vicinity of any Town of Hempstead facility creates the presumption that such UAS has been used in violation of this chapter subjecting the possessor of such UAS to all penalties provided for herein.
  4. A town facility is defined as any park, beach, cemetery, building, repair facility, under the ownership or control of the Town of Hempstead, as well as any public area under the use or control of the Town of Hempstead.
  5. Anyone seeking issuance of a special exception permit to operate a UAS, not otherwise permitted by other governmental authority, shall file an application with the Town Clerk on forms provided by the Town Clerk and pay the proscribed fee.
  6. Filing period: An application for a permit shall be filed with the Town Clerk not less than 15 days or more than 30 days prior to the date upon which the applicant proposes to conduct the activity.
  7. As part of the application for a permit to operate a UAS under the terms of this chapter, the applicant must provide proof of liability insurance, naming the Town of Hempstead as an additional insured.
  8. See link above for more details on the regulations.

Town of Oyster Bay Drone Laws:

The Town of Oyster Bay defines an UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM (for the purpose of the law below) as any mechanical device weighing not less than two pounds which is airborne or may be caused to be airborne, including model airplanes and drones as well as any other similar mechanical device that is controlled by radio transmitter:

  1. The Town Board further limits the private use of UAS in the vicinity of Town of Oyster Bay facilities.
  2. The Town Board recognizes that the Federal Aviation Administration has authority to regulate the use of UAS by public entities as well as UAS used for commercial purposes and that no person shall operate a UAS for commercial purposes without the express permission of the FAA.
  3. No UAS may be taken off/launched from or landed at any Town facility, as defined herein, by any private, commercial, or business person or entity without approval of such use from the Town of Oyster Bay, as evidenced by a permit issued by the Town Clerk.
  4. A town facility is defined as any park, beach, cemetery, property, building or repair facility, under the ownership or control of the Town of Oyster Bay, or any of the Town departments.
  5. Anyone seeking issuance of a special exception permit to operate a UAS, not otherwise permitted by another governmental authority, shall file an application with the Town Clerk on forms provided by the Town Clerk.
  6. Permit period. For the period beginning on October 1 and concluding on April 31, a seasonal use permit shall be available to applicants satisfying the permitting requirements of this chapter. For the period beginning on May 1 and concluding on September 31, a nonseasonal use permit shall be available to applicants satisfying the permitting requirements of this chapter when the applicant intends to use a UAS at a Town facility between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  7. Filing period: The Town Clerk, where good cause is shown therefor, shall have the authority to consider any application hereunder which is filed less than 15 days prior to the proposed activity date.
  8. As part of the application for a permit to operate a UAS under the terms of this chapter, the applicant must provide proof of liability insurance, naming the Town of Oyster Bay as a named insured.
  9. See link above for more details on the regulations.

Great Neck Park District Drone Laws:

  1. The Great Neck Park District restricts the use, on and above Park District property and facilities, of unmanned aircraft vehicles (a/k/a “Drones”) by all persons and entities other than governmental agencies for governmental purposes.
  2. The Board may grant permission for the possession and/or operation of a Drone within, upon and above Park District Property, upon written application for such permission
  3. See link above for more details on the regulations.

Suffolk County Parks Drone Laws

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Permit – an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator and can be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated (includes drones and model airplanes). Patrons wishing to fly UAVs in or over Suffolk County Parks must submit an Application for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Permit to the Suffolk County Parks Operations Office in West Sayville.

Suffolk County UAV Flying Locations (UAV permit required):

  1. Blydenburgh County Park – Smithtown
  2. Cathedral Pines County Park – Middle Island
  3. Cedar Point County Park – East Hampton
  4. Coram Air Field – Coram
  5. Cupsogue Beach County Park – Westhampton*
  6. Gardiner County Park – West Bay Shore
  7. Indian Island County Park – Riverhead
  8. Lakeland County Park – Islandia
  9. Lake Ronkonkoma County Park – Lake Ronkonkoma
  10. Meschutt Beach County Park – Hampton Bays*
  11. Montauk County Park – Montauk
  12. Sears Bellows County Park – Hampton Bays
  13. Shinnecock East County Park – Southampton
  14. Smith Point County Park – Shirley*
  15. Southaven County Park – Brookhaven
  16. West Hills County Park – Huntington
  17. Nature Preserves, Passive Parkland and Historic Sites*

*Location considered on a case by case basis.

Rules & Regulations

  • UAV’s cannot be flown over population areas such as campgrounds, playgrounds, hiking, and horseback riding trails, stables, golf courses, dog runs, sporting fields (when in use), or other areas as determined by the Parks Department.
  • Due to high patron density, UAV’s cannot be flown over County beaches between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
  • UAV’s cannot disturb the public enjoyment of park activities for other visitors, and cannot disrupt any lifeguard, park ranger, or park employee from performing their job duties.
  • The Department shall have the power to suspend or revoke such permit or to deny any application for such permit or for renewal of such permit based upon finding of a violation after a hearing held in accordance with Local Law No. 29, 2015.
  • If you are filming in Suffolk County Parks and are going to sell the footage or profit from the footage, you will need to obtain a permit from the Suffolk County Film Commission.
  • All dates and locations for use of UAV’s must be approved prior to flying. Individual will responsible for contacting the Park prior to arrival to notify staff of UAV usage.

New York City Drone Regulations

Click here for details on New York City Drone Laws

NYC Administrative code requires a drone operator to take off or land in specific places designated by the department of transportation or the port of New York authority. The code also makes it unlawful for a drone operator navigating drones to take off or land, except in an emergency, at any other place within the city’s limits. The rule serves to limit take-off and landings to regulated heliports and airports. As of July 2023, New York City allows drone flights. Please see the NYC Drone Laws page for more details.

Changes Coming in the Future

New York State Legislature has taken up and is considering a number of proposed bills. We highly recommend checking with the local jurisdiction for the latest information.

What you must know about New York State No Fly Zones or No Drone Zones

You need to know if you can operate your drone, under what limitations, whether authorizations are required, and how to get those authorizations.

We encourage you to read our explainer for more details on this topic 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 New York State?

The FAA has partnered with Aloft to develop the B4UFLY mobile app, which 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. However, it does not allow users to obtain airspace authorizations to fly in controlled airspace, only available through the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC).

The B4UFLY app is available to download for free:

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

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 New York State?

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

LAANC is available to pilots operating under the Small UAS Rule Part 107 or 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 under 400 feet in controlled airspace around airports (available to Part 107 Pilots and Recreational Flyers).
  • Submit a “further coordination request” if you need to fly above the designated altitude ceiling in a UASFacility Map, up to 400 feet.
    • You can apply up to 90 days before a flight, and the approval is coordinated manually through the FAA (available to Part 107 pilots only).

LAANC is available at 726 airports. If you want to fly in controlled airspace near airports not offering LAANC, you can use the manual process to apply for authorization.

Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in New York State

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 New York State, 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 help keep the airspace available to everyone.

The law requires that all recreational flyers pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test and provide proof of passage if asked by law enforcement or FAA personnel. The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) was developed to meet this requirement. 

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 flying includes things like taking photos to help sell a property or service, doing roof inspections, or taking pictures of a high school football game for the school’s website. Goodwill can also be considered non-recreational. This would include volunteering to use your drone to survey coastlines on behalf of a non-profit organization. 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% prior to issuing your completion certificate.
    • After completing TRUST, you’ll need to 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 from the test administrator you selected.
    • 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

The Exception for Limited Recreational Operations of Unmanned Aircraft (USC 44809) 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).
    For more information on how to become an FAA-recognized CBO, read Advisory Circular 91-57C.
  3. Keep your drone within the visual line of sight, or use a visual observer who is co-located (physically next to) and in direct communication with you.
  4. Give way to and do not interfere with other aircraft.
  5. Fly at or below FAA-authorized altitudes in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, and surface Class E designated for an airport) only with prior FAA authorization by 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. Drone pilots should always check for airspace restrictions prior to flight on our 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 registrationmark (PDF) your drones on the outside with the registration number, and carry proof of registration when flying.
    Note: Beginning September 16, 2023, if your drone requires an FAA registration number, it will also be required to broadcast Remote ID information.
  9. Do not operate your drone in a manner that endangers the safety of the national airspace system.

Recreational drone pilots should know that if they violate these safety requirements and/or operate their drone flight carelessly or recklessly, they could be liable for criminal and/or civil penalties.

You do not need a drone license if your drone use is recreational and falls within the scope of 44809. However, to fly your drone commercially or under the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (Part 107), you must first obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate (RPC), 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.

Hobbyist rules in Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

The recreational flying of toy or model rockets or aircraft (types of UAS) is subject to 9 NYCRR Section 372.7(j) and in the Palisades Region to 9 NYCRR Section 409.1(j). Under these regulations and this procedure, the launching, landing, or operation of a UAS for recreational purposes from or on lands and waters administered by OPRHP is an activity that requires an operator to apply for a special UAS permit that shall include conditions outlining the time, place and manner of use.

Locations listed by New York City Parks with more details on where drones are allowed or not: NY City Parks Drone Website

Check your county park for similar restrictions.

Notes for Commercial Drone Services operations in New York State

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 NY State 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. To fly under Part 107 rules, there are three main steps.

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 require 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 because it is difficult for crewed aircraft to see and avoid a drone while flying. Remember that the drone operator must avoid manned aircraft and are responsible for any safety hazard their 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

Obtain 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 in order 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 in case it gets lost or stolen.

Commercial rules in Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

The use of a UAS for commercial purposes is authorized by PRHPL Section 3.09(2) and 9 NYCRR Sections 372.7(b) and 409.1(c) where, generally, a permit is required for any commercial activity in OPRHP facilities (i.e., the selling or offering for sale, hire or lease of any merchandise, service, or other thing of value).

Useful published information on flying drones in NY State

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 NY State 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, 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.


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The content on this site (The latest Drone Laws/Drone Regulations) is collated by volunteers from public general information. It is based on user experience, our own research, understanding, and interpretation of the laws. We always go back to the regulatory source as a starting point and apply our expertise in simplifying where possible what the authorities publish. To that understanding, we add our own first hand experience, and users experience to build a more complete picture.

This material is not presented as legal advice of any kind, and we cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Do not substitute the information you find here for legal advice from a licensed attorney who is authorized to practice in the jurisdiction. When in doubt, contact the local aviation authority responsible for drone safety, utilize a licensed drone service operator, and/or consult a qualified attorney.

When your experience is different, we want to know. We welcome any feedback, corrections, or updates that can be shared with our community.

Finally, we urge you to operate your drone safely and to follow the drone laws of the location in which you are flying!

The contents of this website are open-sourced and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States (CC By-SA 3.0 US). Feel free to share, remix, or otherwise.

22 thoughts on “Drone Laws in NY State”

  1. Re Suffolk County parks. Unfortunately Smith Point County Park is located within the Fire Island National Seashore and are banned by the National Park Service.

  2. I live in afton NY me and my wife bought a piece of property and put our rv on top of the hill 1-2 mile off the main road. We plan to build our dream home here but we have had drones stalking us every night since we’ve been here my wife has spotted them out the window while we are having dinner we have video and pics there are several up high and low on our property.every time I say something people think I’m crazy…please help

  3. I was flying at 216 feet flying my autel Nano plus (small drone) and had a neighbor take a shot at it with his pistol. Then came over to tell me the next day that I was breaking the law. As far as I know I’m not. I have my trust certificate for recreational use, and don’t fly near peoples homes. When I take off, I’m my back yard, I send it up to around 180 to 200 feet before leaving the airspace above my property. I try to do my best not to disturb neighbors and wildlife. But this guy really lost it both when he shot at it and when he canoe over to my house.

    • Shooting at drones, or interfering with drone activity is a federal offense. Please report this to the FAA and your local law enforcement.

  4. Any idea why Bill Number A01670/S01979 (2017-2018) was not voted upon and passed?

    240.80 Unlawful use of a drone.

    6. with the intent to harass or annoy an individual or individuals; or
    7. below one hundred feet above ground level on private property without
    the owner’s consent.

    I personally am dealing with continued harassment from the neighbors kids. They were told several times by myself and the Police to stay off my property. They have now resorted to using drones at night to peer through the windows of my home, probe my security cameras, and attempt to trigger my motion lights.

    When speaking to the local Police I was told that there are no laws on the books preventing the flight of drones over private property (except near airports) in NYS so no charges can be filed.

    At a minimum everyone should be concerned that these drones are being used for privacy violations.

  5. I have a very odd/modern home; I have lots of folks who are interested in what it looks like inside and thus have drone users who are flying close to my home and trying to see inside (I have metal grids over my windows, so these guys get close. Is there anything I can do about it—esp the one who “crashed” on my roof and who now wants to get inside my home to get up on my roof to collect this machine—I am 80 and no interested in letting anyone much less me on my flat roof (which has sky lights on it). WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THIS SORT OF THING?

  6. The Town of Oyster Bay regulations only apply to drones weighing 2 pounds and above. It is clearly stated in the regulations and has been confirmed by a code enforcement administrator.

  7. The Towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay which are located within Nassau County, NY, have passed local ordinances prohibiting UAS operation on town property without a permit. Other jusrisdictions such as the Great Neck Park District have passed similar regulations. Please know the jurisdiction’s regulations where you are operating!




    • Thank you Genco. We have added those references to the text above and appreciate your bringing them to our attention.

    • Thanks Craig. Do you have a link that could point us to that announcement? We would like to add it to the page.

        • Thanks, Rob. We are reviewing the law. At first glance, they appear to be controlling take-off and landing locations. If you have private property in Cooperstown or know someone who will give you permission then you are allowed to fly. Alternatively, one can request permission to fly from public land following the procedures laid out in the law.
          It’s not clear they have expressly regulated flights (that would be in conflict with the FAA). For the most accurate interpretation, check with a local lawyer.
          We will post what we find on this page after the team has reviewed it.


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