Drone Laws in Ohio

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the State of Ohio

Federal Aviation Administration

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

Updated February 19, 2022

UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Ohio

Drone operation in the State of Ohio 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 Ohio legislature has created a technology committee to review opportunities specific to Ohio drone operations. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the links above and search for unmanned aircraft

Are drones allowed in Ohio?

Drones are allowed in Ohio 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 Ohio State legislature

House Bill HB 292 (2014)

This law enacts Sec. 122.98 of the Revised Code to create the OAATC or Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Technology Committee. One of the duties is to promote, research, and further develop the aerospace, aviation, and technology industry, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

There is hereby created the Ohio aerospace and aviation technology committee, consisting of the following members:

  1. Three members of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate, not more than two of whom may be members of the same political party;
  2. Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, not more than two of whom may be members of the same political party;
  3. Fifteen members representing the aviation, aerospace, or technology industry, the military, or academia. One such member shall be appointed by the governor, and fourteen such members shall be appointed by majority vote of the six members representing the senate and house of representatives.

The duties of the committee shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

  1. Studying and developing comprehensive strategies to promote the aviation, aerospace,and technology industry throughout the state, including through the commercialization ofaviation, aerospace, and technology products and ideas;
  2. Encouraging communication and resource-sharing among individuals and organizationsinvolved in the aviation, aerospace, and technology industry, including business, themilitary, and academia;
  3. Promoting research and development in the aviation, aerospace, and technologyindustry, including research and development of unmanned aerial vehicles;
  4. Providing assistance related to military base realignment and closure.

Specific additional UAV laws by local governments within Ohio State

The city of Cleveland | Municipal Law (2016)

This ordinance gives the City of Cleveland police authorization to enforce drone laws set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The ordinance does not pre-empt FAA rules/regulations. It works in conjunction with them to promote better public safety by reorganizing limitations.

UAS operation rules in Parks, Recreation and Cultural Preserves

Anderson Township Parks | Park District Rule (2015)

This ordinance prohibits drones and other radio-controlled aircraft operations within all parks and facilities owned and managed by the township. The Executive Director may grant written permission to fly drones under certain circumstances.

Butler County | Metro Parks (2008)

No persons shall operate drones or other remote-controlled aircraft in Metro Parks of Butler county outside of designated areas. The Executive Director may issue special use permits under certain conditions. Official exceptions for drone operations exist for law enforcement or medical responders operating within the line of duty.

Cincinnati Parks | Park Board Rule (2017)

This rule prohibits all drone operations in Cincinnati parks outside of designated areas. The only exception is with the written permission from the park’s board.

Hamilton County | Great Parks Rule (2015)

No drone pilots can operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in any Great Parks of Hamilton without official written authorization from the Chief Executive Officer. Recreational pilots can apply by submitting a Private Drone Application form or a Commercial Drone Usage Application for business-related flying.

Specific additional laws in Jurisdictions within Ohio

Many cities or towns within the state of Ohio 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 Ohio

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 Ohio are approved under FAA law, specifically 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.

  1. Fly only for recreational purposes (enjoyment). 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Give way to and do not interfere with crewed aircraft.
  5. Fly at or below 400′ in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, and E) with prior authorization by using LAANC or DroneZone.
  6. 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.
  7. Take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and carry proof of test passage.
  8. Have a current registrationmark (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).
  9. 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.

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 Ohio

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 Ohio 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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
  2. Review the entire process to get your Drone License or Remote Pilot Certificate.
  3. Study for the Knowledge Test by reviewing the Test Prep materials provided by the FAA.
  4. Obtain an FAA Tracking Number (FTN) by creating an Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) profile before registering for a knowledge test.
  5. Schedule an appointment to take the Knowledge Test at an FAA-approved Knowledge Testing Center.
  6. 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)*
  7. 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.

Useful published information on flying drones in Ohio

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 Ohio 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.

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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. 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.

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6 thoughts on “Drone Laws in Ohio”

  1. My experience with drones isn’t going so well. I have a neighbor that only uses it at night which I believe is illegal? I reside in Medina county, Brunswick Ohio do you happen to know if flying at night is illegal for a suburban neighborhood. Thanks.

    • Night flights require specific authorization from the FAA. Generally, commercial operators could get the required authorization, but we are not aware of hobbyist flyers authorized to fly at night.

  2. I am an amateur drone pilot. I have 4 small drones, less than 2 lbs each. Would it still be necessary to notify the FAA, if my recreational flying is kept in my suburban neighborhood?? (Milford, Ohio) Nowhere near any commercial or private airports. I follow the safety rules listed here. Would I be breaking any laws?


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