Drone Laws in Georgia (USA)

NOTE: This page is for the State of Georgia in the United States. For the country of Georgia, please go to this linked page: Drone Laws in Georgia (Country)

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in Georgia

Federal Aviation Administration

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


UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Georgia

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

Are drones allowed in the State of Georgia?

Drones are allowed in the State of Georgia 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 the State of Georgia legislature

HB 481​ ​Aviation; unmanned aircraft systems (2016)

On November 2nd, 2016, the Governor of Georgia issued an ​executive order​ “That a Commission on Unmanned Aircraft Technology appointed by the Governor is hereby created to make state-level recommendations to the Governor consistent with current FAA regulations as well as the State’s business and public safety interests.”

HB 481​ ​Aviation; unmanned aircraft systems (2017)

This law preempts local governments from crafting their own UAS regulations from April 2017. The law also regulates drone launches and landings on public property.

Specific additional UAV laws by local governments within Georgia

The city of Augusta | Municipal Law (2016)

This local ordinance bans all drone operations within populated areas of Richmond County limits. Authorization may be granted with the express permission of the Augusta, Georgia Commission, and the FAA. An exception to the prohibited areas is the designated model aircraft field located at the intersection of Mike Padgett Highway/Horseshoe Rd. Drone users should check with the Augusta Georgia Commission for new or future designated areas.

Cherokee County | GA Ordinance Sec. 42-55 (2016)

This 2016 county ordinance restricts drone operations to areas designated by the county.

City of Conyers | Municipal Law (2017)

This city law prohibits all drone operations within the Georgia International City Horse Park boundaries and Cherokee Run Golf Course.

UAS operation rules in Parks, Recreation and Cultural Preserves

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Park Rules & Regulations

Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources has specific rules and regulations regarding drone operations. It is forbidden to use UAVs in any of Georgia’s State Parks and its Historic Sites.

There are potential exceptions with official authorization from the Division Director. Waivers are typically for commercial projects that have the potential to generate revenue or promote Georgia’s sites in a favorable light.

Specific additional UAV laws laws in Jurisdictions within Georgia

Counties or towns within Georgia 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 Georgia

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 Georgia 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.

  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.
  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.


Notes for Commercial Drone Services operations in Georgia

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 Georgia 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 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 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.

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 Georgia

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 Georgia 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



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IMPORTANT NOTE

The content on this site 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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