Alabama Drone Laws 2024 (Federal, State, and Local Rules To Know)

David Cassiel

Recently bought a new drone in Alabama? Or have you recently moved to Alabama with your drone? If so, you need to know the drone laws in Alabama to prevent issues with the authorities and derive the maximum pleasure from flying your drone.

Flying a drone is permitted in the state of Alabama, and it does not have any state drone laws. However, you have to adhere to the federal drone laws governing the United States and the local drone laws that apply to the cities of Oxford, Orange Beach, Daphne, and Gulf Shores.

In this article, I will reveal to you the dos and don’ts of flying a drone in Alabama so you won’t get into any trouble with the law and have a fun-filled flight. So let’s jump right in!

Federal Drone Laws In Alabama

The United States drone laws are the federal drone laws in Alabama that also applies to every state in the United States of America and were created by the federal government.

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

Federal Drone Laws for Recreational Flying in Alabama

You can fly your drone for recreational purposes in Alabama as a hobby without seeking monetary compensation as long as you follow the FAA law (Part 107) and also check the state jurisdiction for additional licensing, permission, and clearance requirements.

Below are the federal rules to follow while flying your drone for recreational purposes in Alabama to keep you, your drone, and everyone safe in the airspace.

  1. Fly your drone only for recreational use or as a hobby.
  2. Follow the safety guidelines of an FAA-recognized Community Based Organization (CBO). 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 your visual line of sight or use a co-located visual observer (physically next to) and in direct communication with you.
  4. Don’t fly close or interfere with a manned aircraft.
  5. Fly below 400 feet in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, and E) after obtaining permission from LAANC or FAA Drone Zone.
  6. Fly below 400 feet in uncontrolled airspace (Class G). Note: You can also be prohibited from flying in a Class G airspace in areas designated as prohibited areas, restricted areas, military operated areas, alert areas, etc. except given prior authorization from the FAA.
  7. Take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and carry proof of test passage.
  8. Always slap your registration number on the exterior surface of your drones and always carry the proof of registration with you. As a recreational flier, you are exempted from registering and marking your drones by the FAA as long as your drone 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.

You should be aware that you could be liable for civil and/or criminal penalties if you intentionally break any of these rules and regulations listed above as a recreational drone pilot.

As a recreational drone pilot, you are obliged to learn the rules and regulations put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the proper use of drones for recreational flying.

You should also apply common sense when operating your drone in crowded public places, historic resources, and public places to keep everyone safe.

Federal Drone Laws For Commercial Drone flying  in Alabama

Alabama Sign Board
Welcome to Sweet Home Alabama Road Sign along Interstate 10 in Robertsdale, Alabama, USA, near the State Border with Florida.

You can fly your drone for commercial purposes in Alabama with the aim of seeking monetary compensation as long as you follow the FAA law (Part 107) and also check the state jurisdiction for additional licensing, permission, and clearance requirements.

Below are the federal rules to follow while flying your drone for recreational purposes in Alabama to keep you, your drone, and everyone safe in the airspace.

Step 1: Learn the Rules

  1. Read and understand the dos and don’ts as a commercial flyer the 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. You can obtain a waiver to exceed some limit put in place by the FAA that is not covered by Part 107. Below are some laws in Part 107 that are subject to a waiver.
    • Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft. *
    • Always operate your drone during the day. *
    • Keep your drone from out of the Visual line of sight from an aircraft operation *
    • Keep your drone in your Visual line of sight. *
    • Operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems. *
    • Yielding the right of way. *
    • Don’t fly your drone over people. *
    • Restriction from certain airspace. *
    • Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft.
    • *The FAA will not waive this section to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire.
    • You should read about the Part 107 Waiver application process if your drone operation requires a waiver.
  3. Commercial drone operators should steer clear of flying close to airports as it might be challenging for human aircraft to spot and avoid a drone in flight. Keep in mind that the UAV operator is accountable for any safety threat their drone poses in an airport area and must avoid crewed aircraft. 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

  • Pay the registration fee of $5 with your credit card or debit card to get a valid three year license three years for you to commercially fly drones.
  • Visit and select “Fly sUAS under Part 107” to create an account and register your drone.
  • mark the exterior surface of your drone (PDF) with your registration number for identification and tracking if it were to get stolen

Federal Drone Laws For Government Employee in Alabama

To fly a drone as a government employee in the state of Alabama (i.e., for a police or fire department), you may either operate under the FAA’s Part 107 rule or obtain a federal Certificate of Authorization (COA).

State Drone Laws In Alabama

The Alabama state drone laws are the drone laws that apply to the entire state of Alabama and were created by the Alabama state Legislature.

According to the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Alabama Legislature, there are currently no state laws in place concerning the operation of drones in Alabama.

All drone pilots operating commercially in the state of Alabama are subject to the FAA’s Part 107 rules. In this free guide, you’ll learn more about the FAA’s certification process to obtain a commercial drone license.

Local Drone Laws In Alabama

The local drone laws in Alabama are drone laws that apply only to certain regions, cities, or counties within the state of Alabama and were created by the local authorities within that region.

City of Oxford Drone Laws

Oxford City, Alabama
Oxford, Alabama, USA—Nov. 6, 2021: Fountain and gazebo in the late afternoon at Oxford Lake Park.

According to the latest edition of the Code of Ordinances for the City of Oxford, Alabama, Article XI. – Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), Sections 26-292. – Prohibited operations. and 26-293. – Prohibited area operations and exemptions. The rules are as follows:

  • You cannot fly a drone or help someone fly a drone in the city on municipal property such as city parks and “recreational areas or any other area as designated by the chief of police.”
  • You have to contact the chief of police and obtain written permission if you want to fly in the above areas with your drone.

Section 26-294. —Penalty for violations. A person violating any provision of this article as enumerated herein shall be deemed as a separate offense for each day such offense has occurred and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $500.00 or incarceration not to exceed six months.”

In simple words, breaking the city of Oxford drone laws can lead to a $500 fine or a 6-month jail term.

City of Gulf Shores Drone Laws

Gulf Shores, Alabama
Fishing pier at sunset, Gulf Shores, Alabama

In Gulf Shores, drone flight laws are mandated by the Gulf Shores, Alabama Code of Ordinances, Chapter 3 – Airport–Aircraft/Article II. – Rules and Regulations, Division 9. – Unmanned Aircraft System Operations, Sections 3.-166. – Prohibited equipment; safe operation of equipment., Section 3-167. – Accidents; duty to render aid; harassment; voyeurism prohibited., Section 3-168. – Permits; exceptions., and Section 3-169.

The Gulf Shores ordinances prohibit flying a UAV on Gulf Beach, during some outdoor events, or within or close to a venue. To use your drone in these areas, you would require authorization from the FAA and the city administration.

City of Daphne Drone Laws

Daphne, Alabama
Aerial view of the eastern shore of Daphne

These are the laws that apply to the city of Daphne.

  • No person shall launch, land, or operate a remote-controlled aircraft within or upon any City park unless authorized by prior written consent of the City.
  • Commercial drone photography during a special event requires a special event permit.
  • Recreational drone use can be done on fields located at Al Trione Sports Complex that are not otherwise occupied or in use. Any drone operations must not be within 100 feet of people, power lines, buildings, or light fixtures.

City of Orange Beach Drone Laws

Orange Beach, Alabama
Beach and Pier, Orange Beach, Alabama

You’re expected to adhere to the drone laws in Orange Beach, Alabama if you want to operate your drone in that area. – Code of Ordinances/ Chapter 54 – Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions, Article IV. – Operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

Section 54-45. – Prohibited equipment. says that you cannot use a drone “with detachable cargo, releasable payload, or any device equipped to carry a weapon or destructive device; or any modification that has not been approved by the FAA.”

In Section 54-46. – Safe Operation, Orange Beach law restricts you from operating your drone if you “are under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or any substance that impairs the mental or physical faculties of a person, or any combination thereof, to the extent that it affects the person’s ability to operate a UAS in a safe manner.”

In Section 54-48. – Harassment; voyeurism prohibited., the law says that you cannot use your drone to watch someone “in any place where the individual being observed has a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the prior express or implied consent of the individual being obscured.”

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park Drone Laws

USS Battleship Memorial Park
Aerial view of the downtown Mobile, Alabama waterfront skyline on Mobile Bay at sunset

The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile also has a drone flight policy of its own. These regulations, which became effective in early 2017, are as written below:

  • Drone flights may only occur during daylight hours defined as between official sunrise and official sunset for local time. Permission to fly drones at night at BMP will only be given by the Executive Director on a case-by-case basis.
  • Excluding takeoff and landing, drones are not to be flown at BMP closer than 25 feet of any individual, except the operator or the operator’s assistant.
  • Drones are not to be flown within 100 feet horizontally or vertically of the USS ALABAMA, USS DRUM, Aircraft Pavilion, Park Memorials, aircraft or artifacts on the grounds of BMP. Permission for flights closer than 100 feet shall be granted by the Executive Director on a case-by-case basis.
  • All drone flights may operate up to 400 feet above ground level (AGL) within BMP.
  • Drone flights may not occur when precipitation is falling, or when winds exceed 20 m.p.h. sustained on when gusts exceed 25 m.p.h.
  • No person shall operate a drone within BMP beyond the visual line of sight of the person operating the drone. The operator must use his or her own natural vision (which includes vision corrected by standard eyeglasses or contact lenses) to observe the drone. The use of vision-enhancing devices, such as binoculars, night vision goggles, powered vision magnifying devices, and goggles or other devices designed to provide a “first-person view” from the drone, does not constitute the visual line of sight of the drone operator.
  • No person shall operate any drone within BMP in violation of any temporary flight restrictions (TFR) or notice to airmen (NOTAM) issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • No person shall operate a drone within BMP in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another. The standard for what constitutes careless or reckless operation under this section shall be the same as the standard set forth in any federal statutes or regulations governing aeronautics but not limited to Federal Aviation Rule 91.13.

Frequently Asked Questions On Alabama Drone Laws

Is it illegal to fly a drone over private property in Alabama?

It is legal to fly drones above a house or private property in Alabama as long as you don’t hover around them or use your drone to capture or record them without permission from the property owner.

Can I fly a drone in Alabama without a license?

Recreational drone pilots don’t need a license to fly a drone in Alabama, but you must pass a free online safety test (TRUST). However, commercial drone flyers must get a certificate (Part 107) from the FAA. Furthermore, all drones weighing more than 249 grams must be registered to operate in Alabama

Can you shoot down a drone in Alabama?

Shooting down a drone in Alabama is illegal and against federal law because drones are protected by the FAA. You could serve some jail time or pay a large fine if you shoot down a drone in Alabama. You are advised to report it to the authorities if you see a drone hovering above you or your property.

Final Thoughts

Alabama has wonderful scenery you can explore with your drone for recreational or commercial purposes. However, you need to abide by the drone laws set by the FAA, your state government, and local authorities in that city to enjoy a hassle-free flight.

You should also check out the best places to fly a drone in Alabama if you want to see beautiful places that are legal to fly in various cities.

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