Before you head out with your drone to explore what the state of Georgia has in store for you, you have to be aware of the drone laws in Georgia or else you risk getting into trouble with the law.
Are drones allowed in Georgia?
It is legal to fly drones in the state of Georgia. It has federal, state, and local laws that govern the flying of drones in the state. State laws prohibit drone use in state parks, while local laws prohibit drones from operating in certain cities and towns, as well as densely populated areas.
In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about Georgia drone laws for you to enjoy a pleasurable flight with your drone and stay clear of any legal proceedings.
- Federal Drone Laws In Georgia State
- Federal Drone Laws for Recreational Flying in Georgia
- Federal Drone Laws For Commercial Drone flying in Georgia
- Federal Drone Laws for Public Drone Flying In Georgia
- State Drone Laws in Georgia
- Local Drone Laws In Georgia
- Frequently Asked Questions on Georgia Drone Laws
- Final Thoughts
Federal Drone Laws In Georgia State
The federal drone laws in the United States are the laws that apply to Georgia state and 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 Georgia
You can fly your drone for recreational purposes in Georgia 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 Florida to keep you, your drone, and everyone else safe in the airspace.
- Fly your drone only for recreational use or as a hobby.
- 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.
- 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.
- Don’t fly close or interfere with a manned aircraft.
- Fly below 400 feet in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, and E) after obtaining permission from LAANC or FAA Drone Zone.
- 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 with prior authorization from the FAA.
- Take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and carry proof of test passage.
- 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).
- 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 Georgia
You can fly your drone for commercial purposes in Georgia 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 Georgia to keep you, your drone, and everyone safe in the airspace.
Step 1: Learn the Rules
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- Pay the registration fee of $5 with your credit card or debit card to get a valid three year license to commercially fly drones.
- Visit dronezone.faa.gov and select “Fly UAS under Part 107” to create an account and register your drone.
- After that, mark the exterior surface of your drone (PDF) with your registration number for identification and tracking if it were to get stolen
Always be sure to fly your drone safely and within FAA guidelines and regulations. It is up to you as a drone pilot to know the rules of the sky and where it is safe to fly. You should try the user identification tool if you aren’t sure if Part 107 is right for you and your operation
Federal Drone Laws for Public Drone Flying In Georgia
Federal public laws are drone laws for federal, state, local, or tribal government entities, including schools and universities that use unmanned aircraft systems or drone technology for their operations.
Federal Restrictions & Requirements
- Be a political subdivision of the United States government, a State or U.S. territory government, the District of Columbia, or an Indian Tribal Government listed in the Robert T Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. § 5122)
- Own and operate the unmanned aircraft, or for non-federal public aircraft operators (PAO’s) have an exclusive lease on it for more than 90 days
- Fly missions that meet the statutory criteria of a governmental function on a flight-by-flight basis
- Not fly for a commercial purpose or receive compensation for flight operations.
First responders and other organizations responding to natural disasters or other emergency situations may be eligible for expedited approval through our Special Governmental Interest (SGI) process. Operations that may be considered include:
- Search and Rescue
- Law Enforcement
- Utility or Other Critical Infrastructure Restoration
- Incident Awareness and Analysis
- Damage Assessments Supporting Disaster Recovery Related Insurance Claims
- Media Coverage Providing Crucial Information to the Public
To apply for a waiver through the SGI process, you must be an existing Part 107 Remote Pilot with a current certificate OR you must have an existing Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA). To submit a waiver through this process, fill out the Emergency Operation Request Form and send it to the FAA’s System Operations Support Center (SOSC) at [email protected] .
If approved, the FAA will add an amendment to your existing COA or Remote Pilot Certificate that authorizes you to fly under certain conditions for the specified operation. If denied, operators should not fly outside the provisions of their existing COA or part 107. Operators have the option to amend their requests.
* This process is called the Special Government Interest (SGI) amendment process and is outlined in FAA Order JO 7200.23A
State Drone Laws in Georgia
The Georgia State Drone Laws are the drone laws that apply to the entire state of Georgia, and were created by the Georgia General Assembly.
Georgia has various state-wide laws governing the use of drones in the state as put together by the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia Legislature.
Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites Drone Laws
This law prohibits drones from operating in Georgia’s state parks and historic sites. However, exemptions can be made for commercial drone pilots with the intention of promoting the state parks and historic sites or generating revenue for them after authorization from the Division Director.
A commercial film/photography request application detailing the project description, specific site location requested, and exact dates and times of drone use needs to be submitted along with the FAA drone registration, the name of the pilot, and proof of FAA Small UAS Certification or Part 107.
Blanket requests will not be approved, and drone use is not allowed over populated areas that may put park guests at risk. To request approval, contact Colby Moore at [email protected].
House Bill 481 (2017)
Some of the laws in House Bill 481 (2017) are given as follows:
- Any county, municipality, or political subdivision may not create any resolution, ordinance, or policy regulating the testing or operation of unmanned aircraft systems except if it has been adopted on or before April 1, 2017.
- Another exception allows for resolution or policy prohibiting the launching or intentional landing of unmanned aircraft from public property.
Local Drone Laws In Georgia
Georgia drone laws are drone laws that apply only to certain regions, cities, or counties within the state of Georgia and were created by various authorities within the state.
- No person shall launch or operate a drone in a highly populated area within Richmond County (except the cities of Hephzibah and Blythe) without written authorization from the Richmond County Sheriff. Exceptions are previously identified model aircraft fields.
- A highly populated area is defined as any sporting, recreation, or entertainment event with a seating capacity of 100 or more persons, an open air assembly of 100 or more persons, or any area specifically designated by Augusta, Georgia Commission.
- It shall be unlawful to use a drone to capture an image of privately owned property or the owner, tenant, or occupant without express consent.
- This law prohibits drones and any electric-powered model aircraft or unmanned aerial system from flying in all Cherokee County public parks and recreation areas except areas designed by the county.
Drones and other UAVs are prohibited from flying, launching or landing within the boundaries of the Georgia International Horse Park.
Drones are prohibited from flying in the populated areas of Augusta City. 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.
Drones, helicopters, and airplanes are prohibited in any area of Stone Mountain Park. However, an exemption can be made if you obtain a permit from the State Mountain Park Chief Executive Officer. Also, law enforcement agencies can operate drones in State Mountain Park without any special permission.
Frequently Asked Questions on Georgia Drone Laws
Is it illegal to fly a drone over private property in Georgia State?
It is legal to fly drones above a house or private property in Georgia State 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 Georgia State without a license?
Recreational drone pilots don’t need a license to fly a drone in Georgia, 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 above 249 grams must be registered to operate in Georgia.
Can you shoot down a drone in Georgia State?
Shooting down a drone in Georgia is illegal and against the federal law because drones are protected by the FAA. You could serve some jail term or pay a large fine if you shoot down a drone in Georgia. You are advised to report to the authorities if you see a drone hovering above you or your property.
Georgia is known for its beautiful landscapes to 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 Georgia state if you want to see beautiful places that are legal to fly in various cities.