Before you head out with your drone to explore what the state of Utah has in store for you, you have to be aware of the drone laws in Utah else you risk getting into trouble with the law.
Are drones allowed in Utah?
It is legal to fly drones in the state of Utah. It has federal and state laws that govern the flying of drones in the state. However, Utah state drone laws prohibits intentionally operating a drone to harass livestock by chasing, disturbing, and harming the animals.
In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about Indiana drone laws for you to enjoy a pleasurable flight with your drone and stay clear of any legal proceedings.
- Federal Drone Laws In Utah
- Federal Drone Laws for Recreational Flying in Utah
- Federal Drone Laws For Commercial Drone flying in Utah
- Federal Drone Laws for Public Drone Flying In Utah
- State Drone Laws In Utah
- Local Drone Laws In Utah
- Frequently Asked Questions on Utah Drone Laws
- Final Thoughts on Utah Drone Laws
Federal Drone Laws In Utah
The United States drone laws are the federal drone laws that apply to Utah 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 Utah
You can fly your drone for recreational purposes in Utah 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 Indiana to keep you, your drone, and everyone 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 given 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 Utah
You can fly your drone for commercial purposes in Utah 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 Indiana 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 Utah
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 Utah
Utah state drone laws are those drone laws that apply to the entire state of Utah and were created by the Utah State Legislature.
Utah State Parks
Below are the drone regulations for various Utah State Parks.
- With a Drone Permit, drones may be used recreationally at Jordanelle State Park, Wasatch Mountain State Park, Fred Hayes State Park, and Sand Hollow State Park. However, for commercial usage, a Special Use Permit is required.
- From March through October, drone usage is not permitted anywhere in Dead Horse Point State Park. Drone usage is only permitted between November and February with the issuing of a permit (for a $10 charge) and only outside a designated No Drone Zone.
- Only those with a permit may operate drones in Great Salt Lake State Park.
- From March through November, drone flying is not permitted in Antelope Island State Park. In the approved drone flying zone and after submitting an application for a recreational drone permit, drone flights are only permitted from December to February.
- Drone flights are prohibited in Utah Lake State Park and the surrounding Airport Dike Road.
This is not a complete list. Drone operators are urged to review the regulations for their preferred Utah State Park on the official Utah State Parks website.
House Bill 217
House Bill 217 prohibits intentionally operating a drone to harass livestock by chasing, disturbing, and harming the animals.
Senate Bill 111
- Preempts local regulation of UAS and exempts UAS from aircraft registration in the state.
- Deals with the use of UAS by law enforcement and permits usage for activities unrelated to conducting a criminal investigation.
- Mandates that when employing UAS, law enforcement should establish a formal record that includes details about the usage of the drone and any data obtained.
- Makes it a class B misdemeanor to operate a UAS that is equipped with a weapon.
- Expands the definition of criminal trespass to include drones that enter and hover over property without permission with a defined purpose.
- Specifically states that using a UAS for legal commercial or educational purposes in accordance with FAA rules does not constitute what would otherwise constitute a privacy breach. It also expands the definition of voyeurism, a class B misdemeanor, to encompass cases in which any kind of technology, including UAS, is used to covertly record video of a person.
Utah State Pre-emptions
The Utah State Legislature maintains preemption for all rules and regulations that concern recreational and commercial drone use.
House Bill 296
House Bill 296 permits drone operations by law enforcement agencies to locate missing persons or to collect data at testing sites.
Senate Bill 167
Senate Bill 296 permits drone operations by law enforcement agencies to gather, store, and use data but only if a warrant or other authorization has been granted.
A person may not operate an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes an unmanned aircraft to fly within an area that is under a temporary flight restriction that is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration as a result of a wildland fire, or an area designated as a wildland fire scene on a system managed by a federal, state, or local government entity that disseminates emergency information to the public, unless the person operates the unmanned aircraft system with the permission of, and in accordance with the restrictions established by, the incident commander.
A person, other than a government official or a government employee acting within the person’s capacity as a government official or government employee, that recklessly operates an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes an unmanned aircraft to fly within an area described in Subsection (2) is guilty of:
- (a) except as provided in Subsection (3)(b), (c), or (d), a class B misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment as provided in Section 76-3-204 and a fine not to exceed $2,500;
- (b) except as provided in Subsection (3)(c) or (d), a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment as provided in Section 76-3-204 and a fine not to exceed $5,000, if the operation of the unmanned aircraft system:
(i) Causes an aircraft being used to contain or control a wildland fire to drop a payload of water or fire retardant in a location other than the location originally designated for the aircraft to drop the payload;
(ii) causes an aircraft being used to contain or control a wildland fire to land without dropping a payload of water or fire retardant in the location originally designated for the aircraft to drop the payload; or
(iii) Prevents an aircraft, intended for use in containing or controlling a wildland fire, from taking flight;
- except as provided in Subsection (3)(d), a third degree felony, punishable by imprisonment as provided in Section 76-3-203 and a fine not to exceed $10,000, if the operation of the unmanned aircraft system causes the unmanned aircraft to come into direct physical contact with a manned aircraft; or
- a second degree felony, punishable by imprisonment as provided in Section 76-3-203 and a fine not to exceed $15,000, if the operation of the unmanned aircraft is the proximate cause of a manned aircraft colliding with the ground, a structure, or another manned aircraft.
Local Drone Laws In Utah
Utah local drone laws are those drone laws that apply only to certain regions, cities, or counties within the state of Utah and were created by various authorities within the state.
Utah does not have any local drone laws as of the time of writing this article. All drone pilots would have to obey the federal drone laws as defined by the FAA and the state drone laws as defined by the state government in any county, town, or city in Utah.
Frequently Asked Questions on Utah Drone Laws
Can you fly a drone over private property in Utah?
You can fly a drone above a house or private property in Indiana as long as you don’t fly below the minimum height, hover around the property, or use your drone to capture or record the occupants without permission from the occupants or property owner.
Can you fly a drone in Utah without a license?
Recreational drone pilots don’t need a license to fly a drone in Utah, 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 Utah.
Can you shoot down a drone in Utah?
Shooting down a drone in Utah 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 Utah. You are advised to report it to the authorities if you see a drone hovering above you or your property.
Final Thoughts on Utah Drone Laws
Utah 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 Utah if you want to see beautiful places that are legal to fly in various cities.