What to Know Before You Fly a Drone


Drones are becoming the next big thing in filmmaking, allowing filmmakers to get access to never before charted territories. But before you run out and by a drone make sure you know the laws and regulations that come along with operating a drone.

Just a few months ago the FAA instated new regulations for operating “unmanned aircraft systems”. Among the updates, regulations include flying a drone within 5 miles of an airport or over a sporting event in prohibited and fines for breaking these laws can add up to $250,000 and 3 years in prison!

So if you are a drone cinematographer keep in mind these simple tips to make sure you are complying with the latest laws and regulations.

Federal Aviation Administration Requirements

  • All drone owners must be registered with the FAA before they can fly, registrants must provide their name, home address and email address.
  • Flying unregistered is subject to civil penalties of up to $27,500 and criminal penalties of up to $250,000 and 3 years in prison.
  • Each drone must display its unique registration number issued by the FAA
  • You drone cannot weigh more than 55 pounds

Where you cannot fly

  • National parks
  • Military bases
  • Stadiums & sporting events
  • Emergency response efforts
  • Airspace higher than 400 feet
  • Within 25 feet of another person
  • Within 5 miles of airport

Special Rules for Professional Videographers

  • Must apply for a 333 exemption with the FAA & register yourself as a drone operator
  • File this exemption 120 days prior to filming

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *