Latest Drone Laws in New York

Introduction to Drone Regulations in New York

Drone photography has always been an integral part of New York’s captivating tourism. If you are a content creator or someone who’s interested in taking a virtual 360-degree tour, drones could be your best bet. 

But hold on, let’s not make haste because there are a lot of drone laws New York City has in place, including core city regions where you are prohibited from flying drones. Does that mean you will look at your drone, sigh, and let your hopes down? Of course not.

If you are visiting New York, drone regulations must be followed. Hence, take a seat and read on to familiarize yourself with the drone restrictions New York has in place.

The drone registration process the New York Police Department has laid down so that you can pursue your aerial videography dream without any interruptions from law enforcement. 

Overview of New York Drone Regulations

Drone laws apply to any part of the United States, including New York.  

These include the following:

  • If you are a commercial pilot, you would need the proper commercial drone permits New York has. You might think it’s different from other states such as the drone laws in Florida.

    But it’s not much. For that, you must follow the requirements of the
    FAA’s Part 107 Small UAS Rule which includes passing the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate. 

    If you are a hobbyist, these are some drone operation rules in New York, that you must keep in mind: 
  1. Only fly for recreational purposes.

  2. Observe the safety regulations set out by a Community Based Organization (CBO) recognized by the FAA.

  3. Maintain your drone’s visual line of sight, or employ a visual observer who is physically adjacent to you and in close contact with you.

  4. Give way to other aircraft and avoid interfering with them.

  5. Fly in restricted airspace (Class B, C, D, and surface Class E designated for an airport) at or below FAA-authorized altitudes only with previous permits obtained through the use of LAANC or DroneZone.

  6. Fly in Class G (uncontrolled) airspace at 400 feet or lower.

  7. Take and carry with you confirmation of passing the Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) when you fly.

  8. Avoid using your drone in any way that could jeopardize the security of the national airspace system.

  9. And lastly, keep up with the drone law updates New York law enforcement legislates.

Drone Registration Process in New York

Section 10-126(c) of the New York City Administrative Code: This forbade the majority of UA takeoffs and landings within the city prior to July 21, 2023.

Hence if you wish to film the scenery from the skies of New York drone legal requirements are a must-read. I got you.

By the latest drone legislations, New York established by the Department’s 38 RCNY 24, you can now apply to launch and land unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including drones, within the City. 

If you are looking for drone registration New York, these are the steps you need to follow.

Here are the steps:

  1. Create an account at

  2. Online applications must be submitted up to 30 days in advance of the earliest proposed take-off or landing.

  3. Applicants will receive updates on the status of their applications by email.

The documents that you require to apply are:

  1. Government-issued photo ID for applicant and any proposed operator 

  2. FAA pilot certification with small unmanned aircraft system rating 

  3. FAA UAS registration certificate 

  4. Applicable FAA Waivers & other authorizations 

  5. Proof of Commercial General Liability and drone insurance policies 

  6. Details regarding the applicant’s data privacy and cybersecurity practices policy

  7. Any additional information that the Department determines is necessary to decide as to whether a permit should be issued.

The drone registration fees New York City charges for the application is 150$. 

Identification of No-fly Zones and Restricted Drone Areas in New York

Flying drones in New York requires you to stay away from the no-fly zones New York State Aviation Authority has listed.

Here are some drone restrictions imposed by the following laws, that you need to keep in mind:

  1. New York City—Administrative Code § 10-126(c) // 2017: This administrative code prohibits anyone operating an aircraft (including drones) from taking off or landing anywhere inside the city borders, unless it’s an emergency, and only at locations approved by the port of New York authority or the Department of Transportation (DOT).

  2. New York City—City Restriction // 2017: This legislation states that it is against the law to fly a drone in New York City and recommends that anyone witnessing a drone being flown should contact 911.

  3. City of Syracuse—Municipal Law // 2016: This ordinance prohibits the use of drones by city officials until sufficient federal and state legislation are developed protecting citizens’ rights to the first and fourth amendments when using drones for government purposes.

Other than these, if we’re going to talk about the specifics of restricted zones New York City has, where you need to keep the hobbyist part in check, they’re listed below:

  • You cannot fly within 5 miles of any airport.

  • You obviously cannot fly over stadiums or events with large crowds of people.

    No one wants to be hit by an object dropping down from 400 feet and get a severe concussion, you know!

  • You cannot be flying around the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. They are historic landmarks and you should respect them.

  • It is absolutely prohibited to fly in Central Park. Enjoy the greenery! The skyline can await your cinematographic vision.

  • And lastly, you have got to stay 25 feet away from any buildings and people.

Penalties for Violations

Now, if you are curious as to what might happen if you do not stick to drone law compliance, New York has several rules stating about the penalties.

  • Drone operators who behave irresponsibly may be subject to charges under Administrative Code Section 10-126(c).

    To make matters worse, it is a crime to violate it. This implies that a criminal record is the consequence of being found guilty.
  • Furthermore, drone flying is forbidden in parks according to New York City Park Rule 1-05(r)(2), with the exception of designated sites.

    Breaking the law might land you in jail for up to 90 days, fined up to $1,000, or both.

  • A person may also face citations under Administrative Code Section 10-126 if they use a drone outside of the five approved parks in New York City (c). The choice of charge is up to the police.


Now that you have read about the drone operation rules New York has, what do you think?

Of course, if you are a tourist visiting New York drone penalties are something you definitely do not want as a part of the trip souvenirs.

Thus if you remember the drone flight regulations, New York City’s skyline will be a beautiful aerial shot in your SD card.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, all drones must be registered with the New York State Department of Transportation or relevant authority in New York.

Penalties for violating drone laws in New York may include fines, confiscation of drones, and legal action.

No, drone operations near airports, government buildings, and sensitive areas are strictly prohibited in New York.

Yes, commercial drone operators in New York must obtain special permits and licences from the relevant authority.

Diptesh Das

Diptesh Das is your friendly ‘content maniac’ and drone enthusiastic! Being passionate about content writing. He is a firm believer of the power of words and thereby ended up leveraging them to create an impact by sharing his drone knowledge and experiences.

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