Let’s Fly Wisely : Quick Updates in U.S. Laws on Drone Use

One of the popular applications of advanced drone technology is for creating professional-looking, if not professionally-made, multidimensional films or videos.While the well-built highly advanced DJI Inspire 2 is the type of drone that letsflywisely.com (https://letsflywisely.com/dji-inspire-2-review/) will name as the excellent choice, this article gives updates on laws governing the use of commercial quadcopters or drones.

Regardless of the droning skills possessed by flyers, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is under tight regulations both federally by the Federal Aviation authority (FAA) and statutorily by state governments. While it’s a must that drone flyers must be FAA certified as proof that they are knowledgeable about the basic safety rules to observe, it would be wise to have broader knowledge of any new regulation that a U.S. jurisdiction may have enacted.

While the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle for creating a music video for a YouTube cover song seems harmless, a drone operator should still check the legal drone dos and don’ts in the area. Although some U.S. jurisdictions allow the use of drones, not all laws for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) include the same prohibitions, restrictions and exceptions.

Updates on the Current Statutory Regulations for Unmanned Aerial Systems

Out of the 50 U.S. jurisdictions, only 44 have UAS Laws that allow drone use; of which 18 states, namely: California, Hawaii, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, Montana, Oregon, Virginia, Tennessee, and Washington enacted the related bill only in 2019.

The UAS Laws in Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia specifically prohibit drones or any type of UAVs from flying over properties particularly in areas where defense, telecommunication, correctional, railroad and other facilities are located.

The States of California, Indiana and Tennessee have included privacy policies in relation to drone use in their respective jurisdiction. .

Hawaii, Montana and Virginia UAS Laws include specific instances when UAS recordings can be used as evidence, particularly by their respective law enforcement agencies.

The State of New Jersey includes a prohibition that makes the use of drones illegal for purposes of transporting marijuana even if for medicinal purposes

In the states of Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, UAS prohibitions include outfitting drones with payloads deemed as deadly.

The four U.S. jurisdictions of Arizona, Colorado, Michigan and Virginia had the foresight to include in their UAS Laws, policies and guidelines in the use of drones for emergency management, operations and in specifying liability claims.

Inasmuch as the events in the year 2020 were mostly impacted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease, the use of UAVs or drones became highly significant; not only in the medical field but also in essential businesses that tried to thrive amidst the threats posed by the ongoing pandemic. That being the case, it is reasonable to expect that state lawmakers will find a need to amend or supplement the UAS laws in their jurisdictions.