With thousands of drones registered in Georgia, it’s become a popular pastime in the southern state over the last few years. Today we’ll be going through everything you need to know about the drone laws in Georgia, including federal laws, state laws, and local laws.
Where Can I Fly My Drone in Georgia
Georgia has a bunch of different states and local laws which affect exactly where you can fly your drone. Firstly, no matter where you fly your drone, you’ll need to comply with federal law.
Federal Drone Laws in Georgia
Section 107 of the FAA guidelines covers everything relating to drones. The law stipulates that everyone who flies a drone that weighs between 0.55lbs and 55lbs will need to both registers their drone and comply with these guidelines regardless of whether they’re flying for commercial or recreational purposes.
The FAA website is super helpful at identifying what type of user they class you as. Use their handy User Identification Tool to see what category you’ll fall into or read through the specifics of the law here.
Flying Drones Commercially in Georgia
If you want to fly your drone for commercial purposes in Georgia, you need to be:
- At least 16 years old
- Able to speak read and write in English
- In a good physical and mental state to operate an unmanned aircraft
You’ll then need to:
- Obtain an FAA Tracking Number by creating an IACRA profile
- Schedule an appointment to take the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test at an approved test center
- Complete FAA form 8710-13 to get your Remote Pilot Certificate
- Register your drone with the FAA (see more info below)
Flying Drones Recreationally in Georgia and Registering with the FAA
If you’re just flying your drone for fun, you don’t need to do most of the above, but you’ll still need to get it registered.
Drone registration costs just $5 and lasts for three years. Once you receive your registration, you’ll need to label your drone with your registration number as you can see in the image below. Failure to register your drone can result in a fine of $27,500.
Note if you’re traveling to the US on holiday and plan on flying your drone, you’ll also need to get it registered with the FAA.
Flying Drones as a Government Employee
If you’re a government employee you’re able to fly your drone under section 107 of the guidelines or apply for a Public Certificate of Authorization.
How to Register your Drone in Georgia
You can then follow the simple steps to either register as a recreational or commercial flyer under part 107.
Remember, if your drone weighs less than 0.55lbs/250g (Mavic Mini owners this is for you), you’re not required to register your drone.
You’ll also need a credit or debit card to process the $5 fee.
Georgia State Drone Laws
HB481 – This law prevents local governments from creating UAS regulations after April 1st, 2017. So, although you’ll see some local drone laws, they were all enacted before this date. It also governs the regulation of the state launching and landing unmanned aircraft on public property.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources Park Rules and Regulations – Under this law you’re not allowed to fly your drone in state parks in Georgia or at historical sites. However, they do allow permits for certain commercial drone flights if the government deems that they will either generate revenue for the community or advertise the areas that are being shot.
Georgia Local Drone Laws
City of Augusta – This is a city ordinance and prevents you from flying your drone within populated areas in Richmond county without prior approval from the FAA and the Augusta Georgia Commission.
Cherokee County – In Cherokee County you can only fly your drone in designated areas.
City of Conyers – Here, you’re not allowed to fly your drone within City Horse Park or the Cherokee Run Golf Course
Can You Fly a Drone in Georgia State Parks?
As we stated in the state laws, hobbyist flying of drones is not permitted in state parks in Georgia. However, commercial permits may be granted.
If you’re interested in obtaining a permit for commercial reasons, you need to submit a request outlining the following details to Colby.Moore@dnr.ga.gov:
- A description of the project
- Specific location/park site
- Exact date and time of filming
- Copy of your FAA registration
- Full name of the pilot
Can You Shoot Down a Drone in Georgia
No. Currently, the FAA treats drones as they do regular aircraft so by shooting down a drone you’re breaking federal law and could face jail time.
Best Places to Fly Drones in Georgia
Now we’ve got all the legal things out of the way, here are some of our top recommendations of where to fly your drone in Georgia:
- Callaway Gardens
- Murphey Candler Park
- Okefenokee Swamp
- Bellwood Quarry
We hope this article covers everything you need to know about the current drone laws in Georgia. However, if you know something more which we didn’t include in the article, or if you’re a member of a local drone club and want to tell us more, leave us a comment below so we can keep this article accurate and up to date.
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