With thousands of drones currently registered in Ohio, today we wanted to take a look at all the federal, state, and local drone laws in Ohio so you can fly safely and legally.
Where Can I Fly My Drone in Ohio?
Ohio has many different state and local laws which affect where you can fly your drone, but federal law takes precedence, let’s take a look at this first.
Federal Drone Laws in Ohio
The Part 107 rules of the FAA guidelines cover all UAVs in the US. For the most part, drones are treated equally to other aircraft in the sky.
The law states that if you have a drone weighing between 0.55lbs and 55lbs, you’ll need to register it with the FAA before you can fly. This is the rule for both US citizens and tourists and covers both recreational and commercial fliers.
In its rules, the FAA also stipulates different types of users who operate drones. You can use their User Identification Tool to see which type of use you fall into and therefore check what rules you can operate under.
Flying Drones Commercially in Ohio
If you need to fly your drone for commercial purposes in Ohio, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 16 years old
- Be able to speak, read, and write in English
- Be in a good physical and mental state
Next, you need to:
- Create an IACRA profile and obtain an FAA tracking number
- 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 under recreational flying)
Flying Drones Recreationally in Ohio and Registering with the FAA
If you’re just flying your drone for fun you can skip most of the above, but you still need to register with the FAA.
The registration fee is $5 and lasts for three years. Once you receive your registration, you must label your drone with your registration number like below. If you don’t, you could be fined $27,500.
Note: if you’re traveling to the US on holiday and want to fly your drone, you’ll also need to register
How to Register Your Drone in Ohio
Registering your drone in Ohio is simple.
First off, head to the FAA website here or straight to their dedicated drone page DroneZone.
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 at this time.
You’ll also need a credit or debit card to process the $5 registration fee.
Flying drones as a government employee in Ohio
If you’re a government employee you’re able to fly your drone either under Part 107 of the FAA guidelines or you can operate as a PAO and apply for a Public Certificate of Authorization if the drone weighs less than 55lbs.
Ohio State Drone Laws
House Bill 292 created the Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Technology Committee. The committee consists of three members of the senate, three members of the house, and fifteen people who represent either the aviation and aerospace industries, the military, tech industry, or academic institutions. This committee governs everything about the use of drones in the state of Ohio.
Ohio Local Drone Laws
Anderson Township – You can’t fly your drone in any park or facility owned by the township unless you get written permission from the Executive Director.
Butler County – You can’t fly drones in any metro park without a special permit from the Executive Director.
Celina Municipal Law – You can’t fly your drone above city-owned property and parks.
Cincinnati – The Park Board rules state that you can’t fly your drone in any of Cincinnati’s parks unless you’ve got written permission from the Park Board or are in a designated flying area.
Cleveland Municipal Law – Gives police the power to enforce FAA regulations.
Hamilton County – You can’t fly your drone in any of the county’s Great Parks unless you have written permission. Recreational flyers can apply here and commercial flyers here.
Can You Fly a Drone in Ohio State Parks?
Ohio is home to several state parks, which all have the right to enforce their own drone rules. Under Federal Law, it’s not illegal to fly over state parks. However, the park can ban take-off and land from inside the park. If there’s no signage in the state park you’re in, you should be good to fly.
Can you shoot down a drone in Ohio?
No, it’s against federal law to shoot down any UAV. If you shoot down a drone you could face a hefty fine and jail time.
Best Places to fly drones in Ohio
With all the legal requirements out of the way, here’s a quick roundup of our top places to fly a drone in Ohio:
- Rising Park, Lancaster
- Bicentennial Park, Columbus
- Dineen Field, Galena
- Mile Long Pier, Lorain
- La Due Reservoir
- Scioto Grove Metro Park, Grove City (designated flying area)
Drone laws are constantly changing so if you know of any new laws that have been passed which we didn’t include, feel free to reach out below so we can keep this post up to date for everyone.
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