Can You Fly A Drone Over The Hudson River?

Can You Fly A Drone Over The Hudson River

Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), have gained popularity in recent years. 

These devices offer breathtaking aerial views and have become a go-to tool for photographers, videographers, and hobbyists. 

However, as with any technology, some regulations and restrictions must be followed to ensure safety and adherence to the law.

In this article, we will explore whether you can you fly a drone over the hudson river, specifically near Manhattan. 

We will explore the federal and state drone laws in New York and any local regulations that may impact drone operators.

So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to navigate the legal skies!

Please note:

The information provided in this article is from August 22, 2023. It is important to note that regulations can change over time, so staying updated on the latest rules and guidelines regarding drone operations is always advisable.

Federal Drone Laws in New York

can you fly a drone over the hudson river

To understand the legality of flying a drone over the Hudson River, we need to start with the federal drone laws that apply to all states, including New York. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established regulations that govern the operation of drones in the United States.

If you intend to fly a drone for commercial purposes in New York, such as for work or business, you must follow the FAA’s Part 107 Small UAS Rule. 

This rule mandates that commercial drone operators obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate by passing the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test. 

This certification ensures that drone pilots have the necessary knowledge and skills to operate their drones safely and responsibly.

On the other hand, if you plan to fly a drone as a hobbyist in New York for recreational purposes, you must adhere to the FAA’s recreational model aircraft rules. 

Additionally, if your drone weighs more than 0.55 lbs (250g), you must register it with the FAA for a fee of $5. 

The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) is also mandatory for hobbyist drone operators. These measures aim to promote the safe and responsible use of drones in recreational settings.

Government employees, such as those in the police or fire departments, can operate drones under the FAA’s Part 107 rule or obtain a federal Certificate of Authorization (COA) specific to their government agency. 

These provisions enable government entities to effectively utilize drones for various purposes while adhering to the appropriate regulations.

State Drone Laws in New York

can you fly a drone over the hudson river

While federal laws provide a baseline for drone operation, individual states can impose additional regulations to address specific concerns. 

In New York, the state assembly has established one primary law concerning the operation of drones.

According to the New York Department of Transportation and the New York State Assembly, drone launch, landing, and operation are only permitted in state parks and historical sites with prior written approval through a permit. 

The permit authorizes the specific time, location, and type of drone use. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) holds the authority to approve or deny these permits based on their discretion and adherence to the provided criteria.

It is important to note that all commercial drone pilots in New York must comply with the FAA’s Part 107 rules, irrespective of any state-specific regulations. 

This ensures a consistent standard for commercial drone operations throughout the country.

Local Drone Laws in New York

can you fly a drone over the hudson river

In addition to federal and state regulations, specific regions, cities, or counties within New York may have their own local drone laws. 

Let’s take a closer look at a few notable examples:

New York City

can you fly a drone over the hudson river

New York City has specific administrative codes and restrictions that apply to the operation of drones within its limits. 

According to the New York City Administrative Code § 10-126(c) enacted in 2017, it is unlawful to take off or land an aircraft, including drones, in any place within the city other than designated landing areas authorized by the Department of Transportation or the Port of New York Authority. 

The code defines “avigate” as piloting, steering, directing, flying, or managing an aircraft in the air, whether controlled from the ground or otherwise.

Moreover, another city restriction declares that flying drones in New York City is illegal. If you witness someone flying a drone in the city, you are advised to call 911.

City of Syracuse

can you fly a drone over the hudson river

The city of Syracuse has a municipal ordinance that prohibits using drones by city officials until adequate federal and state laws are passed to protect citizens’ 1st and 4th amendment rights. 

This local law reflects the city’s cautious approach to drone usage. It highlights the importance of balancing innovation and safeguarding individual rights.

Exploring the Hudson River SFRA Regulations

can you fly a drone over the hudson river

Now that we have a comprehensive understanding of the federal, state, and local drone laws in New York. 

Let’s examine the specific regulations for flying drones over the Hudson River SFRA (Special Flight Rules Area).

The Hudson River SFRA is an area of airspace that extends along the Hudson River, adjacent to Manhattan and its surrounding areas. 

The regulations governing this airspace present unique challenges for drone operators.

As per the Hudson River SFRA regulations, there are restrictions on radio communication and self-announcement over the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) for drone operators. 

This means drone operators may need help legally operating their drones over the Hudson River near Manhattan.

While the local laws in New York City prohibit drone operation, it is essential to note that the specific regulations regarding the Hudson River SFRA may fall under a waiver. 

Drone operators seeking to operate in this airspace should explore obtaining a waiver to fly over the Hudson River SFRA legally.

However, it is crucial to consider that drone operators must comply with all other applicable federal, state, and local regulations, even with a waiver. 

Prior approval from the relevant authorities is essential to ensure drones’ safe and lawful operation in this area.

Safety and Best Practices for Drone Operators

can you fly a drone over the hudson river

While flying a drone over iconic locations such as the Hudson River is undeniably exciting, it is crucial to prioritize safety and adhere to the rules and regulations. 

Here are some essential safety guidelines and best practices for drone operators:

Know the Rules

Familiarize yourself with the federal, state, and local regulations governing drone operations in your area. Stay updated on any changes or amendments to these laws.

Obtain the Necessary Certifications

If you plan to fly a drone commercially, ensure you have obtained the required certifications, such as the FAA’s Remote Pilot Certificate. 

This demonstrates your competence and understanding of the rules and responsibilities of operating a drone for business purposes.

Fly Visual Line of Sight (VLOS)

Always maintain a clear line of sight with your drone. This ensures you can visually monitor its movements and avoid collisions with other aircraft or obstacles.

Respect Airspace Restrictions

Be aware of airspace restrictions in your area and respect any no-fly zones or restricted areas. 

Familiarize yourself with the airspace classification and seek the necessary permissions or waivers.

Fly Responsibly

Follow the FAA’s guidelines for safe drone operation, such as flying below 400 feet above ground level and maintaining a safe distance from people, buildings, and other structures.

Consider Privacy and Security

Respect the privacy of individuals and avoid capturing images or videos in areas where privacy expectations may be violated. 

Additionally, be conscious of the potential security implications and avoid sensitive locations or activities.

Stay Informed

Stay updated on the latest developments in drone technology, regulations, and safety practices. 

Join online communities or forums dedicated to drone enthusiasts to exchange knowledge and learn from experienced operators.

Also Read This: Can You Fly A Drone Over A Highway?

Conclusion (Can you fly a drone over the hudson river)

Flying a drone over the Hudson River SFRA near Manhattan presents unique challenges due to the specific regulations governing this airspace. 

Drone operators must navigate federal, state, and local laws to ensure compliance and safety. 

While local laws in New York City restrict drone operations, obtaining the necessary permits and waivers may offer opportunities for legal drone flights over the Hudson River SFRA.

As drone technology continues to evolve, operators need to stay informed and adhere to the ever-changing regulations. 

By prioritizing safety, respecting airspace restrictions, and flying responsibly, drone enthusiasts can continue to explore the skies and capture stunning aerial footage while ensuring the well-being and privacy of others.


The skies are a canvas for breathtaking visuals and a shared space that demands responsible and considerate operation. 

So, before you embark on your drone adventure, ensure you have the knowledge, certifications, and permissions required to soar through the air confidently.

Hope you get knowledge from this article and clearly understand whether you can you fly a drone over the hudson river.

Leave a Reply

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

Hi, I’m Hamid,
And I’m passionate about drones. As a reviewer and writer, my mission is to share valuable information with drone enthusiasts worldwide.

Latest Posts