How To Get A Drone License In New York?

how to get a drone license in new york

Are you eager to take to the skies with your drone in the vibrant city of New York? Whether you’re a recreational enthusiast or a commercial pilot. 

Understanding the rules and regulations surrounding drone operations in the Big Apple is crucial. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process on how to get a drone license in new york.

Explore the federal and state laws that apply, and provide valuable insights into safe and legal drone flying.

So, let’s dive in and explore the steps to becoming a licensed drone pilot in New York!

Federal Drone Laws: The Foundation for Safe Flying

how to get a drone license in new york

Before we delve into New York-specific regulations, it’s essential to familiarize yourselves with the federal laws governing drone operations in the United States. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversees and regulates drone flights across the country, ensuring safety and compliance. 

Both commercial and recreational drone pilots must adhere to these regulations.

For Commercial Pilots: Obtaining a Part 107 License

how to get a drone license in new york

If you intend to fly a drone for commercial purposes in New York or anywhere else in the US, you must obtain a Part 107 license from the FAA. 

The Part 107 license demonstrates your knowledge and understanding of the commercial regulations and safety protocols essential for operating a drone.

To obtain your Part 107 license, you’ll need to follow these steps:

Meet the Requirements

You must be at least 16 years old and possess strong English language skills in reading, writing, and speaking. 

Additionally, you should be physically and mentally fit to operate a drone safely.

Take the FAA Knowledge Test

Sign up for the FAA Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application System (IACRA) to register for the FAA drone knowledge test. 

The test covers various topics, including preflight inspection, flight judgment, emergency procedures, and airspace classifications.

Apply for Remote Pilot Certification

Once you’ve passed the knowledge test, fill out and submit FAA Form 8710-13 on the IACRA website to apply for your remote pilot certificate. 

You’ll need your Knowledge Test Exam ID, which consists of 17 digits, to complete the application.

Renew Your License

The Part 107 license is valid for two years. Before it expires, you must follow the above steps again to renew your license. 

However, the process is expected to change in the near future to allow for license updates through online courses or training.

If you intend to fly drones for government use, you’ll also need Certificates of Authorization (COA) from the FAA. 

This authorization requires submitting an application, which undergoes a technical and operational review before the FAA determines your drone flight operations rules.

For Recreational Use: Taking the TRUST Test

how to get a drone license in new york

If you plan to fly a drone recreationally in New York or anywhere in the US, you must adhere to the FAA’s guidelines. 

As of June 2021, recreational drone pilots must take the Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST), except those flying drones weighing less than .55 pounds.

Here’s what you need to know about the TRUST test:

  • The test can be taken at various local or online venues approved by the FAA.
  • It consists of two sections, including multiple-choice questions.
  • Failing the test is not possible. If you answer a question incorrectly, you’ll receive information on why your answer was wrong and have the opportunity to try again.
  • After completing the test, you’ll receive a completion certificate, which does not expire. 

However, it’s essential to keep your certificate accessible during all drone flights and present it upon request by law enforcement or FAA agents.

New York State Drone Laws: Understanding Statewide Regulations

how to get a drone license in new york

While federal drone laws apply throughout the United States, New York State has additional regulations that drone pilots must follow. 

Familiarizing yourself with these laws is crucial for safe and legal drone operations within the state.

Regulating Unmanned Aircraft Systems in State Parks and Historic Sites

how to get a drone license in new york

Since January 2015, New York State has enforced specific regulations governing the use of drones in state parks and historic sites. 

According to the OPR-PCD-018-New York Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, you must obtain a permit to take photographs or film in these designated areas, including drone photography or filming.

The New York State Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) evaluates permit applications based on several factors. 

Including the potential violation of privacy rights, disturbance to the public, interference with wildlife, conflicts with other existing uses, impact on park resources, and flight in restricted airspace.

Before flying your drone in any New York State park or historic site, obtaining written permission from the OPRHP is crucial to ensure compliance with these regulations.

New York City Local Drone Laws: Navigating the Urban Landscape

how to get a drone license in new york

New York City is a bustling metropolis with its own drone operation regulations. 

The New York State Assembly and the FAA enforce these laws. It’s important to note that flying drones in New York City for commercial and recreational purposes is generally prohibited.

Restricted Takeoff and Landing Locations

how to get a drone license in new york

The NYC Administrative Code mandates that drone operators can only take off or land in specific locations approved by the Department of Transportation or the Port of New York Authority. 

Taking off or landing a drone at any other location within the city limits, except in emergencies, is considered unlawful.

These regulations effectively limit takeoff and landing to regulated heliports and airports. 

However, it’s essential to stay updated on the latest developments, as the city plans to remove some restrictions and introduce a permitting system for drone flights in July 2023.

Discovering Drone-Friendly Locations Near New York City

how to get a drone license in new york

Although flying drones within the city limits are restricted, there are several drone-friendly locations near New York City where you can capture breathtaking aerial footage. 

Here are six places in close proximity to the city where you can safely fly your drone:

  1. Tanner Park: Located in Copiague, Tanner Park offers a beachfront park near the Great South Bay in Long Island. 

While certain areas may require a license, you’ll have ample space to capture stunning seaside photography or videography.

  1. LaTourette Park Model Airfield: Situated in Staten Island, LaTourette Park’s Model Airfield provides a picturesque environment surrounded by trees and open skies. 

However, ensure you avoid flying over sports courts and always prioritize safety.

  1. New Rochelle: Just a short distance upriver from New York City, New Rochelle offers a scenic and historic location with waterfronts and cityscape views. 

Hudson Park and Davenport, two well-known parks in New Rochelle, provide excellent scenery and ample space for drone flights away from the crowds.

  1. Senator Speno National Park: In East Meadow, Senator Speno Natural Park offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. 

With a large lake and beautiful greenery, it’s an ideal spot for drone enthusiasts seeking a peaceful flying experience.

  1. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Flying Field: In Forest Hills, the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Flying Field (now renamed the Model Airplane Field) attracts aviation enthusiasts, including drone pilots. 

This park allows you to connect with like-minded individuals and share your passion for unmanned aerial vehicles.

  1. Staten Island Boat Graveyard: If you’re looking for a unique filming location, the Staten Island Boat Graveyard is home to abandoned boats with a spooky yet captivating aesthetic. 

This destination near NYC is perfect for capturing distinctive footage that stands out.

Read Also: How To Get A Drone License In California?

Conclusion (How to get a drone license in new york)

Navigating the regulations and requirements for drone flying in New York City can seem daunting. 

But armed with the proper knowledge, you can safely and legally enjoy the wonders of aerial photography and videography. 

Remember to obtain the necessary licenses, adhere to federal and state laws, and always prioritize safety.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a licensed drone pilot in New York. 

While the city restricts drone operations, there are nearby locations where you can capture stunning footage while respecting the rules and regulations.

So, embark on your drone-flying journey, taking in the breathtaking sights and sharing your unique perspective with the world!

Hope you get a good understanding on how to get a drone license in new york for commercial and recreational use.


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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.

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