Drone Laws in Massachusetts

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Between Cape Cod, Boston Widespread, Wachusett Mountain, and the Brant Level Lighthouse, Massachusetts has many outside points of interest chances are you’ll lengthy to shoot together with your drone. This can be your first journey right here, and also you’re unsure what the drone legal guidelines are.

What do it’s worthwhile to know earlier than you fly in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts has drone legal guidelines on a federal, state, and native stage. Many metropolis ordinances prohibit drone use, and most public and state parks are off-limits as properly. The place you may fly, you should all the time observe Half 107 guidelines.

On this article, we’ll unpack Massachusetts drone legal guidelines as they apply federally, statewide, and domestically.

We’ll additionally talk about the principles for public and state parks, so be sure to hold studying. There’s plenty of nice data to return.

Federal Drone Legal guidelines in Massachusetts

Each state in the USA has federal drone legal guidelines as mandated by the nation’s authorities.

The legal guidelines apply to authorities staff in addition to industrial and leisure drone pilots.

Right here is an summary of Massachusetts’ federal drone legal guidelines.

Leisure Drone Pilots

Hobbyist or leisure drone pilots ought to all the time use a drone in accordance with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Half 107 drone guidelines.

These guidelines do grant you freedoms whereas flying however prioritize the security of others round you in addition to close by buildings and different plane you share the skies with.

The FAA requires hobbyists to hold a TRUST certificates every time flying a drone.

To earn that certificates, you’ll need to take The Leisure UAS Security Check or TRUST take a look at as a hobbyist drone pilot.

This can be a quick on-line take a look at that you could register to take totally free. As you undergo and reply each query, you’ll know when you bought the solutions proper or fallacious.

You’ll be able to return and repair fallacious solutions when you’re taking the take a look at. This grants you the chance to earn an ideal rating.

After you have your TRUST certificates, you gained’t need to take the TRUST examination once more except you lose your certificates.

You’ll additionally need to register any drone you intend to make use of that’s 0.55 kilos or over with the FAA.

The registration lasts for 3 years and prices $5. You’ll need to re-register your drone on the finish of three years when you’re nonetheless utilizing it.

When you purchase a brand new drone within the interim, register that instantly.

Business Drone Pilots

Business drone pilots are additionally topic to Massachusetts federal drone regulation.

Per that regulation, you should all the time observe Half 107 guidelines when flying your drone.

You’re additionally required to have your Distant Pilot Certificates in your particular person, which is the certificates or license you earn while you go the Half 107 examination.

» MORE: FAA Part 107 for Commercial Drone Pilots

This 60-question industrial pilot examination is issued by the FAA and contains questions in regards to the entirety of the present Half 107 legal guidelines.

You’ll be able to signal as much as take the examination for the primary time when you’re no less than 16 years outdated.

The examination is completed in particular person at a testing middle on FAA’s authorised record. In contrast to the TRUST examination, you can not inform when you’re taking the take a look at which solutions you bought proper or fallacious.

Finding out forward of your examination is one of the best ways to make sure you’ll go the primary time. You want a rating of no less than 70 p.c to go.

When you’re searching for on-line drone faculties to beef up your Half 107 information, we’ve reviewed all one of the best programs right here.

» MORE: Best Drone Courses Taught by Experts

When you go, you’ll be mailed your Distant Pilot Certificates.

The certificates is lively from the day you obtain it till two years after that date. At that time, you’re required to take the Half 107 examination once more.

You too must register your drone by way of the FAA as a industrial pilot. The payment is similar, and the registration lasts for 3 years.

Company Drone Pilots

Authorities or company drone pilots should additionally observe Massachusetts federal drone regulation.

The regulation states that authorities pilots should fly a UAV based on Half 107 guidelines. You may also be required to acquire a Certificates of Authorization or COA.

State Drone Legal guidelines in Massachusetts

Now that you just’ve bought the federal drone legal guidelines underneath your belt, it’s time to take a look at Massachusetts’ state drone legal guidelines.

302 CMR 12.00: Parks and Recreation Guidelines // 2016

The one state drone regulation is called 302 CMR 12.00: Parks and Recreation Guidelines, which was handed in 2016 by way of the Massachusetts Division of Conservation and Recreation or DCR.

Drone pilots should have a Particular Use Allow, which is “a written settlement that authorizes an individual to interact in makes use of of or actions on DCR property on a selected date and time, which makes use of exceed in any method the frequent use of DCR property, or which are in any other case prohibited, regulated or restricted.”

If a drone pilot doesn’t have a Particular Use Allow, then this regulation makes clear that the pilot can not use a drone over any waterways or land that the DCR manages.

Drone pilots additionally can not launch or land a drone on DCR properties.

The one exception is throughout an emergency state of affairs reminiscent of low visibility or in case your drone is out of battery and it’s worthwhile to make a sudden touchdown.

Native Drone Legal guidelines in Massachusetts

That brings us to the native drone legal guidelines all through Massachusetts, that are enacted by cities, cities, counties, and villages on this east coast state.

Cape Cod Canal – Federal Regulation

The primary of those is the federal regulation enacted by the Cape Code Canal, which the regulation calls the “no drone zone.” That claims all of it.

Per the regulation, “Use of unmanned plane programs (UAS’s) reminiscent of drones, are prohibited above federal lands and waters alongside the Cape Cod Canal.”

The regulation expands on the reasoning behind banning drones within the Cape Cod Canal. In accordance with the federal regulation, the actions and noise of drones can detract from the customer expertise.

There additionally exist issues that “drones may very well be used criminally in opposition to guests or important infrastructure” and that drones aren’t protected for the on a regular basis public.

Whether or not you agree or not, these are the principles.

City of Holyoke – Municipal Regulation // 2016

In Holyoke, the municipal regulation since 2016 restricts the usage of drones in Part 54-22. – Regulation of unmanned plane programs (drones).

In accordance with half D in that part, Regulated actions and operational limitations:

“(1) All drones shall adjust to all laws and operational limitations of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(2) A drone might take off from and land on non-public property owned by the drone operator, and as permitted for such non-public and public property after having acquired the prior written consent of that property proprietor.

(3) Any operator of a drone used for interest or leisure functions and never in reference to a enterprise or industrial operation shall additionally:

a. Register with the FAA and adjust to all necessities essential to register.

b. Fly at or under 400 ft.

c. Keep always a visible lie of sight to the drone whereas working the drone.

d. Not function over any individuals or teams of individuals circuitously taking part within the operation, not underneath a lined construction, and never inside a lined stationary automobile.

e. Not function besides in daylight-only or civil twilight (half-hour earlier than official sundown to half-hour after official sundown, Jap Customary time) with acceptable anti-collision lighting.

f. Not {photograph} or videotape residents in their very own residence or on their property with out prior written consent of these particular person or individuals.

g. Not function over the non-public property of one other except prior written consent is obtained from the property proprietor.

h. Not function over any property owned by town, together with the Holyoke water works and Holyoke gasoline & electrical, except prior written consent has been obtained from town, Holyoke water works or Holyoke gasoline & electrical. “

Failing to observe these legal guidelines will end in police involvement.

The drone pilot will get a warning for his or her first offense, a non-criminal high-quality of as much as $100 for a second offense, a $200 high-quality for a 3rd offense, and a $300 high-quality for any offense afterward.  

Metropolis of Chicopee – Municipal Regulation // 2017

In Chicopee, the municipal regulation handed in 2017 applies to drones which are lower than 55 kilos and flown at 400 ft by a non-public citizen.

In accordance with §186-4, all drone pilots flying a UAV in Chicopee should observe FAA laws.

Additional, you may solely launch or land your drone “on non-public property owned by the operator or the place written permission is granted by the landowner.”

The permission should embrace the title of the proprietor and their signature, their property tackle, and the hours and dates through which the drone can be used.

Additional, you need to observe these guidelines when flying a drone for non-commercial and non-business functions:

“a. Register with the Federal Aviation Administration and keep correct documentation of the identical.

b. As required by Federal regulation, fly under 4 hundred (400) ft always.

c. Keep always a visible line of sight of the plane and/or drone as outlined above.

d. No operator shall function an plane and/or drone over a crowd or particular person(s) circuitously taking part in its operation.

e. No operator shall function an plane and/or drone previous to dawn or subsequent to sundown.

f. No plane and/or drone shall be weaponized.

g. No plane or drone shall {photograph} or videotape any particular person with out the prior written permission of that particular person. All operators shall keep this written permission whereas working the plane and/or drone and for a interval of seven (7) years thereafter.

h. No plane or drone shall function over non-public property with out the prior written permission from the landowner which shall be within the possession of the operator throughout operation.

i. No plane or drone shall function over any property owned or managed by the Metropolis of Chicopee except prior written authorization is secured by the operator.

j. No drone shall be flown inside 5 miles of a civilian or army airport with out first contacting the management tower earlier than flying.”

When you disobey the above drone legal guidelines in Chicopee, you’ll obtain a written warning on your first offense.

Your second offense can be a $100 high-quality, the third offense can be a $250 high-quality, and the fourth and any following high-quality can be $300.

Massachusetts Drone Regulation FAQs

You probably have a number of follow-up questions on Massachusetts drone regulation, enable us to reply them on this part. 

Can You Fly a Drone in a Public Park in Massachusetts?

As you’ll recall from earlier, the only real Massachusetts state drone regulation,302 CMR 12.00: Parks and Recreation Guidelines, pertains to flying drones in a public park.

Any land owned by the state DNR bans drone takeoffs and landings except a.) you could have a allow or b.) it’s an emergency.

In accordance with the Mass.gov web site, the DNR manages over 450,000 acres of land throughout the state, together with “pure, cultural, and leisure assets.”

You probably have a specific park in thoughts that you just need to go to, you should utilize Discover a Park by Mass.gov (link) to seek for it.

If the park comes up on the record, then it’s a DNR park and you can not fly a drone there. 

Can You Fly a Drone in a State Park in Massachusetts?

The majesty of Massachusetts’ state parks makes this state value visiting alone.

The DNR additionally oversees all state parks in Massachusetts, which implies the identical guidelines as above would apply.


Massachusetts is a wondrous state with loads of drone legal guidelines to guard its bountiful pure assets.

Though the punishments aren’t very steep for breaking the regulation, it is best to nonetheless all the time be in your finest conduct when flying.

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302 CMR 12.00: Parks and Recreation Guidelines (link)
Cape Code Canal – federal regulation (link)
Holyoke – Municode Library (link)
Chicopee – municipal regulation (link)
Division of Conservation & Recreation | Mass.gov (link)
Discover a Park | Mass.gov (link)


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