Georgia Drone Laws: Be on the Right Side of the Law!

Find out all about Georgia drone laws: what is allowed and what's required of you to fly a drone in this beautiful state.
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Last updatedLast updated: April 02, 2024
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The State of Georgia allows the use of drones subject to the local, State, and federal laws. It helps to learn all the Georgia drone law before you get excited to explore the State’s beautiful landscape with your drone. The laws are restrictions on where you can fly and what you can film. Although drone laws in Georgia are primarily governed by the United States Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), the State’s legislature has enacted supplemental laws that are specific to drone operations in the State.

This article looks at all the laws that regulate drone operation in Georgia. We explain everything you should know before flying a recreational or commercial drone for fun or work in Georgia so you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

Are Drones Allowed in the State of Georgia?

Georgia Drone Laws: Be on the Right Side of the Law!The State of Georgia allows the use of drones for recreational and commercial purposes subject to FAA regulations and flight rules enacted by the local governments. A common drone law in Georgia is forbidden flying over crowds, people, and near airports. The laws are meant to maintain air safety and protect the public.

Agencies Responsible for Regulating Drones in Georgia

The FAA is the agency responsible for regulating drones in all the States in the US. It sets the rules to regulate drone operations. Besides controlling who can fly and where to fly, the FAA also promotes drone safety by providing educational resources.

The agency also investigates all reports on unsafe and illegal drone operations. You must learn all the FAA laws before operating a drone to avoid serious penalties.

Common Penalties

Some common penalties for violating drone laws in Georgia include:

Seizure of drone

Seizing a drone is one of the ways in which the FAA enforces drone laws. In most cases, the agency will take action against a violator after receiving a complaint from another person that you were using your drone in an unsafe or disruptive manner.

Civil penalty

You may face civil penalty if your drone operations endanger people or property. The civil penalty may be a hefty fine. What’s more, you may be required to pay for damage if your drone causes harm to someone or property.

Criminal penalty

Operating your drone in an unsafe and disruptive manner can land you in jail. Ensure you are familiar with all the drone rules and penalties for violating them before flying. Avoid all the no-drone zones in the State and beware of your surroundings when flying to avoid trouble.

Flying a Drone in Georgia: General Rules

Georgia Drone Laws: Be on the Right Side of the Law!
Before you set out to fly a drone anywhere in Georgia, familiarize yourself with these crucial rules:

  1. The drone should not be more than 55 lbs at takeoff.
  2. The drone must be registered by the FAA according to their guidelines Trusted Source How to Register Your Drone If you are not sure what kind of a drone flyer you are, check out our User Identification Tool or visit our Getting Started webpage to learn more. www.faa.gov  and marked with the registration number issued.
  3. The drone operator must be at least 16 years old.
  4. Your drone must be within line of sight always.
  5. Drones should not interfere with emergency and law enforcement activities.
  6. No flying over crowds of people.
  7. No flying under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  8. All commercial drone operators must have a remote pilot license.
  9. No flying over or near prisons and other correction facilities.
  10. No flying over or near federal and other governments.
  11. Drone speed should be below 100 mph.
  12. Drones must not be used to stalk or harass people.
  13. No flying near or over military bases, airports, and heliports.
  14. No flying over sports events and stadiums.

Other drone use laws by the State of Georgia include HB 481 Aviation; unmanned aircraft systems

This law regulates drone operations on public property and prohibits local governments from making UAS regulations since April 2017.

Georgia State Park Drone Rules:

  • Drone operation is not allowed in State parks and historic sites in Georgia. Professional commercial projects that may promote the sites or earn revenue can get a waiver from the divisional director.
  • A commercial drone operator must get permission for commercial filming from the FAA. In addition, they must provide proof of their Part 107 or small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) license, the application describing the project, its location, date, time range, and the name of the pilot flying the craft.
  • No flying of drones over populous areas that may affect park visitors.
  • All filming applications must be submitted at least 10 days before the filming begins.

City and County Drone Laws in Georgia

These are drone laws enacted and implemented by the counties, cities, and towns in Georgia.

Augusta Richmond County

  • Flying a drone to capture images of privately owned company, landowners, or tenants is prohibited.
  • Flying a UAS or drone in a highly populated area is strictly forbidden. A highly populated area is any specific area designated by the Augusta, Georgia commission or a gathering of at least 100 people at recreational and entertainment events. You can fly in highly populated areas in the cities of Blythe and Hephzibah with written approval.
  • Flying a UAS or drone equipped with a weapon is prohibited in Richmond County. The prohibition does not apply to Law enforcement drone flights.

Cherokee County

  • This law prohibits landing any UAS or electrically powered model aircraft anywhere except for designated spaces.

City of Conyers

  • This law forbids launching or intentionally landing a UAS within the borders of the Georgia International Horse Park.

Stone Mountain Park

  • Flying a UAS or drone within the park is prohibited unless one gets authorization from the park’s chief executive officer.

Flying Recreational Drones for Fun in Georgia

Georgia Drone Laws: Be on the Right Side of the Law!As a hobbyist, you must familiarize yourself with all the drone laws that regulate recreational drone operations in the State of Georgia. First off, you must register your drone if it is more than 0.55 lbs. You can register online or by mail. To register via mail, you fill out a form and send it to the address listed on it.

Registering your drone

The registration requires your name, address, an email address and a registration fee of $5. You must create a user account with the FAA, and after successful registration, you get a registration number. According to the FAA laws, you must mark your drone with the registration number assigned to you. Place it on the outside of the drone, where it can be seen easily. The registration is valid for three years and must be renewed upon expiry.

The FAA also requires all recreational drone pilots to take the Recreational UAS Safety Trust Trusted Source What is TRUST? The law requires that all recreational flyers pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test and provide proof of passage if asked by law enforcement or FAA personnel. www.faa.gov  (TRUST). The test provides education and testing on critical safety and regulatory information. You can do the test online through any of the FAA-approved test administrators Trusted Source List of FAA Approved Test Administrators Test administrators will not keep a record of your certificate. You must present a copy of your certificate if asked by law enforcement officers. www.faa.gov . The test is free, and all the questions on it are correctable to 100% before submission. Download, save, or print your completion certificate once you are done with the test. You will have to retake the test if you lose the certificate.

General rules

The general rules for recreational drone flying in Georgia include the following;

  1. Understand all the recreational flying requirements. If you have no idea what rules apply to your flight, fly under Part 107 to be on the safe side of the law. You can visit the recreational flyers page on the FAA website to learn all the requirements. You can also download the B4UFLY mobile app for drone flying information resources.
  2. Fly for recreational purposes only, which essentially is personal enjoyment.
  3. Keep your drone within your vision line of sight.
  4. Do not interfere with the operations or flight of another aircraft.
  5. Ensure your drone flight operations do not interfere with or endanger the safety of the national airspace.
  6. Fly at or below 400 ft in uncontrolled airspace (Class 4G). The Savannah Georgia drone laws prohibit drone operation within the SVN Class D airspace.
  7. Carry proof of TRUST test passing when flying.

Do you need a beginner-friendly drone for recreational flying and need help choosing one? Consider the popular Holy Stone HS720E. It is super-easy to use thanks to its intelligent flight modes and a decent flight time of 46 minutes.

Flying Commercial Drones in Georgia

Georgia Drone Laws: Be on the Right Side of the Law!All commercial drone operators in Georgia are required to adhere to FAA’s Part 107; a regulation that controls the use of small drones in the US. The law requires all drone operators to have a remote pilot certificate from the FAA. You can only obtain the certificate by passing a written exam and meeting the following qualifications;

  • Be 16 years and above.
  • Be in possession of a valid government-approved ID.
  • Have a basic understanding of English (Speaking and reading)
  • Besides obtaining a pilot certificate, all commercial drone pilots must follow all the other rules in Part 107, like only flying during the day and avoiding all the restricted places like airports and prisons.
  • Pass a background check by the authority.

The Remote Pilot exam is not hard, but you must prepare well for it to earn qualifying marks. It consists of multiple-choice questions about topics like flight operations, aviation weather, and flight operations regulations.

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The Bwine F7 night vision GPS drone is a great alternative with a similar 3-Axis Gimbal 4K camera and better wind resistance.

If you have the budget for a higher-end, yet affordable drone, check out our article on the best drones under $2000 for unmatched options.

After choosing a drone that fits your needs and budget, read on how to program a drone to make the most out of it.

Use of Surveillance Drones by Law Enforcement Agencies in Georgia

Drones help law enforcement agencies to police more efficiently. Drones come in handy in taking photos of traffic crash scenes, monitoring correctional facilities, tracking prison escapees and controlling crowds among other things. They are also great for gathering information in dangerous situations while saving money and manpower.

According to AP News Trusted Source Georgia city adopts drone response program for police FAA-approved test administrators Drones will be used to respond to 911 calls in one Georgia city, with Brookhaven becoming the first in the Southeast to adopt a first responder program using the devices. apnews.com , Georgia city adopted a drone response program for the police. Brookhaven was the first to use the devices to respond to 911 calls. Each drone is equipped with a camera for recording and streaming HD video to the department’s crime center. A police officer in the crime center can relay information to other police on the ground. Moreover, the drones have thermal imaging for spotting suspects at night.

Other city police departments use drones to gather information in potentially dangerous standoffs, but Brookhaven’s program is different as it has increased drone usage, including real time emergency responses and first-time 911 calls.

Final Thoughts

Learning all the drone laws in a State, County, or City before flying is crucial. Breaking any of the laws may lead to heavy fines, jail time, or the loss of your drones. The drone laws in Georgia are similar with other US states’ laws enacted by the FAA. However, the State has drafted specific laws that govern drone use in various parts for both recreational and commercial drone pilots.

Drone flying laws in Georgia require every drone operator to register their drone and fly under Part 107 rules or have a TRUST exam certificate of completion.

You can access all the information about Georgia’s drone laws on the FAA website of through the B4UFLY mobile app. The app has more useful resources that can help you understand drone flying laws and requirements for different states.

References

1.
How to Register Your Drone
If you are not sure what kind of a drone flyer you are, check out our User Identification Tool or visit our Getting Started webpage to learn more.
2.
What is TRUST?
The law requires that all recreational flyers pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test and provide proof of passage if asked by law enforcement or FAA personnel.
3.
List of FAA Approved Test Administrators
Test administrators will not keep a record of your certificate. You must present a copy of your certificate if asked by law enforcement officers.
4.
Georgia city adopts drone response program for police FAA-approved test administrators
Drones will be used to respond to 911 calls in one Georgia city, with Brookhaven becoming the first in the Southeast to adopt a first responder program using the devices.
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