The laws of New Jersey are pretty strict when it comes to the operation of drones. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), flying a drone around the state entails adhering to strict regulations. If you break one of these laws, you could face the penalties from loss of drone or drone-related equipment, a fine of up to $1000 per violation, as well as court costs, or up to 30 days in jail.
It’s also important to note that most laws regarding the operation of drones in New Jersey refer only to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), which are not the same thing as remote-controlled helicopters, airplanes, or quadcopters.
However, they’re regulated by a myriad of laws and regulations. New Jersey has three types of drone laws, which we’ll discuss here: federal, state, and local.
Drone laws in federal airspace predominate over those in state airspace. A state or local statute that directly contradicts FAA regulations will be declared unconstitutional. These laws are in place because UAS are simple to operate and can even be controlled with a smartphone, making it simple to invade other people’s privacy.
As per FAA's Part 107 Trusted SourceSmall Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Regulations (Part 107) | Federal Aviation Administration The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or “drone,” operations cover a broad spectrum of commercial and government uses for drones weighing less than 55 pounds. Highlights of the rule, 14 CFR Part 107, follow. www.faa.gov , there is no need for a pilot’s license to operate a drone. Instead, operators must pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test or obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate with a small UAS rating from the FAA.
For those who want to learn how to fly a drone, the Recreational UAS Safety Test Trusted SourceThe Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) TRUST is The Recreational UAS Safety Test. It provides education and testing for recreational flyers on important safety and regulatory information. If you fly your drone recreationally under the Exception for Recreational Flyers you must pass the test before you fly. www.faa.gov by FAA, is a must-have credential. It creates awareness for recreational drone pilots about safety, responsibilities, and the laws governing the flying of drones for recreational purposes.
Federal Aviation Administration regulations dictate that a government employee must receive permission from the Air Traffic Organization Trusted SourceCertificates of Waiver or Authorization (COA) | Federal Aviation Administration COA is an authorization issued by the Air Traffic Organization to a public operator for a specific UA activity. After a complete application is submitted, FAA conducts a comprehensive operational and technical review. www.faa.gov to use a drone in state airspace.
If you’re wondering if drones are legal in NJ, the answer is yes.
However, you must register all drones weighing more than 0.55 lbs. Drone users who want to avoid weight restrictions can do so with the best drones weighing less than 250 grams.
Also, drones cannot fly over prisons, military bases, power plants, airports, or other restricted spaces. Drones also must not fly higher than 400 feet above ground level.
It’s an unmanned system raised using aerodynamic forces—can either fly freely or be controlled remotely. There are a variety of drones on the market, but the Potensic T25 is the best for capturing clear photos and videos with a wide field of view.
Under New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, drones are prohibited from flying over any park or forestry. The only exceptions are for law enforcement purposes or with a permit from the Superintendent of the Division of Parks and Forestry.
Drone pilots that fly their models in a way that endangers life and property, and interferes with a first responder are breaking the law.
If you want to fly a drone in New Jersey, you can get one for under $1000 and take amazing photos and videos.
However, to avoid being fined by the government, you must obey the following drone laws:
This city ordinance prohibits the use of drones in or over any park or recreation facility. The law also bans new commercial uses of drones, except New Jersey companies operating in Bergen County for at least two years.
These laws protect the people and property in Borough from drones safeguarding their privacy, public health, welfare, and safety.
These regulations include:
The ordinance governs drones on government property, buildings, or parks, preventing them from being operated or flown from any airspace above 400 feet or over any government or public facilities, land, or parks within the Township.
Unless the Ventnor City Chief of Police has provided prior written authorization for a special event or a City-sponsored event, the drone is forbidden from operating or flying in any airspace above 400 feet.
Drones are not permitted in these conditions:
East Bay's District parklands Trusted SourceFlying Drones in East Bay Regional Parks Is Illegal With $300 Fines – NBC Bay Area The East Bay Regional Park District is off-limits to drones and will cite violators $300 if they fly the unmanned aircraft in any of the district’s 65 parks and 120,000 acres of open space. www.nbcbayarea.com regulations make it illegal to fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) above 400 feet.
Drones are prohibited in the East Bay Regional Park District, and violators will be fined $300 if they fly the unmanned aircraft in any of the district’s 65 parks or 120,000 acres of open space.
Also, drones cannot be flown over all East Bay Regional Parks, regardless of whether the owner has registered.
These are the drone laws in NJ under the Essex County Park Ordinance, as revised in 2020:
Persons and entities in Long Beach Township Trusted SourceTownship of Long Beach, NJ Drones and Unmanned Aircraft Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Long Beach 5-18-2015 by Ord. No. 15-19C. Amendments noted where applicable. ecode360.com are prohibited from:
If you live in Middlesex County and want to learn to fly a drone, the Holy Stone HS440 has user-friendly features like a long flight time for every practice session.
However, here are the drone regulations you need to be aware of:
To fly a drone in Passaic County Trusted SourceDrone Permits | Passaic County, NJ The operation of a UAV is prohibited within all lands and waters within the Passaic County Park System unless specifically approved via permit by the Director of the Passaic County Parks and Recreation Department. www.passaiccountynj.org , you are subject to the following terms and conditions:
Drones are not permitted to be flown in the Palisades Interstate Park, on or above school grounds unless they are used for educational purposes by the school.
You cannot fly a UAV over people in Ramapo Indian Hills. The drone must be visible to the pilot and fly at less than 100 miles per hour, staying away from restricted areas such as airports and federal government properties.
Drone flights are prohibited within 200 feet of the High Mountain Park Preserve, Packanack Lake Park, Pines Lake Park, Packanack Lake Golf Course, and Packanack Valley Golf Course, according to the Wayne Township Parks Commission.
When flying a drone in New Jersey, keep in mind that you are not legally permitted to fly higher than 400 feet or within 5 miles of an airport. Flying over or below someone’s private property is also prohibited unless the proprietor gives permission.
Also, always verify local rules before flying within 5 miles of any “critical infrastructure facility,” which includes every power plant in New Jersey and chemical research facilities, landfill sites, water treatment facilities, and other facilities.
Overall, if you follow the guidelines, you can’t go wrong. New Jersey drone laws are straightforward and well-thought-out. The text of the statutes is relatively straightforward, and very few exceptions have been made. With a little knowledge and planning, while using some of the drones we have recommended, a pilot should have no issue navigating these drone rules.