Oklahoma Drone Laws and Registration Rules

We consider federal, state, and local laws regulating drone flying in Oklahoma, as well as when and how you should register your drone
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Last updatedLast updated: August 18, 2022
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The US is a place where you can see and do a lot of things and Oklahoma is no exception. It’s no wonder that people want to capture everything. Sometimes, they even use their drones to spy into restricted areas and other people’s personal properties. This prompted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to make some rules to regulate the activities of drone users. Aside from the laws made by the FAA, Oklahoma’s governing body also made some laws for its state.

So, in this article, we’ll be discussing all the Oklahoma drone laws in order for you to know your limits. An example of a limitation is not being allowed to fly your drone over any structure that has a fence. If you can’t make your way physically into the area, then your drone giving you access to the interior is illegal.

Now, let’s get started fully!

Federal Drone Laws in Oklahoma

These are drone laws that are made by the FAA and they apply to every state in the US, including Oklahoma. In making these laws, the three major reasons for owning a drone were examined – for commercial purposes, as a hobby, and as a government employee.

Commercial Purpose

Oklahoma Drone Laws and Registration RulesFlying a drone for commercial purposes means you’re using it for business or work. For example, some construction professionals use the best drones for roof inspections to provide better service to their customers. Whatever type of work you use your drone for, you must comply with the FAA's Part 107 Small UAS Rule Trusted Source Certificated Remote Pilots including Commercial Operators www.faa.gov , where you’ll learn the necessary rules, become an FAA-Certified Drone Pilot by simply passing the knowledge test, and register your drone with the FAA.

As a Hobby

Oklahoma Drone Laws and Registration RulesBefore you can fly a drone for fun or pleasure, the FAA requires you to take “The Recreational UAS Safety Test.” In addition to that, you must adhere to the FAA's recreational model aircraft regulations Trusted Source Recreational Flyers & Modeler Community-Based Organizations www.faa.gov . One of these rules states that if your drone weighs more than 250g (8.8 oz.), you would have to pay an extra fee to register it. But you can easily curb this by buying one of the 5 high-quality drones under 250g.

As a Government Employee

Oklahoma Drone Laws and Registration RulesWhether you’re a police officer, a fire department officer or you belong to any other section, there are laws you’d have to comply with. But in this case, you have a choice to pick one out of two laws. It’s either you adhere strictly to the FAA Part 107 rule or earn a federal Certificate of Authorization (COA).

State Drone Laws in Oklahoma

As confirmed by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODT) and the Oklahoma Legislature, there is only one state-wide law concerning the flying of drones in Oklahoma, which is HB 2559 (2016). The contents of this House Bill (HB) are specifically meant for Oklahoma inhabitants.

According to the HB 2559 (2016), any unmanned aircraft cannot be flown over any of Oklahoma’s critical facilities. Unmanned aircraft operating within 400 feet above ground level are subject to the flight limit. The goal of this state statute is to protect critical facilities against interference, damage, and disruption.

The FAA does not permit an aircraft to be flown within a 5-mile radius. If drone operators who are flying for fun are within a 5-mile radius of a local airport, the Modernization and Reauthorization Act made by the FAA in 2012 mandates them to alert air traffic control or the airport management.

You must alert either the airport air traffic control tower or the airport operator, regardless of which local airport you’re flying close to and possibly breaching airspace. You’ll have to work out an operating procedure with airport air traffic or the airport operator, as well as answer a few questions. An example is inquiries about how long you plan to remain in the air.

This does not apply only to Oklahoma, but all the states in the US. It’s in the Special Rule for Model Aircraft contained in the Part 101 of the Act to ensure that drone operations are disapproved before the drone can be deployed.

Also, note that in cases where the state and federal laws clash, the latter will be considered first.

Local Drones Laws in Oklahoma

These are laws that are enacted by a variety of agencies within the state of Oklahoma. These drone laws apply specifically to certain cities, regions, or counties.

However, there is yet to be any law governing the flying of drones in local areas of the state.

Federal Aviation Administration Roles

The FAA manages a number of programs that help to keep civil aviation safe. Among the programs are:

  • Air traffic control systems for both civilian and military aircraft
  • Navigational aids operation
  • Certifying aircraft, licensing pilot and maintenance technicians
  • Opening up the airways
  • Enhancing the National Airspace System (NAS) and developing innovative aviation technology

The FAA is dedicated to maintaining safe and navigable airspace. They design technologies to monitor air traffic and assign the use of airspace, as well as formulate air traffic laws.

The operation and maintenance of all the networks of optical and technological aid that’s required for safe airplane navigation such as radar facilities, voice communication, and visual display are controlled by the FAA.

The Federal Aviation Administration is also involved in international civil aviation, supporting safety and proper training. Certification of foreign repair stations, airmen, mechanics, and technicians is part of this process.

In addition, the FAA is always researching and creating new systems, methods, and equipment to ensure that aviation safety is maintained.

FAA Regulations

These are the FAA regulations of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) such as drones. They are divided into four main sections – operational limitations, operator certificate and responsibilities, aircraft requirements, and model aircraft.

The laws of these four sections are stated below.

Operational Limitations

This part covers the FAA rules on initiating, conducting, and terminating a flight. It has to do with the rules, safety measures, and limitations that must be adhered to if you must fly a small Unmanned Aircraft System in the US.

  • The operator must be able to see the unmanned aircraft as it’s being controlled. It should remain within the visual line of sight of the operator or visual observer.
  • Oklahoma Drone Laws and Registration RulesThe unmanned aircraft should be close to the operator at all times. The operator shouldn’t have to make use of other technology like a telescope before he can see the aircraft.
  • Small unmanned aircraft are not to be flown over people who are not directly involved in the operation. This helps to avoid damages or crashes on people who are not aware of the operation.
  • When a microUAS is proposed, flying in Class G airspace over individuals who aren’t involved in the operation can be done as long as the operator verifies that he or she has the necessary aeronautical skills.
  • Unmanned aircraft are to be operated only during the daytime (official sunrise to official sunset, local time).
  • Must give way to other incoming aircraft either manned or unmanned.
  • To keep an eye on the aircraft, employ the service of a visual observer, but it’s not mandatory.
  • The “see-and-avoid” condition cannot be met with a first-person view camera, but it can be satisfied as long as the requirement is met in other ways.
  • Unmanned aircraft must be less than 25kg in weight.
  • The top speed shouldn’t exceed 100 mph i.e., 87 knots. An easier way to comply with this rule is to buy one of the reliable hexacopters that have just the appropriate speed, power, and stability required.
  • The maximum altitude allowed is 500 feet higher than ground level.
  • A minimum of 3 miles of weather visibility from the control station is required.
  • In Class A airspace (18,000 feet and above), no operations are permitted.
  • With the proper Air Traffic Control (ATC) approval, operations in Class B, C, D, and E airspaces are permitted.
  • Without the approval of the ATC, operations in Class G are permitted.
  • Oklahoma Drone Laws and Registration RulesAt any given time, no one is allowed to function as an operator or visual observer for more than one unmanned aircraft operation.
  • No rash or careless operation is allowed.
  • The operator must inspect the aircraft prior to takeoff.
  • A person who has a physical or mental condition that could compromise the safe function of an unmanned aircraft should be prevented from operating it.

Operator Certificate and Responsibilities

This section has to do with the knowledge, skills, and certifications the aircraft pilot must have. It also has to do with the roles they are meant to perform before, during, and after a flight.

Pilots of a small unmanned aircraft are to be called “operators.”

Operators are to:

  • Pass an FAA-approved knowledge testing center’s aeronautical knowledge test.
  • Be cleared by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
  • Earn a certificate for unmanned aircraft operation with a small UAS rating (it doesn’t expire, similar to existing pilot airman credentials).
  • Complete a recurrent aeronautical test every 2 years.
  • Be 17 years old or older. Any age less than that is unacceptable.
  • Make available the small UAS and any other associated documents needed to be stored under the proposed rule available to the FAA upon request for inspection.
  • Report an operation that results in injury or property damage to the FAA within 10 days.
  • Conduct a pre-flight examination to ensure that the small unmanned aircraft is safe to fly, including specific aircraft and control station system inspections.

Oklahoma Drone Laws and Registration RulesAircraft Requirements

These regulations have to do with the state of the aircraft. The aircraft must be in good shape to fly.

  • Registration of the aircraft is compulsory (as it is for any other aircraft).
  • The operator must ensure that the small UAS is in a safe condition to function and must inspect the UAS before a flight in order to confirm that it is in safe working condition.
  • Aircraft markings on UAS are necessary just as they are for other aircrafts. In cases where the aircraft is too small to display marks in standard size, the markings must be displayed in the largest possible size.

Model Aircraft

These are rules that are binding on model aircrafts.

  • Model aircrafts that meet all of the requirements stated in Section 336 of Public Law 112-95 would be exempted from the proposed rule.
  • By preventing model aircraft operators from threatening the safety of the National Airspace System (NAS), the proposed rule would formalize the FAA’s enforcement authority in part 101.

Drone Registration in Oklahoma

All owners of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to register their aircraft. Also, the FAA mandates strict adherence to the stipulated rules and legislation.

To begin, you’ll need to provide your name, home address, and email address. Note that you must be at least 13 years old before you get to register.

You’ll get a Certificate of Aircraft Registration and Proof of Ownership after that. In these documents, you’ll have your aircraft identification number. This number must be visible on your drone all the time. The identification number is effective for a maximum of three years.

Also, all drones weighing more than 250 grams will be registered with an extra fee, including any other payloads, such as an onboard camera. According to most reviews, having the Holy Stone Drone or the DJI Mini 2 is the best as it ticks all the necessary boxes and wouldn’t cause you extra funds during registration.

The video below covers the most common drone flying mistakes you can make.

Final Thoughts

The Federal Aviation Administration’s safety requirements and minimum criteria apply to all UAS manufactured, operations, and maintenance. Airports, pilots, and aircraft maintenance personnel are all certified by the FAA.

Oklahoma also made some laws for the safe flight of drones within the state. These Oklahoma drone laws are binding on all the inhabitants of the state. Firstly, if you wish to fly a drone either for commercial purposes, as a hobby, or as a government employee, you must get yourself registered.

After registration comes adherence to the state-wide law — the House Bill 2559 (2016). The major goal of this statute is to ensure a safe flight at all times and to prevent interference with critical facilities.

References

1.
Certificated Remote Pilots including Commercial Operators
2.
Recreational Flyers & Modeler Community-Based Organizations
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