Guidelines for U.S. Law Enforcement Engagement with Drones
From the faa --
The government agency with congressional authority over the airspace is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This is the same agency that in August 2016 enacted the "Part 107" laws and regulations governing the commercial use of aerial drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
At the same time, Part 101 laws and regulations went into effect which govern the use of drones in the airspace for hobby and recreational use.
There is still much education needed about these laws and regulations. Many local and state municipalities have enacted or are considering their own regulations and laws governing the operation of aerial drones.
However, citizens and residents of the United States (whether they are drone pilots or anyone else) must realize that the airspace is considered a federal asset. Except in exceptional or explicit cases, property rights do not extend into the air.
The wide accessibility and proliferation of drones is acknowledged to create many new challenges and uncertainties regarding property rights, among other legal considerations. To assist law enforcement agencies and officers (LEAs and LEOs) with determining what a proper course of action may be when they engage with suspected unauthorized operation of aerial drones, the FAA has created two documents. Drone Pilots Federation is sharing and promoting this educational resource from the FAA for three important and distinct audiences:
1. For law enforcement officers and agencies
2. For drone pilots (to help you know how you should react if you are approached by an LEO while operating your drone)
3. For other citizens and residents so you know what is appropriate and permissible (a) for drone pilots, and (b) from your local law enforcement agency and officers.
Please click the links below to download and read the two files from the FAA. The first is a REFERENCE CARD that has two sides. The second document is the COMPLETE GUIDELINES that is 14 pages long.
After reading and studying these guidelines that come from the FAA, you have questions or want to discuss them with other people in your geographic region, we encourage you to have this dialog. There are several alternatives available for you to find or create these communities of local pilots. If you aren't aware of any, or can't find any group that suits your needs, we invite you to contact us. We will do our best to connect you with other members of Drone Pilots Federation who are in your region.
On the FAA page for Law Enforcement Resources, these two important documents are located. Clicking on each document name will take you directly to that file.
- Law Enforcement Reference Card (PDF)
- Law Enforcement Guidance for Suspected Unauthorized UAS Operations (PDF)
Thank you for taking the time and effort to be an educated law enforcement officer, elected official, drone pilot, or citizen as we navigate together through our historic times with drone technologies.
Be Safe, and do Good.