It’s easy to see why Nevada attracts so many tourists who want to capture images and videos with a drone. Lavish cities. Marvelous deserts. Serene lakes. Unique destinations. Before all of that, you might want to consider checking out the current drone laws in Nevada.
You should fully comprehend the aviation regulations in Nevada regardless of whether you plan a recreational or a commercial drone usage. What’s more, this may become a bit complicated. That’s because both state and federal laws regulate drone usage.
We’d like to outline here that a thorough research has been conducted before writing this post. All of the relevant and current information regarding drone laws in Nevada in this post still can’t replace the advice and data from local authorities and sources.
General Overview of the Drone Laws in Nevada
The federal government has created the drone laws in Nevada as well as in other states. Still, Nevada has its state laws and local laws. Subsequently, the Nevada Legislature and the Nevada Department of Transportation point out there is one drone law that is in effect across the whole state. Among other things, the law outlines the use of drones and forbids weaponizing drones.
Further, if you’re flying your drone for fun or as a hobby in Nevada, this falls under recreational drone usage. However, if you receive compensation in the form of payment, salary, barter, or simply as a support for a business/organization, you’re a commercial operator. This is the subject of commercial drone usage.
Indeed, knowing this status will help you find out which regulations and parts of the law apply to you.
A Step-by-Step Guide (Recreational and Commercial Drone Usage)
Drone usage is regulated in Nevada and the authorities are very transparent about the laws. So, take a closer look at some of the considerations you should have in mind and obey.
Weight: Your drone shouldn’t weigh more than 55 pounds (around 25 kilograms).
Drone Registration: Drone pilots have to register their devices. You can do this via a special portal for registering UAVs in the U.S. After you get a registration number, you should put a label on the drone. Some of the information which they’ll most likely ask you to provide include your email address, mailing address, a payment method, and the make or model of your drone.
Maximum Altitude: Make sure that you don’t fly your drone above 400 feet (122 meters). Also, you should always keep it in your line of sight.
Locations: Drones aren’t allowed in sensitive areas across Nevada. These may include but aren’t limited to federally restricted airspace locations like military bases, then, airports, critical facilities, temporary restricted locations, and similar. Further, flying over someone else’s property at a height of 250 feet (76 meters) or less is a civil offense. Besides these, drone pilots shouldn’t fly drones under covered structures or in stationary cars and vehicles which are covered.
Flying Over People: Flying over vehicles and large crowds of people is a no-no according to drone laws in Nevada. The same applies to events like sports matches, concerts, festivals, and such. Moreover, you should keep a distance of a minimum of 25 feet (7.6 meters) from people and vulnerable property. Drones should stay away from manned aircraft, too.
Other Considerations: Fly your drone carefully and don’t fly it under influence. Opt out of flying your drone if you’re facing reduced visibility or other bad weather conditions.
The authorities may penalize you for flying a drone in restricted areas or no-fly zones in Nevada. In some worst-case scenarios, users may end up paying up to 250,000 USD, facing criminal charges, and prison time.
On the infographic below, you can take a look at some of the places where drones aren’t allowed to be flown.
The FAA has recently greenlit regulations for restricting recreational flying in Las Vegas. Because of the restrictions, flying a drone as a hobby isn’t legal in around ninety percent of Las Vegas valley, Nevada. With that being said, drone pilots have to get authorization from the FAA if they want to fly in controlled airspace. And it’s estimated that the majority of people in Las Vegas live in so-called restricted airspace.
Some of the most notable places where flying a drone isn’t permitted include the Las Vegas Strip, the Hoover Dam, the Valley of Fire State Park, other Nevada State Parks, and more.
Traveling with a Drone to Nevada: Information for Foreigners
When you’re flying to the United States with a drone, there are a couple of details you should pay attention to. Subsequently, no matter if you’re using your drone just for fun or for a job, then you should register your drone with the FAA. What’s more, if you’re using your drone for commercial purposes, you need an FAA certificate.
Additionally, the situation is a bit different when you’re traveling with a drone domestically in the States or from one US-state to another. In this case, you’re permitted to bring your drone on board according to the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA). However, your drone shouldn’t be packed in the checked luggage. Instead, you should place it in the carry-on luggage with you.
Before traveling to Nevada with your drone, you can get in touch with the FAA for any additional questions you may have.
Drone Education and Training
Many say that the best way for ensuring drone safety is through adequate education and training. Subsequently, Nevada is one of the leading states when it comes to drone educational programs. This has been expected as the usage of UAVs has been increasing there.
Further, the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) has introduced the Nevada Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety. Through a multi-stakeholder approach, the Center’s mission focuses on increasing the public’s awareness of drone hazards and safety.
On a country-level, the FAA has launched numerous educational campaigns. One of them is Know Before You Fly. This campaign intends to provide resources and educational materials for users for safe flying. In the framework of the campaign, there are numerous activities for children, too.
Future drone pilots also have plenty of opportunities for getting a certificate and be one step closer to officially becoming drone pilots. UNLV Continuing Education has an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Certificate Program. The training lasts for forty hours and covers multiple topics that future pilots should understand. They include drone policy, drone operation, UAS history, and more.
Besides that, colleges are getting on the drone bandwagon, too, by offering programs for drone training and education. The College of Southern Nevada (CSN) has plans for a degree program on drones. Specifically, the program will take students on a two-year journey into the secrets of drone flight training, drone technology, and similar. Furthermore, other drone programs and courses are offered by Nevada-based institutions like the University of Nevada, Reno, Truckee Meadows Community College, Avisight Drone Academy, etc.
Unfortunately, some do exactly that. As a result, the authorities have reported a spike in unauthorized drone sightings in Nevada and the whole country recently.
So, the team at The Drones World always advises readers to be careful when they’re traveling abroad with a drone. Fully understanding the drone laws in the country or state where you’re heading to is a must for a safe and enjoyable experience of flying a drone.
The Drones World has thoroughly researched the drone laws in Nevada to the best of the team’s knowledge. We can’t fully guarantee the complete correctness of the information provided above. The author and The Drones World team don’t take responsibility for any potential damage, loss, or harm that may occur as a result of abiding by this information. Eventually, your responsibility is to ask for advice and help regarding all the needed information about drone laws and regulations. Do that from competent and relevant authorities of the country and state including, but not limited to, aviation authorities, ministries, the embassy in your country, and more. Indeed, feel free to send us news and information you receive about drone regulations in Nevada!