Chase Flynn | UAV Coach

Where to Fly a Drone in Los Angeles

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It's often challenging to find a legal, safe, and visually interesting location to fly your drone, especially in a densely populated area with one or more airports.

After a round of comprehensive research, our team compiled a list of where to fly a drone in Los Angeles. We also have this list of drone laws in California that might be helpful. 

Where do you like to fly your drone in Los Angeles? We welcome your comments/experiences below.

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Hi folks,

So how do all these L.A. drone restrictions/laws exist in regard to FAA restrictions/laws? 

In the end, won't most/all of these L.A. restrictions be found to be in violation of FAA/federal law as the airspace is strictly under the control of the FAA and not local jurisdictions?  Localities can control the ground and what can be done on the ground (takeoff/landing), but they can't control the airspace.

Of course I know a person would have a legal battle, expenses, etc to fight the local laws, but in the end, that person would almost certainly win, correct?

What's the latest thinking on all this?




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Hi @wsalopek

Welcome to the UAV Coach Community Forum! Understanding if state drone laws would be in violation with the federal drone laws has led to a lot of confusion. Various cities and states have passed their own drone laws that in many ways contradict the federal drone laws. Like you stated, states and cities do have jurisdiction over the land. As far as the airspace, only the FAA has jurisdiction over the airspace. 

Back in 2017, there was a case in Newton, Massachusetts where the city tried to enforce various restrictive drone regulations. An FAA certified drone pilot brought the case against the city and won. The federal judge declared that the City of Newton was trying to enforce laws that preempted federal laws.  

If you would like to read more about that case, here is the article

I am in no way offering any legal advice in this situation, I am just providing you with additional information.

I hope this helps! 

 - Chase 

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Thanks for that Chase. Kinda hard to believe no one in LA has yet brought a case against the city. I'm all for safety and privacy, but if the city is doing something illegal, then they need to use other means to try accomplish their goals, and in the meantime leave safe drone pilots alone.

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