Chase Flynn | UAV Coach

Where to Fly a Drone in Detroit

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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 Detroit. We also have this list of drone laws in Michigan that might be helpful.

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

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I was told by the Detroit Port Authority that no drones are aloud in the area around the waterview loft at port detroit, is it legal to fly here? being that this is on the boarder for Canada does Home Land Security or the Coast Guard have any jurisdiction here? 

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Hi @Jayb8s,

Welcome to the UAV Coach Community Forum! I am going to look into this and I will let you know if I find anything. I am actually quite familiar with that area and it can be complicated because the Canadian Airspace starts around the halfway point across the Detroit River. In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration has sole jurisdiction over the National Airspace System. Although this has not stopped states, cities, and other entities from trying to enforce their own drone regulations that preempt federal regulations. 

Best, 

 - Chase 

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On 10/17/2019 at 1:27 PM, Jayb8s said:

I was told by the Detroit Port Authority that no drones are aloud in the area around the waterview loft at port detroit, is it legal to fly here? being that this is on the boarder for Canada does Home Land Security or the Coast Guard have any jurisdiction here? 

Hi @Jayb8s

I wanted to provide you with you an update on my research on this topic. I was unable to find any official regulation that prevents unmanned aircraft from operating around the Waterview Loft at Port Detroit. In reviewing the sectional chart for that area, I also determined that there is no restricted zones listed within that region. It can be confusing to understand drone regulations because cities and states try pass drone regulations that in most cases preempt federal law. The Federal Aviation Administration has full jurisdiction of the National Airspace System within the United States.

There is nothing stopping the Detroit Port Authority from asking you to not takeoff or land on their property which they have the right to do. However, they do not have any authority over the airspace surrounding their owned/managed properties. I would just recommend to always fly safe and follow the regulations. That section of airspace is relatively complex as it borders Canada and the Metro Detroit area has lots of airports and air traffic. 

If you have any additional questions please let me know!

 - Chase   

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