Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Did you know there’s a 70-year-old NYC law prohibiting flying a drone within city boundaries? Yep, it’s true! Don’t worry too much though, as many drone pilots and industry experts believe that the practically ancient law no longer holds up. Because it is 70 years old, it was written regarding large manned aircrafts-without drones in mind. So, there is a bit of a gray area when it comes to whether or not you could get in trouble. It becomes a sort of legal limbo because according to the FAA, as long as you are in the correct airspace, like Class G, you can legally fly there. A huge portion of Brooklyn and all of Roosevelt Island are under Class G airspace. So do with that info what you will. 😉 Surprisingly even a small portion of Manhattan is under Class G airspace. But, don’t fly in Manhattan unless you want to be tackled by the NYPD or possibly hit a low flying helicopter. So always remember Manhattan is a no-go. Don’t even think about it.
So, not all hope is lost! There are still a few places in NYC where you can legally fly your drone. If you are a certified drone pilot that needs to fly somewhere for a client, head to airmap and use their LAANC service to get instant authorization. Just fill out the form, hit submit, and you’ll know if ATC will give you clearance instantly! Here are a few of our favorite places:
1. FLUSHING MEADOWS-CORONA PARK
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is the largest park in Queens and even has a model aircraft field! The designated flying field allows you to capture stunning aerial shots of Meadow Lake and the surrounding area.
2. CALVERT VAUX PARK AMA FIELD
Although Calvert Vaux Park is an AMA members-only park, it is said to be worth it for the expansive landscape with other remote pilots. This is a great spot for capturing the nearby Verrazano Narrows Bridge and Coney Island Creek Park.
3. MARINE PARK, Brooklyn.
Close to Calvert Vaux, Marine Park is on the water in Brooklyn and also requires a membership to fly. Beyond a wooded area, you will find a wooded area and Shell Bank Creek flowing between Marine Park and Plumb Island.
4. FOREST PARK, Queens.
Last but not least, Forest Park is known for its scenic paths and picturesque golf course. With the luck of clear skies, you’ll be able to capture the Manhattan skyline as you fly through the quiet model aircraft field on the western end of the park.