Drone Use Guidelines

Drone Use Guidelines

            The following advisory drone guidelines are being provided in an effort to ensure the safety of everyone in the unincorporated areas of Greenville County. Any private drone usage must be in compliance with applicable federal laws.  


Federal Law Governing Private Drone Operation

            The use and operation of drones (also called Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems or “SUAS”) is governed by the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”). See 14 C.F.R. § 107.1. The FAA has issued specific regulations addressing when, where, and how drones are to be operated. Accordingly, barring a granted and documented waiver by the FAA, the use of drones is prohibited in the following circumstances, among others:

  • The drone pilot may not operate the drone in a “careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.” (See 14 C.F.R. § 107.23).
  • The drone may not be flown over other individuals. (See 14 C.F.R. § 107.39).
  • The drone may not be flown at night, including, with few exceptions, the 30 minutes before sunrise or after sunset (See 14 C.F.R. § 107.29).
  • The drone may not be flown higher than 400 feet above ground level or at a rate of speed faster than 100 miles per hour (See 14 C.F.R. § 107.51).
  • The drone may not be flown from a moving vehicle. (See 14 C.F.R. § 107.25).
  • The drone pilot must not have consumed an alcoholic beverage within the 8 hours prior to operation, and must not be under the influence of alcohol, a drug that affects a person’s faculties, or any illegal narcotic. (See 14 C.F.R. § 107.27; 14 C.F.R. §§ 91.17, 19).

Individuals who do not obey the prohibitions listed above, without the requisite waiver from the FAA, will be reported to the FAA for civil sanctions and penalties.