Skip to main content

Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (drones)

Know the rules and fly safely

When you fly your drone anywhere in the nation's airspace, you automatically become part of the U.S. aviation system. Under the law, your drone is an aircraft, and you have the responsibility to operate safely, just as a Cessna or 747 pilot does. Drones are of particular concern around airports, and if flown improperly, can endanger aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates the use of unmanned aircraft systems. The information below was gathered from FAA, and it is subject to change. For the latest rules, regulations and news about UAS, please visit the FAA's drone webpage.

Information and contacts for State Tower, The Ohio State University Airport air traffic control.

General information

10 things to know before you fly

Whether you're a novice drone pilot or have many years of aviation experience, rules and safety tips exist to help you fly safely in the national airspace. Think of these tips as a preflight checklist to help you fly safely:

  1. Register your drone
  2. Take the FAA's Recreational UAS Safety Test  (TRUST) before your first flight.
  3. Fly your drone at or below 400 feet
  4. Keep your drone within your line of sight
  5. Be aware of FAA Airspace Restrictions
  6. Respect privacy
  7. Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports
  8. Never fly over groups of people, public events or stadiums full of people
  9. Never fly near emergencies such as fires or hurricane recovery efforts
  10. Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Flying on Ohio State campus?

If flying on Ohio State's campus, a risk form must be obtained and submitted, and Ohio State police must be notified via phone (614-292-2121) on the day of the flight.

Review campus drone policy and related documents for more information.

Fly under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336) Fly under FAA's UAS Rule (Part 107)

- Fly for hobby or recreation ONLY
- Register your model aircraft, UAS, drone with FAA
- Take the FAA's Recreational UAS Safety Test  (TRUST)
- FAA-Recognized Identification Areas (FRIAs): If your drone doesn't have Remote ID, you may be able to operate within a FRIA.
- Follow community-based safety guidelines and fly within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization
- Fly a model aircraft under 55 lbs. unless certified by a community-based organization
- Fly within visual line-of-sight
- Never fly near other aircraft
- Never fly near emergency response effort

- Fly for recreational OR commercial use
- Register your drone
- Take the FAA's Recreational UAS Safety Test  (TRUST)
- Get a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA
- Check LAANC
- Fly a drone under 55 lbs.
- Fly within visual-line-of-sight*
- Don't fly near other aircraft or over people*
- Don't fly in controlled airspace near airports without FAA permission*
- Fly only during daylight or civil twilight, at or below 400 feet*

* These rules are subject to Part 107 waiver.


If you spot a drone near a crewed aircraft

  1. Document the time/location of the
    Image of a "no drone zone" sign
  2. Take pictures and/or capture video recordings of the activity, if possible
  3. Attempt to determine the type of activity
  4. Attempt to determine the location of the operator of the model aircraft
  5. If possible, obtain UAS FAA registration number located on the model aircraft
  6. Report sighting to 1-866-TELL-FAA (866-835-5322) and select option 4, or FAA website
  7. Contact and provide information to Local Law Enforcement

Please contact The Ohio State University Airport 614-292-5453 or 614-292-9834 if the reported sighting is within five miles of the airport.

Smartphone App Available for Drone Operators

The FAA has released a smartphone app that can help users understand restrictions around flying their devices. B4UFLY tells users about current or upcoming requirements and restrictions in areas of the National Airspace System (NAS).



Download the B4UFLY app by clicking here.