You need to know a few things before flying drones in Colorado. In this article, we’ll go over the basic Colorado drone laws and regulations that apply when operating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) within Colorado state.
Drone users should be aware of the rules and regulations in Colorado. Be sure to follow all the drone rules in Colorado state parks, wildlife areas, and other places where drones can operate legally. Stay compliant with these regulations to avoid penalties!
In Colorado, it is illegal to operate drones except in designated areas. The designated areas for drone usage are:
It is against the law to use a drone for finding, scouting, or detecting wildlife for hunting.
It states that the Department of Public Safety’s Center of Excellence must research methods for safely incorporating drones in government public safety operations such as emergency response, firefighting, search&rescue, and crime scene investigation. They also created a pilot program for deploying and training UAS teams in areas of the state identified as being at risk for wildfires.
While the state of Colorado has a few drone laws, the cities and counties have their own drone regulations. Here are a few resources that will help you understand laws for specific cities and counties. For more information, it is advised to check your local government before flying a drone to ensure you comply with their rules.
Except in areas designated for certain types of recreation, using drones in Colorado Springs park requires prior written permission from Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services (PRCS). This prohibition does not apply to places designated for other types of recreation.
A Commercial Film Permit will be necessary for the commercial use of drones, and there are additional drone flight limitations in place just for Garden of the Gods Park.
Any unmanned motorized vehicle must not be launched, landed, or used in any other means from or on the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) property.
Any Denver Park facility, excluding those approved by the DPR Director for such activities, does not permit the launch or operation of flying or propelled objects, including drones. If permission has been issued by the City authorizing the required use, exceptions may be made for drone operations related to events or particular activities.
Bear Creek Lake Park and William F. Hayden Park both forbid drone use.
Permission is also required to fly a drone from or on any city property, park, or open space area, except for three designated “Unmanned Aircraft Flying Areas”:
Any photography or videography that takes place inside city limits requires a drone use permit, whether it is for commercial or non-commercial purposes.
A drone may not be launched, landed, or operated in any park or open area owned or operated by the City, except for emergency landings authorized by law enforcement officers.
The drone operators must have permission from the Director of Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Department before using a drone to launch or land on any park property, except areas designated by the Director as “Unmanned Aircraft Flying Areas.”
Recreational drone use is only permitted in the City after registration. Although federal registration can also be used for this if it allows the City to verify the drone’s registration number.
Without the written consent of the City Manager, no one is allowed to fly a UAS over or above any property owned by the city and no one is allowed to enter, hover over, launch, or land a drone on or above another person’s property without the owner’s permission.
Recreational drone use is permitted at these designated park locations without a permit:
Drones must not be used to drop or discharge payloads or fly too close to bird nests. It’s against the law to fly a drone over persons, crowds, or operations from a moving vehicle.
The Parks and Recreation Department strictly forbids the use of drones on any of its regulated land.
The use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for commercial purposes is forbidden.
Recreational drone use is not permitted in Ford Park, Vail Village, Lionshead Village, or the vicinity of the Vail Valley Medical Center Heli-Port, including pedestrian zones, West Meadow Drive, and town-owned parking facilities.
Without the Town Manager‘s written consent, no one is allowed to fly a drone on or over Town property or another person’s private property without permission.
No one is allowed to use a drone that could endanger or damage another person’s life or property or within a certain distance of any person, pedestrian, companion animal, livestock, or wildlife.
Note: Colorado drone laws are subject to change. The information on this page is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. For more information on drone laws in Colorado, visit the FAA’s website or the official websites of the respective departments or consult an attorney.
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