Drones in Your Neighborhood

shutterstock_317600432Once used exclusively by the military, drones are now becoming more and more common in private use. While they do have some benefits, such as Amazon’s promise to deliver products via drones, there are also some drawbacks to drones, especially if they enter your private property. If you would like to know more about drones and drone rules, check out these three questions.

What Guidelines Has the FAA Passed?

The FAA has passed some federal laws that drone pilots must follow. Common rules include:

  • Do not fly above 500 feet
  • Ensure you can see the aircraft at all times
  • Avoid manned aircraft operations
  • Unless you have permission from the airport tower, stay at least 5 miles from any airport
  • Stay away from people and stadiums
  • Your aircraft cannot weigh more than 55 pounds
  • Be smart and avoid reckless actions

These are designed to make drones safer, which is extremely important now that just about anyone who can afford one can use one.

What Is the Government Doing to Protect You?

Most likely, a drone won’t bother you, but what if someone in your neighborhood has one and keeps flying it onto your property? Do you have any rights? It depends where you live. In Oregon, new laws have appeared that protect property owners from this very thing. If a drone operator flies a drone less than 400 feet above your property, you may be able to sue. Three criteria must be meet for you to pursue legal action:

  • The pilot flies the drone less than 400 feet above your property
  • You inform the owner you do not give consent to fly over your property
  • The pilot ignores your lack of consent and continues to fly the drone less than 400 feet above your property

What Can HOAs Do About Drones?

Private drone use is new, so community associations are still trying to figure out what rights they have. While some associations want them banned completely, others want to at least impose their own guidelines. The best thing you can do for your community is check your governing documents to see what rules and regulations you may already have that can be used to help shed light on how drones should be used within the community.

Drones can be incredibly useful, but if more and more people start using them without following guidelines, they could become dangerous and annoying. Your HOA should check the governing documents and work on creating rules that can help regulate drone usage.


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