Are Drones Illegal In New York City For Hobbyist Drone Pilots?


If you are in New York City, the skyscrapers are incredible, and you would end up getting some astonishing footage if you were to fly a drone in any of the heavily urbanized areas. NYC is urban, as you would have to go pretty far into the state away from the city to get to country life more. Therefore, one of the things that hobbyist drone pilots would love to do in NYC is fly drones to take some fantastic pictures of the city and get some incredible shots of the buildings. However, as much as they would love to do that, can they legally fly drones in NYC? Let’s talk about that.

Can You Legally Fly Drones In NYC As A Hobbyist?

Here is the situation. New laws in 2017 made it illegal for hobbyists to fly drones in random areas of New York City, which means it is unlawful for drones to take off and land anywhere in the city. However, at the same time, that does not mean that operating drones anywhere near there is illegal either for hobbyist drone pilots. That is why there are five parks in the city where hobbyists can fly their drones legally. Two city parks where you can legally fly drones require a membership. Now talk about the five NYC parks where hobbyist pilots can legally fly drones.

Marine Park In Brooklyn

If you want to fly your drone in Brooklyn, you can fly it at Marine Park, and the thing is that this is one of the parks that require a paid plan. It costs $135 a year to join this park to fly your drone, which can be costly for some people. In addition, you have to enter the Radio Control Society of Marine Park club before joining this park. However, since the options are limited, it is the leading choice you have to join a park to fly your drone. You can get some incredible footage of the park as you can get some excellent shots of the skyscrapers and the open park area. There is another park where you have to pay a membership to the Academy of Model Aircraft before joining it.

Calvert Vaux Park In Brooklyn

There is another park in Brooklyn known as Calvert Vaux Park, and you have to join the Seaview Rotary Wings RC Helicopter Club to become a part of this park. However, that is not enough. You need to join the Academy of Model Aircraft or AMA, which is $75 a year, but it is free to join if you are a minor. You may even need to join the AMA if you want to fly your drone at the Marine Park as well. But since the choices are limited when it comes to flying your drones in certain areas of NYC, then you may have to do so. However, there are other parks where you can also fly the drone. However, these two parks allow you to get the most of what the city can offer when it comes to footage. Of course, you can always fly your drone at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park In Queens

The great thing about Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens is that you do not need to worry about joining any memberships. You can take your drone there and fly it. However, there is a drawback when it comes to this park. You cannot fly there if any planned events happen because they will restrict flights there. That could be why it is free to fly your drone because events often occur there. You may also not get the best footage when you fly your drone at this park as you would at some other parks. Everything in life has its pros and cons, and this is one example of that. There are two other parks that you will want to know where you can fly your drone legally in NYC.

Forest Park In Queens

You may get some excellent footage of the city if you fly your drone at Forest Park in Queens. The great thing is that you also do not have to worry about joining any memberships or paying any fees. You can get some excellent snapshots if you fly your drone there on a clear day. You can fly your drone there up to several hundred feet, and you can even spend the entire day there just by flying the drone. There is one last park in NYC where you can fly your drone legally, but you have to head over to Staten Island to do that.

La Tourette Park In Staten Island

La Tourette Park in Staten Island is the last park in NYC to fly your drone legally. Therefore, there are no membership requirements for flying drones in this park. However, the only drawback is that this park is not straightforward to get to, and that is why hobbyist pilots in NYC would even rather pay the fees to fly their drones at the other parks. However, if you can get to this park, you can get some astonishing footage, as well as your drone, can take snapshots of the NYC skyscrapers. Therefore, even though you cannot legally fly your drone in random places in NYC, you can still fly them in designated parks such as this one!


If you once were able to fly your drone in random places in NYC, unfortunately, since 2017, you no longer can do that if you are a hobbyist drone pilot. But the good news is you can still get some astonishing footage of the buildings and other aspects of NYC from your drone’s snapshots. That is because you can legally fly your drone in five designated parks in the city. You have to pay a fee and a membership for two parks located in Brooklyn, but you can also go to two in Queens and one in Staten Island for free, and you do not have to join any memberships. Always check what you can legally do when flying your drone before taking it anywhere. You don’t want to get into preventable trouble!