Nebraska Drone Laws (2017)

NOTICE: This article is for information purposes only!  This article is ONLY for state laws that are DRONE specific. Local laws and “aircraft” related laws could potentially apply and were outside of the focus of this article. It might NOT be up to date. You should seek out a competent attorney licensed in the state you are interested in before operating.

Researching? I created a page on Drone Laws(federal, state, & international) and another on only US drone laws by state.

 Current as of February 21, 2017

As of the time of writing this article, there are no state drone laws. There was one bill that was proposed but it failed to pass (LB 720). Matt Waite, Professor at University of Nebraska’s Drone Journalism Lab, testified against the bill. You can read his article here.

The Nebraska Department of Aeronautics has a website with two drone-related courses/pages but the links appear to not be working.

Keep in mind that this article was written only for state law, but in the interest of helping others, I have put below some additional local findings which could be potentially helpful. I did not look at the local level for additional drone laws in Nebraska, only at the state level.

Nebraska’s Office of the Capitol Commission issued some guidelines for flying a drone at the Nebraska State Capitol. I have copied them below.

Guidelines for the use of Drones/ Unmanned Aircraft Systems at the Nebraska State Capitol

The Nebraska State Capitol is the seat of state government. All three branches of government are located int he building and over 500 people work in the building ever day. Citizens of Nebraska come to the Capitol to conduct business; visitors from all over the United States and the world come to view the magnificent building. The Capitol is an inspirational public monument with exceptional public art and drone operators may desire to film and photograph the Capitol using a drone/UAV. Functions of state government have priority for use of the Capitol, and drone/UAV operation cannot interfere with functions of state government or present a possible threat to public safety.

  1. The use of a drone/ UAV inside the Nebraska State Capitol is prohibited.
  2. The Nebraska State Capitol is within the 5 mile zone circumscribing the Lincoln Municipal Airport and all drone operators must fulfill all Federal Aviation Administration regulations required for operating aircraft within the defined five (5) mile zone.
  3. Drone/ UAV operators who meet the FAA requirements are able to fly a drone in the area adjacent to the Capitol property, defined as a cube with the boundaries of the curb line of all four public streets surrounding the Capitol reaching up perpendicular to a horizontal height of 800 ft.
  4. Drone/UAV operators may request permission, in advance, to fly a drone/UAV within the defined Capitol property by submitting a letter or Facility Use Permit to the Office of Capitol Commission describing the purpose of the drone/UAV request. The request shall include the name/agency/ organization and all contact information, the date, time and duration of the flight, and the type of drone/UAV and equipment to be used.
  5. The application letter or FUP shall be submitted to the Office of the Capitol Commission at least two (2) weeks in advance of the intended use date.
  6. A written response to the applicant will be provided by the Office of the Capitol Commission will be sent within five (5) working days of OCC receiving the request.
  7. A governmental institution may appeal the decision of the Office of the Capitol Commission by appearing before the Nebraska Capitol Commission at a regular quarterly meeting of this body and present a written statement describing the reason the original OCC decision is being appealed and the consideration of the group is requesting from the COmission. Quarterly NCC meetings are scheduled at the state of each and typically held in the first two weeks of February, June, August, and November.

Please contact the Capitol Tourism Supervisor (402) 471-0449 to receive a Facility Use Permit. Correspondence may be sent to the Office of the CApitol Commission, P.O Box 94696, Lincoln, NE 68509.

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Jonathan Rupprecht

Mr. Rupprecht is an aviation attorney who focuses on drones. Read more about his background as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, and legal author. He has had media appearances on Forbes, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and other sources. Feel free to send Jonathan a message here.