New York Drone Laws from Attorney & Pilot

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

New York’s legislature has been very busy with 23 proposed bills relating to drones! (AB 8625A, AB 2683, AB 6713, SB 1249, SB 1841, SB 411, SB 6222, SB 6597, SB 6455, Sb 6335, SB 6306, SB 6456, AB 1247, AB 3597B, AB 5435, AB 8091, AB 6244, AB 6370, AB 6541, SB 4537, AB 9697, AB 8605, SB 7639)

Article 28, Part 3, §  1115. 

Exemptions  from  sales and use taxes. (a) Receipts from the following shall be exempt from the tax on  retail  sales  imposed  under subdivision  (a) of section eleven hundred five and the compensating use tax imposed under section eleven hundred ten:


(21-a)  General  aviation  aircraft,  and machinery or equipment to be installed on such aircraft. For purposes of this  subdivision,  “general aviation  aircraft”  means  an  aircraft that is used in civil aviation, that is not a commercial aircraft as defined in paragraph  seventeen  of subdivision  (b) of section eleven hundred one of this article, military aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicle or drone.

Understandably, a majority of the readers coming to this page will be very interested in finding out where in the New York City area you can fly. While the scope of this page is only the state law, I have included some content for NYC.  Keep in mind other counties, cities, towns, etc. in New York could also have drone laws that are applicable.

New York City Parks has a website listing where you can fly your model aircraft.

Keep in mind that at the time of the writing of this article, even though there are no state level drone laws, police have been creative at applying already existing criminal law to drone flights such as New York’s careless and reckless endangerment.   There have been quite a few arrests of drone operators in the New York area. Here are a few:

Be careful where you fly and don’t do anything stupid because local police have some tools in their toolbelt to charge you with.