A law blog dedicated to tracking legal developments about drones in new york city, new york state, and beyond.*
*not legal advice, personal views only

Where can you fly your drone in New York City?

Hobbyist drone owners and operators in New York City are asking the same question these days: where can I legally fly my drone within the five boroughs?

The New York City Parks Department has designated five parks within the city where model aircraft (i.e., radio control airplanes and helicopters) can fly.  To date, the Parks Department has treated recreational drones like model aircraft and thus these five parks should be open to drone hobbyists (see more below).  For flying zones other than the above mentioned parks, we are waiting on more specific guidance and/or regulations that clarify where and when flying is approved.  Below I explain how it works.

Man crashes his drone into the Empire State Building. Is there a law for that?

On February 4, 2016, New York City police arrested a 27 year old man whose drone crashed into the side of the Empire State Building.  As the drone hovered over 5th Avenue, a gust of wind sent it crashing into a window on the 6th floor and it thereafter came to rest on the 5th floor tier.  The police arrested the man after he asked the building’s security guards if he could retrieve his drone.