Flying a drone in the United States comes with certain restrictions that must be adhered to. There are universal drone laws that apply to all States regarding the acquisition and flying of drones. However, each of the states in the USA has its own specific laws regarding drones that must be followed whenever you find yourself within that jurisdiction. In this article, we are going to look at the state of Oregon and the laws that apply in this State regarding drones.
1. Drones and wildlife
In 2016, the State of Oregon passed a law that prohibits the fish and wildlife commission from using drones to pursue wildlife. With the passing of this law, it becomes illegal for anyone to use a drone to pursue any form of wildlife. While it is unlikely that anyone would be interested in doing this as a hobby, it is important to note that this will definitely land you in jail if you are in Oregon.
2. Weaponization of drones
Some drones are fitted with certain types of weapons that can be used for different reasons including attacking an “enemy” when it is airborne. The law criminalizing Weaponization of drones in Oregon was passed in March 2016. Unless expressly permitted by federal government, flying a weaponized drone as a hobby in Oregon is criminal and this will land you in prison.
3. Flying over property
An interesting law in Oregon regarding drones was passed in 2016 that required all property owners who do not wish to have drones flying over their property to issue a notice to all drone owners regarding the same. This regulation also allowed the property owners to take legal action against a drone owner who defies the notice after it has been given. This means that if you own a drone and find yourself in Oregon, you will probably be served with a notice from a neighbor who likes to keep his privacy. In case you are served with a notice and you end up defying the notice, you are criminally liable.
4. 400 feet above critical infrastructure
In Oregon, if you are a drone owner, you must not fly under 400 feet of any critical infrastructure that include but is not limited to oil and gas plants, telecommunication yards, water treatment plants among others. You must identify these critical establishments before you venture out to fly your drone as failure to adhere to this regulation means you may end up in prison. Whenever you intend to fly over any of the mentioned and other infrastructure that fall under the same category according to Oregon state laws, you must ensure that you stick to the 400 feet or beyond height.
5. Maintain sight of your drone
When flying in Oregon, you are required to ensure you have your drone in sight at all times. This means that you must not lose sight of your drone whenever it is airborne. This is to ensure you avoid any accidents as a result of miscalculations. This is especially so when you are flying over highly populated areas within the state.
6. Flying within 5 miles of an airport
When flying your drone in Oregon, you are required to make contact with the relevant airport authorities if you intend to fly within a radius of 5 miles with the airport. There are set procedures on how you can contact the airport authorities before you make the flight. This is to ensure you keep a low profile to avoid collision with other manned aircrafts that may be using the services of the airport. By flying within 5 miles of an airport without contacting the relevant authorities, you will have broken the law and will be criminally liable.
7. Flying under adverse weather conditions
It is against the law in Oregon to fly when there are adverse weather conditions such as high winds and fog. High winds will render the drone unstable and may lead to an accident. Likewise, foggy or misty conditions significantly reduce your visibility and limit your capacity to control the drone which may be dangerous to other people or property within the environment.