Can You Fly a Drone in Sedona?

Situated near Flagstaff, Sedona is a desert region in Arizona with forests, canyons, and buttes. It’s beloved as much for its natural beauty as for its arts.

If you’ve always wanted to visit Sedona and you’re finally making it happen, naturally, you may wonder – can you bring your drone with you?

Can you fly a drone in Sedona?

You can fly a drone throughout much of Sedona but not in Wilderness Areas or Sedona Airport and Flagstaff Pulliam Airport. You’re also required to follow FAA guidelines when in the skies.

If you have a trip to Sedona in the cards, this is the article for you.

In it, we’ll discuss in-depth whether you can use a drone in this part of Arizona, highlight all the off-limits areas, and go over Arizona’s flight rules.

Don’t miss it!

Can you fly a drone in Sedona?

Under Public Law 112-95, Section 336 and the FAA, commercial and recreational pilots can operate a drone in Sedona.

However, the desert town has a lot of off-limits places, so let’s review.


Sedona is only 18.31 square miles, yet still contains several airports. One is the aptly-named Sedona Airport, and the other is Flagstaff Pulliam Airport.

As a drone pilot, you’re prohibited from flying within five nautical miles of an airport. Given the tiny size of Sedona, this will make planning flight routes difficult but not impossible.

Military bases

Across Sedona’s borders, you’ll find a couple of military bases. These too can complicate your flight plans, as you’re not allowed within five nautical miles of a military base either.

Wilderness Areas

Drones are strictly prohibited in Wilderness Areas throughout the United States. That’s been the case since 1964, when the Wilderness Act went into effect.

The goal of that act is to prohibit industrialization that prevents designated areas from existing that solely protect wildlife and nature.

Sedona has two Wilderness Areas, Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness and Munds Mountain Wilderness.

Neither area is small. The Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness is 47,195 acres, while Munds Mountain Wilderness is 18,150 acres.

Designated Primitive Areas

Further, Sedona law restricts drone access in designated Primitive Areas.

The United States Forest Service once used these lands, which have since mostly converted to Wilderness Areas. 

Other restricted airspace

Always use a drone map when operating your UAV in Sedona. The above areas all constitute restricted airspace, but other restrictions could exist throughout the town.

Also, stay vigilant for temporary flight restrictions, which only affect your drone plans for a limited time but are still enforceable.

4 fantastic places to fly a drone in Sedona

Although Sedona restricts drone access to many places throughout the town, if you know where to look, you’ll find an exceptional selection of spots where you can take breathtaking footage.

Here are some of our favorites.

West Fork Oak Creek Trail

About 9.5 miles from Sedona is the West Fork Oak Creek Trail. As you stroll along the trailhead, you’ll spot canyons, a stream, and cliffs.

The buttes here are a trademark red, and when autumn arrives in Arizona, the fall foliage will take your breath away.

Charge up your drone battery, as you’ll surely want to stay here for a while!

Devil’s Bridge Trail

Venture out to Yavapai County to hike the Devil’s Bridge Trailhead.

Only moderately difficult, the entire hike (round trip) is 1.8 miles, so you won’t have to sweat it out too much if you’re trying to look professional for a drone project.

The route takes you across sandstone arches, so you’ll have lots to film or photograph here.

Schnebly Hill Vista

Along Schnebly Hill, you’ll find a vista with a clearance area to witness the beauty of Sedona.

While the Schnebly Hill Vista isn’t all that far from the Munds Mountain Wilderness, it’s well outside of the wilderness boundary line.

Many drone pilots have flown here before, so you shouldn’t have to stress about restrictions. If anything, keep in mind that the crowds here can be rather plentiful.

Since it’s often such a populated area, consider scheduling your drone flight either earlier or later in the day to avoid the crowds.

Courthouse Butte

We also recommend exploring Courthouse Butte while you’re staying in Sedona. The butte near Oak Creek in Yavapai County is just a bit southward of Sedona. The peak of the butte is 5,454 feet.

You don’t have to ascend that high up, of course. That’s what you have your drone for!

You can take some aerial shots of the tall, tree-lined butte that will make a fantastic addition to your portfolio.

Drone operation rules to know before visiting Sedona

With your plane tickets and hotels booked, it’s time to jet off to stunning, warm Sedona.

Before your plane touches down, make sure you’re privy to the following drone rules, which apply to Arizona as a whole.

Do not launch your drone closer than 328 feet to wildlife

Sedona drone law prohibits drone pilots from vertically approaching birds or animals with their UAVs.

Further, you cannot launch your drone any closer than 328 feet or 100 meters from local wildlife.

It’s no secret that drone exposure can cause unfortunate behavior in wildlife, including aggression and sometimes even abandoning their young.

Do your part to preserve Sedona’s great wildlife!

Have your drone license and registration ready

As a safe drone pilot, you must have a current drone license and an active registration (as required), both issued by the FAA or another body with authority.

Let’s start by discussing your registration. Commercial pilots must register their drones, but it’s optional for recreational pilots, depending on the weight of their UAVs.

If your drone weighs 0.55 pounds or under, you don’t have to register it. For all other drones that require registration, you can register for up to three years.

Next, let’s go over licenses. Hobbyists must carry a TRUST certificate issued by the FAA after passing The Recreational UAS Safety Test.

That license doesn’t expire but don’t lose it on your trip to Sedona, or you’ll have to take the exam again.

Commercial pilots need the Part 107 license, aka the Remote Pilot Certificate. You can only obtain this license by passing the Part 107 exam administered by the FAA.

Your certificate is good for only two years, but you can recertify online for free.

Avoid critical facilities

Arizona drone law mandates that pilots fly no closer to critical facilities than 250 vertical feet and 500 horizontal feet.

Examples of these facilities include hospitals, courthouses, power plants, and water treatment facilities.

Do not interfere with emergency response efforts

When firefighters, police departments, and other emergency responders arrive on the scene, do not get in their way with your drone.

You could prevent people from receiving the life-saving services they need!

Do not fly higher than 400 feet

You cannot operate your drone more than 400 feet from the ground throughout Arizona. It’s your responsibility to gauge the allowable height and fly your drone within that range.

Maintain a visual line of sight on your drone

You must also keep eyes on your drone the entire time you fly. If you operate your drone so far out of range that you can’t see it with the naked eye or when wearing contacts or glasses, you’re beyond VLOS range.

You must bring your drone back or operate it with a spotter who can watch it beyond your visual line of sight.

Do not fly your drone in inclement weather

Arizona is known for its hot and humid weather, but the sun can’t shine every day.

On those less-than-perfect days with strong winds and rain, refrain from operating your drone. The weather makes flying a UAV too dangerous.

You could also end up with a damaged, broken drone!

Sedona is a desert town in Arizona known for its towering buttes and appealing arts scene.

You can fly your drone here but must avoid designated Wilderness Areas, Primitive Areas, military bases, and airports.

Follow FAA drone rules when you take to the sky, and remember to avoid wildlife with your drone especially. Stay safe and have fun out there!

Can You Fly a Drone in Kalbarri National Park?

In Western Australia’s Mid West region near Perth is Kalbarri National Park, a hidden gem along the Murchison River.

The river’s gorge makes for an attractive stopping point; the same goes for the carefully-preserved sandstones throughout.

You’ve fallen in love with Kalbarri and eagerly want to use your drone here.

Can you fly a drone in Kalbarri National Park?

Kalbarri National Park permits drone pilots, but you cannot fly across trails, lookouts, and recreation sites when you see crowds. You must also reach out to the Parks and Wildlife Office ahead of your flight and obey CASA rules.

It’s not every day you get permission to use a drone in a national park.

This guide will walk you through all the rules so you can enjoy Kalbarri and, more importantly, keep the park accessible to other drone enthusiasts too!

Can you fly a drone in Kalbarri National Park?

Kalbarri National Park is a natural wonderland. You can stroll over Meanarra Hill, ascend more than 100 meters on the Kalbarri Skydrop, witness the coast from Pot Alley, or spend some time on Red Bluff Beach.

According to Kalbarri’s official website[1], Kalbarri National Park permits drones within the park. However, you must obey Civil Aviation Safety Authority rules when in the skies.

Additionally, you must contact the Kalbarri Office of Parks and Wildlife on the day you plan to visit your drone before you launch it. You can reach them by phone at (08) 9937 1140.

Further, you’re forbidden from operating your drone too close to crowds.

When you see park visitors on any trails, lookouts, or recreation sites throughout Kalbarri, you’re to fly in a different area of the park.

In this case, it doesn’t appear to be enough to keep your distance. You should vacate the area.

Rules to follow when using your drone in Kalbarri National Park

Besides every relevant CASA drone law, Kalbarri National Park enforces the following laws when using your drone in the park.

Contact the relevant authority before each flight

If you’ll spend several days exploring Kalbarri National Park with your drone, it’s not enough to notify the Kalbarri Office of Parks and Wildlife just once.

You need to get in touch with them or the relevant authority each day you’ll fly.

This way, the office has advance notice of your arrival. You’ll receive word on where you can fly so you won’t get in the way of park management operations for that day.

Be flexible and willing to work with the park agencies.

Avoid drone use in areas of emergency operations

Australia sometimes experiences bushfires, even within Kalbarri National Park.

CASA rules require drone pilots to keep a fair distance away from any emergency operations within the park as they pertain to wildfires or other emergencies.

Use the Emergency WA[2] website to actively track bushfires and burns around Australia on any given day.

If you see several emanating from Kalbarri National Park, you might want to rethink attending that day, or at least see if the wildfires become less severe as the day goes on.

You cannot use your drone over people

CASA law prohibits drones from flying over people.

The Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 aka the CALM Act, which the Conservation Commission of Western Australia created, also bars drones from:

  • Gorges
  • Lookouts
  • Beaches
  • Trails
  • Parking areas
  • Campsites
  • Campgrounds
  • Day-use areas
  • Picnic areas
  • And recreation sites where crowds gather.

Never disturb wildlife with your drone

Kalbarri National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including ospreys, kangaroos, and echidnas. You can also see more than 800 unique wildflower species here.

As you fly through the park with your drone, never broach wildlife sanctuaries, nests, homes, or other environments.

Do not use your drone to antagonize, chase, or upset the wildlife either.

Do not annoy visitors or endanger their health or lives

You shouldn’t ever use your drone close to park visitors, which should limit the rate of incidents between drone pilots and visitors.

Nevertheless, Kalbarri National Park guidelines prohibit pilots from annoying visitors with their drones in any way.

You shouldn’t fly close to others, stalk them, or use your drone in a loud fashion.

You should also avoid endangering the lives of others with your drone such as flying too close to them or dropping something from your drone.

Where in Kalbarri National Park should you fly your drone?

Kalbarri National Park has no shortage of beautiful, breathtaking spots to visit across its 706.6 square miles.

While your ability to see these areas depends on the rate of wildfires and the number of people congregating, you won’t be disappointed with these spots if you get a chance to explore them!

Shell House and Grandstand Rock Gorge

The cliffs on the Shell House and Grandstand Rock Gorge were formed by the Indian Ocean and its pounding waves gradually eroding the cliffside.

The sandstone rocks seen here remain a piece of the park’s history.

Atop the rock gorge, you’ll see clear Australian skies and the picturesque Indian Ocean below you. It looks far more peaceful at that distance, that’s for sure.

Watch where you fly your drone, as with nothing but cliffs and ocean below you, you don’t want to lose signal or battery.

Red Bluff

Kalbarri National Park has plenty of coastal lookouts, but Red Bluff is the one furthest up north.  

You’ll find Wittecarra Creek, Meanarra Hill, Jake’s Point, Red Bluff Beach, and the Murchison River in the area.

You can see them all from your vantage point, so make sure your drone is charged up, as you might choose to fly here for a while.

Eagle Gorge

From Eagle Gorge Beach, reaching Eagle Gorge is not too tough. You’ll see an entryway to Birgurda Trail as you near the gorge.

The lookout affords stunning views of the gorge and the beach below.

Your drone can get close to the action without getting too close, which is ideal since drones and water don’t exactly mix!

Natural Bridge – Castle Cove

Natural Bridge – Castle Cove is the perfect place for picnicking and taking a scenic respite, featuring dual cliffside lookout spots.

As you gaze into the waters, you might see dolphins and whales, so make sure you’re quick to take a photo with your drone.

The winding path that is this coastal area showcases Island Rock, Grandstand Rock Gorge, and Shell House.

Z Bend

Where Murchison River bends is the aptly-named Z-Bend.

This lookout spot boasts ample views of the river gorge. The layers of red rocks and their crooked, unique geometry will surely captivate you!

The Loop and Nature’s Window

One of the most iconic sights at Kalbarri National Park bar none is The Loop and Nature’s Window.

Nicknamed Nature’s Window because of the great vantage point, the banded rocks across the river gorge here feature white and red hues and rippled layers.

The rocks date back millions of years, when they started on tidal flats.

The Loop features rocky overhangs with ancient worm fossils.

Don’t fly your drone too close, as you don’t want to collide with these rock structures!

Meanarra Hill

A main attraction at the park, Meanarra Hill has a shade shelter and several lookouts. You’ll also find the Malleefowl Trail Loop Walk here if you want to access the Meanarra Hill Lookout that way.

The small loop has great panoramic views of tree-lined Australia, so make sure you set up shop here for at least a little while when exploring Kalbarri National Park!

Pot Alley

The crashing waves kiss the rocky cliffsides that comprise Pot Alley. Although it’s a bit of a challenge to get here on foot, once you arrive, you should plan to spend hours so you can capture Pot Alley’s beauty!


Kalbarri National Park in Australia allows drone pilots to fly amongst its beaches and perilous cliffs, affording you a rare opportunity to drink in the beauty of the park with your drone in tow.

Please always follow the park’s guidelines and CASA laws so drone pilots can continue to enjoy Kalbarri National Park for a long time to come!

1. Kalbarri Visitor Centre Australia (link)
2. Emergency WA (link)

Can You Fly a Drone in Monument Valley?

Bordering Utah and Arizona, Monument Valley is a desert-like region with picturesque peaks and red sands.

The nearby Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is often a site for filming westerns, so of course, you want the clout of having gone there and filmed with your drone.

Can you fly a drone in Monument Valley?

You can fly a drone in Monument Valley, but you’re prohibited from entering Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park with your UAV. You’ll see signs discouraging the activity. Since Monument Valley is between two states, follow the drone laws for whichever state side you’re entering from.

This article is critical reading if you’re planning a trip to Monument Valley.

We’ll delve deeper into the existing laws in this area, including in Utah and Arizona, so you can fly without any legal snafus.

Can you fly a drone in Monument Valley?

Monument Valley on the Colorado Plateau is characterized by its trademark sandstone buttes.

On its grounds are the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which you’ll recall attracts so much attention because it makes a great scene for westerns. So too does parts of Monument Valley itself.

You can fly a drone in Monument Valley. Many pilots have captured inspiring overhead shots of the region.

Truly, that’s the best way to go, considering that you can only reach some areas of Monument Valley as part of a guided tour, like Hunts Mesa and Mystery Valley.

Before you plan a flight route, you should use your drone map to guide you. Stay out of restricted airspace and check your app each day to ensure no temporary flight restrictions have gone into effect in the area.

If you can, avoid traveling to Monument Valley during weather extremes like winter or summer.

The heat of summer days isn’t the greatest for your drone, and you can say the same about the deep chill of some colder winter days.

That said, in the winter, the temps don’t often drop below freezing.

Can you fly a drone in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park?

We’ve made it quite clear that in this area, the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is the big lure.

Recreational drone pilots want to fly here to say they’ve filmed in the same place that great westerns were shot. Commercial pilots might believe the area makes a great backdrop for their own similar projects.

Well, sorry to disappoint, but pilots cannot operate drones in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. The Navajo Nation prohibits all aircraft, including drones, from all their park locations.

Yes, if you do some digging, you’ll see that the parks issue permits to private and commercial visitors, but that doesn’t apply to drone pilots.

The Navajo Nation says as much on its website:

“This is a Drone & Aircraft free Navajo Tribal Park area. Drones are prohibited within the Tribal Park areas and on Navajo Nation.”

There’s no sense in applying for a commercial permit, as you won’t get it. You’d just waste money, as you’d have to pay a processing fee priced at $100 to $250.

We couldn’t find any exceptions to this rule. Perhaps agency aircraft could operate, but not your average hobbyist or commercial drone pilot.

In case it’s not clear enough on the Navajo Nation website, you’ll likely see signs posted around Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park further cementing that you shouldn’t fly there.

We’d recommend using your drone app to ensure you don’t encroach on the park grounds as you use your drone around Monument Valley.

Arizona state drone laws to know before visiting Monument Valley

Since Monument Valley borders Arizona and Utah, you have two ways to enter the area.

Regardless of which side you come from, you’ll have to follow federal FAA drone laws, but each state also has its own respective drone laws to know.

Let’s go over those state laws, beginning with the laws in Arizona.

Avoid disorderly conduct with your drone

The Arizona bill SB 1449 from 2016 outlines the full extent of what the state considers disorderly conduct with a drone.

Here’s an overview:

  • You cannot use your drone too close to someone else’s property without their consent.
  • You cannot fly a drone too close to other people unless they grant you permission to do so.
  • You can’t use your drone with the intention of killing an animal. If it happens accidentally, while unfortunate, it doesn’t count as disorderly conduct.
  • You cannot operate your drone more than 500 feet horizontally or 250 feet vertically.
  • You can’t use your drone in any way deemed careless and/or reckless.
  • You must not get in the way of manned aircraft or first responders like police or firefighters when operating your drone.
  • You must have LAANC permission if required when flying a drone.
  • You cannot violate temporary flight restrictions or enter restricted airspace with your drone.
  • You cannot violate federal drone laws.

In any of these instances, proven violations will result in a Class I misdemeanor.

Although in some cases, you won’t incur any penalties when charged with a Class I misdemeanor, you could also end up in jail for six months, so it’s a very fine line to tread.

You can’t use your drone in any trails parks or state parks

It’s not only Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park that prohibits you from flying a UAV.

You’ll recall that all tribal parks in the Navajo Nation are off-limits, and Arizona state law also prohibits you from entering trails parks and state parks.

The only exception is for commercial pilots involved in news, publicity, or promotions.

You’d have to go through the legal channels to obtain a flight permit. You couldn’t use a commercial drone for any other purposes though.

That’s 30 state parks off the menu.

Utah state drone laws to know before visiting Monument Valley

If you’re visiting Monument Valley from the Utah side, this state has a bevy of state laws to learn, far more so than Arizona. We go in-depth on each law here, so this section will serve primarily as a recap.

» MORE: Drone Laws in Utah

Don’t use your drone to harass livestock

HB 217, a 2017 Utah state law known as Livestock Harassment, makes it illegal to harass and chase livestock (including with the intent to kill) with a drone, a dog, or a motorized vehicle.

If you own livestock, this law doesn’t apply to that livestock only.

Stay away from manned aircraft

In state law 65A-3-2.5 or Title 65A, Forestry, Fire, and State Lands, recreational and commercial drones are prohibited from collisions with manned aircraft.

The collision alone lands you a third-degree felony charge and a $10,000 fine.

If you cause an accident with the manned aircraft, you’ll receive a second-degree felony charge and have to pay a fine of up to $15,000.

Do not use your drone in areas marked with temporary flight restrictions from wildland fires

Although temporary flight restrictions come and go, you’re expected to take them seriously when you see them, especially as they pertain to wildland fires. The same state law, 65A-3-2.5, in Chapter 3, enacts the following policy:

“A person may not operate an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes an unmanned aircraft to fly within an area that is under a temporary flight restriction that is used by the Federal Aviation Administration as a result of the wildland fire, or an area designated as a wildland fire scene on a system managed by a federal, state, or local government…unless the person operates the unmanned aircraft system with the permission of, and in accordance with the restrictions established by, the incident commander.”

If you violate this rule as a commercial or recreational pilot (as some exceptions exist for agency pilots), you’re looking at a Class B misdemeanor charge. You could have to pay a fine of $2,500 to $5,000.


Monument Valley between Arizona and Utah is a natural wonderland with peaking sandstone buttes and the famous Monumental Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

However, you’re prohibited from flying in the park, and since Monument Valley houses so much of the park, you need to use a drone app to avoid restricted airspace.

Remember to follow the state laws for whichever state side you’re on and obey FAA guidelines!

Can You Fly a Drone in Edinburgh?

As Scotland’s capital, that’s reason enough to visit Edinburgh. The hilly region, which is split between Old Town with its medieval architecture and New Town with its Georgina influences, is where you’ve always dreamed of flying your drone.

Can you fly a drone in Edinburgh?

You can fly a drone in Edinburgh, but you must have permission from the council before taking off or landing. Requesting permission requires you to include information like your full name, drone model, and flight plan.

This full guide to flying a drone in Edinburgh will fill you in on everything you need to know, including how to obtain permission to fly and the drone rules in this country.

Let’s get going!

Can you fly a drone in Edinburgh?

Scotland, located in the United Kingdom, follows the drone rules and policies enacted by the Civil Aviation Authority or CAA. The CAA permits drone flights, but with key caveats in some instances.

For example, in Edinburgh, you first have to contact their council if you’ll launch or land your drone on any land owned by the council.

The council has several divisions, and depending on where you plan to fly, you’d need to contact either their public safety, parks, or roads divisions.  

Should the appropriate council grant you the permission you seek to use your drone in Edinburgh, you’re always expected to follow Scotland’s drone laws and the broader guidelines instituted by the CAA.

How to get permission to fly a drone in Edinburgh

If we break it down simply, obtaining permission to use a drone in Edinburgh is a three-step process. Of course, it’s more nuanced than it appears on the surface, so let’s take a deeper dive into the process now.

Contact the right party

As mentioned, the Edinburgh council has separate divisions or agencies, with each agency managing a different area. Additionally, some agencies require you to apply for a permit.

Let’s break down this information further.

  • If you want to fly on council-owned land: You don’t need a permit, but you will need to email for official flight permission.
  • If you want to fly in a green space or park: You will need a Parks and Green Spaces Permit from the City of Edinburgh Council that manages the parks. You can contact to get the process underway.
  • If you want to fly over railways and trams: You will need a Trams and Railway Permit. You can also email
  • If you want to fly over roads: You will need a Road Occupation Permit Application. You can contact

Compile the relevant information and apply for a permit

While the only Edinburgh permit information we could find applied to the Parks and Green Spaces Permit[1], generally, any of the application forms will ask you to provide relevant information that the Edinburgh Council needs to make its decision.

Here’s the list of documentation you must prepare:

  • Your full name
  • The make and model of your drone
  • A Risk Assessment and Method Statement, which includes which risks you may face when using your drone and how you plan to prevent or mitigate them
  • Official CAA permission (may not always be required)
  • A copy of your Public Liability Insurance
  • A copy of your CAA drone license
  • A flight plan that includes the exact dates and times you plan to use your drone as well as where (include a contingency flight area for abandoning the flight if need be)

Even with that watertight documentation, the council may request further information from you before making their decision.

One document they may ask for is the Stewarding Plan, which includes more maps and a detailed flight description.

In the Stewarding Plan, you should also add the locations of stewards across the area and which control measures you’ll utilize.

You could also need a Traffic Management Plan if you use your drone near a highway.

You might have to accompany this plan with a Traffic Notice or Traffic Order, and you might also have to pay a fee for operating close to the roads. 

Wait for approval

Here’s the worst part, hoping and praying the council accepts your request and grants you a permit.

As the paragraphs above should prove, obtaining approval is not an overnight process. You might need to have some back and forth with the council before you’re approved.

The link above that includes the Parks and Green Spaces Permit form says this about the approval process:

“It is worth bearing in mind that the permission process involves consultation with the local Councillors and community groups and takes approximately six weeks to complete (it can take longer for large events) so we advise that applications are submitted as early as possible.”

What if you fly in Edinburgh without permission?

You hadn’t realized that receiving approval from the Edinburgh Council would take so long. You already bought your flight tickets, confirmed your hotel, and essentially booked your trip, and you really had your heart set on bringing your drone.

What if you used your drone under the radar while waiting for your flight permission? What would happen?

An authority figure will tell you to cease flying your drone. We’d advise you to listen to this stern warning to avoid further consequences.

Continuing to use your drone despite the warning will require the Police Scotland to get involved. The police will either warn you again or punish you by forcing you to leave the land governed by the council.

Your vacation would be over in a hurry, and you might not be allowed back for future visits!  

Scotland drone rules to follow

Edinburgh enforces Scotland’s drone laws, so let’s take the rest of this article to fill you in on what those laws are.

You must have valid IDs

The UK requires you to pass an online theory test to obtain your Flyer ID, which is sort of like the FAA’s Part 107 exam for commercial pilots or TRUST exam for recreational pilots.

In some instances, you might also need an Operator ID, which proves you’ve registered your drone. You’ll receive an Operator ID label that you must adhere to your UAV before flying it.

Further, the city of Edinburgh notes that even with those IDs in tow, you could have to pass an online drone safety exam before you can take to the skies.

Limit your flight distance in open areas with large crowds

If a crowd of more than 1,000 people congregates in Edinburgh, you cannot fly any closer than 150 feet within that area, even if it’s an open area.

Since counting 1,000 people in a crowd can be difficult, you’re better off not getting too close to crowds at all.

If your drone has a camera, still maintain your distance from crowds

The rules in Scotland do differ if your drone comes equipped with a camera. Then you can’t fly within 500 feet of a crowd in a built-up area.

Keep your drone within your line of sight

In the UK, drone pilots must always keep a carefully trained eye on their drones, never allowing them to venture outside their line of sight.

Your line of sight includes how far you can see with glasses or contacts but prohibits visual aids like binoculars.

You must always have your registration documents handy

Police Edinburgh or other official agencies may request to see your drone registration at any time you’re flying, even if you’re doing so legally and have official permissions.

Don’t leave your registration in a lockbox at your hotel. Bring it with you when you fly every time!

Don’t fly closer than 5 kilometers to an airport

Throughout Scotland, drone pilots must keep good boundaries from all airports, not flying within a radius any closer than 5 kilometers or 3.11 miles.

This should limit interactions with manned aircraft.

Stay within an altitude of 400 feet

Scotland requires drone pilots to fly no higher than 400 feet in altitude.

Edinburgh, Scotland is a quaint, beautiful place to fly a drone. You can’t just pack up, go, and launch your drone all at once, though.

You must request a permit (or flight permission) through the council well in advance.

Flying without a permit (if you need one, that is) could get you a stern warning or even ejection from the city by police, so always go through the proper channels.

1. Culture Edinburgh (link)

Can You Fly a Drone in Big Sur?

On California’s Central Coast is a mountainous region known as Big Sur. The Santa Lucia Mountains here are breathtaking, and you’d love the opportunity to take your drone deeper into the mountains.

Are you legally permitted to fly a drone in Big Sur?

Drones are prohibited from much of Big Sur per federal, state, and local laws. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Forest Service, California State Parks, and Monterey County all have rules discouraging the activity.

This guide will explore in much more depth the rules about operating a drone in Big Sur. Before you plan your trip out this way, make sure you check out the information ahead!

Is it legal to fly a drone in Big Sur?

While whizzing your drone around Big Sur is a bucket-list moment for many, the activity is strongly frowned upon. Various federal organizations and state and local rules outlaw or restrict drone usage around Big Sur.

Let’s take a look at the various rules now.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA for short might not seem like the type of organization to step in about drone rules.

It doesn’t, at least not directly. Rather, NOAA enacts regulated overflight zones or NROZs for short.

An NROZ is a designated flight area, and a discrete one at that, around national marine sanctuaries on the west coast.

In these sanctuaries, operating a motorized vehicle at a certain altitude could disturb the wildlife that lives there.

You would then violate NOAA’s wildlife protection regulations, so drones and other motorized vehicles are usually outlawed from operating in NROZes.

Image Credit: NOAA

This NROZ map from NOAA clearly shows which areas are considered NROZes. Those areas include the entirety of the coastline of Monterey County, which is the same county that Big Sur is located in.

If you were looking for a loophole and thinking that maybe you could fly your drone over Big Sur’s oceans, you can’t!

Wilderness Areas

Big Sur also has not one but two designated Wilderness Areas.

The first is the Silver Peak Wilderness Area, which is right on the coastline of Big Sur in the Monterey Ranger District’s southwestern portion.

The second Wilderness Area is the Ventana Wilderness on the Santa Lucia Range.

If you read our post about flying a drone in a Wilderness Area, you should know that the act is strictly prohibited.

Wilderness Areas exist to minimize contact between people and animals so that threatened and endangered species (as well as species at risk of becoming so) have a safe, reliable place to live out their days.

Motorized vehicles of almost any kind are not allowed according to the Wilderness Act, and the few exceptions over the years have never applied to drones.

California Department of Parks and Recreation

The overseeing entity of state parks in the Golden State is the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

According to the Department’s rules, “State Park regulations prohibit the use of motorized equipment (including UASs) within wilderness areas, cultural preserves, and natural preserves.”

This reinforces the point from before, that flying in a Wilderness Area is illegal, but we’re presenting this information to you for more than that reason.

You see, Big Sur also happens to feature a natural preserve known as the John Little State Natural Reserve.

This piece of land is located between the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and State Highway 1.

Although only 21 acres, John Little State Natural Reserve is yet another area around Big Sur where drone use is prohibited.

Monterey County Film Commission

The Monterey County Film Commission now defers to the California Film Commission. While the California Film Commission does allow drones to film footage around the state, that’s only with permission first.

Those drones have to obey all relevant Federal Aviation Administration guidelines such as the Operations Over People rule.

Pilots are also expected to study UAS Facility Maps ahead of the flight and only request permission to fly in permitted airspace.

Further, commercial pilots must have a current Remote Pilot Certificate, which is only obtainable by taking and passing the FAA’s Part 107 exam.

You’d have to steer clear of “No Drone Zones,” which the California Film Commission says can be established locally according to municipal codes.

There’s more still! You also need “a certificate of insurance evidencing coverage of General Liability, Workers Compensation, and Automobile Liability” if you’re a production entity filming in California.

Per the California Drone Commission website, “If the production’s proposed activities include the use of a small UAS, additional aerial coverage must be provided by the UAS operator.

The additional requirements are as follows:

  1. “Proof of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) coverage (listing the specific aircraft to be used) with a limit of at least $2,000,000. This can be submitted in one of two ways:

    If UAS coverage is being added to a general liability policy, there must be a separate endorsement showing proof of UAS coverage.

    If the coverage is coming from an aviation-specific insurance carrier (such as Global Aerospace), a separate policy endorsement is not necessary, as the entire policy represents the UAS coverage.

    A separate endorsement naming the State of California, its officers, agents and employees as Additional Insured.

  2. Please note that all separate endorsements must be submitted as separate attachments (not included in the body of the certificate of insurance.)”

If you need additional approvals outside of those by the California Film Commission, then you must have those approvals as well as your permit before you begin using your drone.

“If a production is found to be operating a small UAS without the proper permit, the assigned Fire Safety officer or law enforcement official may immediately suspend the small UAS activities and/or the production may be subject to a fine,” says the California Film Commission.

Are there exceptions to the rules about operating a drone in Big Sur?

Since there are a collection of rules about drone usage in and around Big Sur rather than just one rule, it makes plenty of sense that indeed, exceptions would exist.

Let’s take a look at some areas in which drone activities in Big Sur might be allowed.

You have a permit

Besides the film permits that are usually required by the California Film Commission, depending on the governing body you go through, you might need further permissions and permits still.

Keep in mind that no matter who it’s from, obtaining a permit is going to be a lengthy process.

Request your permit earlier than you’ll need it so you’re not waiting on pins and needles for your approval.

Be sure to carry your permit as well as your commercial drone license on your person the entire time you’re using your UAV in Big Sur.

You’re an agency drone pilot

Agency drone pilots such as police officers or firefighters will sometimes use drones in areas such as hazardous materials spills, fires, and search and rescue operations.

These pilots, while compliance with FAA guidelines is required, have far more leeway to operate drones than the average civilian. That may include flying in and around Big Sur.

You have permission from a landowner

People live around Big Sur, and so flying your drone freely in this mountainous region could constitute an invasion of privacy.

By obtaining permission from the landowner to fly your drone, you can do so legally.

You have flight authorization

Obtaining a flight authorization is another way to ensure you’re in the clear when flying around Big Sur.

That’s not to say that these authorizations are freely granted. If you’re trying to fly your drone in a part of Big Sur where you should not be, then you will not receive authorization.


Big Sur is a large mountainous region in California that is subject to laws and rules by a variety of entities and organizations on a federal, state, and local level.

If you don’t have permission or a permit, then you cannot fly your UAV in Big Sur. Fortunately, California has plenty of other gorgeous sights that you can capture footage of instead.

Unmanned Aircraft System (Drones) in State Parks (link)
California Film Commission (link)

Zipline and Kisumu County Seal Partnership - sUAS News - The Business of Drones
Zipline and Kisumu County Seal Partnership – sUAS News – The Business of Drones

Zipline and Kisumu County, a Member of the Lake Region Economic Bloc, Seal Partnership to Accelerate Universal Health Coverage Across the County. 

Partnership, dubbed, Kisumu Universal Health Acceleration Project, aims at removing barriers to access to COVID-19 vaccines and other medical commodities within the county 

Kisumu – Kenya, February 16th, 2022, The global leader in instant logistics, Zipline, and Kisumu County, a member of the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) have, today, executed an agreement that will leverage Zipline’s industry-leading warehousing facility and autonomous aircraft technology for the storage and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, blood products and other medical commodities to health facilities within the Kisumu County.

The agreement specifies the establishment and operation of a Zipline distribution hub in Kisumu County that will act as the base of operations for the Zipline uncrewed aerial system (UAS) and the Zipline services capable of serving health projects and facilities across 16 counties in western Kenya.

The Governor of Kisumu County,  H.E. Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, said, “We have made some significant efforts in improving the overall healthcare delivery of our people. It is heartwarming to note, therefore, that our mission of achieving universal health coverage is on course with this historic partnership which will ensure that no one is left behind as a result of their location”. 

Commenting on the partnership, the Chairman of LREB and County Governor of Kakamega said, “it is our commitment as LREB to deliver an aggressive agenda of building a robust health delivery system that will not only serve a few but the vast majority of people within LREB Counties. Zipline’s technology is one we can resort to in accelerating the transformation of our health systems to provide timely healthcare solutions to the people on whose mandate we serve”.

On his part, the CEC of Health, Dr. Gregory Ganda said, “I am happy to note that this is one step towards reducing operational inefficiencies that inhibit access to universal healthcare in our country and region”.

​​“We’ve seen how automated, on-demand delivery can transform healthcare systems to make them more efficient, effective and equitable,” said Keller Rinaudo, co-founder and CEO of Zipline. “Zipline’s expansion into Kenya, our seventh country, in partnership with Kisumu County, is a pivotal step forward to expand these important benefits to more communities around the world.” 

The Senior Vice President for Zipline Africa, Mr. Daniel Marfo, also assured that Zipline will expedite the distribution hub construction process to ensure that access to healthcare for life-threatening illnesses and vaccines is achieved rapidly. “This Zipline and Kisumu County partnership is a powerful collaboration that will solidify transformational logistics medical delivery in Western Kenya and put Kenya on the forefront of health excellence”, he said.

Following the start of Zipline’s UAS delivery operations from its distribution hub in Kisumu County, the parties will collaborate in a project operations phase, in accordance with standard operating procedure and terms of service with the objective of providing medical commodities including COVID-19 vaccines doses to health facilities within the operational area.

Zipline’s footprint in Africa has seen it establish business partnerships in Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and now Kenya where it seeks to carry an industrious technology-driven transformation in the health sectors. 

About the New Service

The revolutionary new instant logistics service is part of the Government of Kisumu County’s bold vision of using drone delivery to establish universal, seven-days-a-week access to lifesaving and critical medicines for most of its citizens over the coming years. Zipline drones will be capable of making on-demand and emergency deliveries of blood products, COVID-19 vaccines, and other life-saving medications.  

The Government of Kisumu County’s vision is for Zipline to establish one distribution center, which is capable of covering most parts of the county. The government’s goal is to put almost all of its citizens within minutes of a lifesaving medical delivery by drone.


Throughout the world, access to life-saving and critical health products for billions of people is hampered by the last-mile problem: the inability to deliver needed medicines and vaccines due to lack of adequate transportation, communication, or supply chain infrastructure. Too often this results in unequal access to healthcare and healthcare outcomes, avoidable stockouts, and costly product waste across healthcare systems. 


To increase access and reduce medical waste, key stock of blood products, vaccines and life-saving medications will be stored at Zipline’s distribution centers for just-in-time delivery. Health workers will place orders by text message or call and promptly receive their deliveries exactly when and where they need them in 30 minutes on average. 

The drones both take off from and land at Zipline’s distribution hub, requiring no additional infrastructure or manpower at the clinics they serve. The drones fly autonomously and can carry 1.8 kilos of cargo, cruising at 110 kilometers an hour, and have a round trip range of 160 kilometers – even in high speed winds and rain. 

Deliveries are made from the sky, with the drone descending to a safe height above the ground and releasing a box of medicine by parachute to a designated spot at the health centers it serves. 


Each week, a single Zipline distribution center – a combination of medical fulfillment warehouse and drone airport – is capable of the micro-targeted delivery of more than two tons of temperature-controlled medicine to any point across an almost 20,000 square km service area. 

Each aircraft can fly 160 km round trip, in strong winds and rain, day or night, to make on-demand deliveries in 30 minutes on average. Zipline’s drones have flown  18 million autonomous miles to deliver millions of doses of vaccines, units of blood, and critical and life saving medications to thousands of health facilities serving more than 25 million people across three countries. 


Zipline was founded to create the first logistics system that serves all humans equally.   Our aim is to solve the world’s most urgent and complex access challenges. Leveraging expertise in robotics and autonomy, Zipline designs, manufactures and operates the world’s largest automated delivery system. We serve tens of millions of people around the world and are making good on the promise of building an equitable and more resilient global supply chain.  

From powering Rwanda’s national blood delivery network and Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, to providing on-demand home delivery for Walmart and enabling leading healthcare providers to bring care into the home in the United States, Zipline is transforming the way goods move. By transitioning to clean, electric, instant logistics, we can decarbonize delivery, decrease road congestion, and reduce fossil fuel consumption and air pollution, while providing equitable access for billions of people. The technology is complex but the idea is simple: a teleportation service that delivers what you need, when you need it.  Zipline is inspiring people, governments, and businesses to imagine what is possible when goods can move as seamlessly as information.