AL – Alabama

Alabama State Flag

Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

The Moundville Archaeological Site in Hale County. It was occupied by Native Americans of the Mississippian culture from 1000 to 1450 CE.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Alabama government website just for reference.

The ALDOT also has a ALDOT UAS Page.

Alabama Legislature in case more laws were written since this book was published.

Map courtesy of Wikipedia

Google Earth

Last updated on June 7, 2024

Airspace

In addition to checking the FAA UAS Facility Map or B4UFLY or SkyVector or Google Maps one should consider also FAA JO 7400.10F – Special Use Airspace which is an order, published yearly, providing a listing of all regulatory and non-regulatory special use airspace areas, as well as issued but not yet implemented amendments to those areas established by the FAA.

Special Use Airspace consists of airspace of defined dimensions identified by an area on the surface of the earth wherein activities must be confined because of their nature, or wherein limitations are imposed upon aircraft operations that are not a part of those activities, or both. The vertical limits of special use airspace are measured by designated altitude floors and ceilings expressed as flight levels or as feet above MSL. Unless otherwise specified, the word “to” (an altitude or flight level) means “to and including” (that altitude or flight level). The horizontal limits of special use airspace are measured by boundaries described by geographic coordinates or other appropriate references that clearly define their perimeter. The period of time during which a designation of special use airspace is in effect is stated in the designation. All bearings and radials in this part are true from point of origin. Unless otherwise specified, all mileages in this part are stated as statute miles.

Restricted Areas: No person may operate an aircraft within a restricted area between the designated altitudes and during the time of designation, unless they have the advance permission of:

(a) The using agency described in § 73.15; or

(b) The controlling agency described in § 73.17.

These using agencies may be the agency, organization, or military command whose activity within a restricted area necessitated the area being so designated. Upon the request of the FAA, the using agency shall execute a letter establishing procedures for joint use of a restricted area by the using agency and the controlling agency, under which the using agency would notify the controlling agency whenever the controlling agency may grant permission for transit through the restricted area in accordance with the terms of the letter. The using agency shall:

(1) Schedule activities within the restricted area;

(2) Authorize transit through, or flight within, the restricted area as feasible; and

(3) Contain within the restricted area all activities conducted therein in accordance with the purpose for which it was designated.

For the purposes of this part, the controlling agency is the FAA facility that may authorize transit through or flight within a restricted area in accordance with a joint-use letter issued under § 73.15.

Prohibited Areas: No person may operate an aircraft within a prohibited area unless authorization has been granted by the using agency. For the purpose of this subpart, the using agency is the agency, organization or military command that established the requirements for the prohibited area.

Military Operations Areas: A Military Operations Area (MOA) is airspace established outside of Class A airspace to separate/segregate certain nonhazardous military activities from IFR traffic and to identify for VFR traffic where these activities are conducted. Activities. MOA’s are established to contain certain military activities such as air combat maneuvers, air intercepts, acrobatics, etc.

Alert Areas:  Airspace which may contain a high volume of pilot training activities or an unusual type of aerial activity, neither of which is hazardous to aircraft.

Warning Areas: A non regulatory warning area is airspace of defined dimensions designated over international waters that contains activity which may be hazardous to nonparticipating aircraft. The purpose of such warning areas is to warn nonparticipating pilots of the potential danger. Activities may be hazardous.

National Security Areas: A national security area (NSA) consists of airspace of defined vertical and lateral dimensions established at locations where there is a requirement for increased security of ground facilities. The purpose of such national security areas is to request pilot cooperation by voluntarily avoiding flight through the NSA. When circumstances dictate a need for a greater level of security, flight in an NSA may be temporarily prohibited by regulation under the provisions of 14 CFR Section 99.7, Special Security Instructions. Such prohibitions will be issued by FAA Headquarters and disseminated via the US NOTAM System.

 

Crewed Aircraft in your Airspace

CREWED AIRCRAFT

Lastly, if you want to be informed about crewed aircraft flying in the vicinity of your drone operation, you can always check with apps like FlightAware or ADS-B Exchange

 

 

City of Orange Beach Rules

In the City of Orange Beach, hobby drone use is not allowed except by a person on their own personal property, or on property they have the express permission of an owner to use. Hobby drone use is not allowed on the beach.

Drone use connected to a special event must have a special event permit that includes permission for use of the drone. and likewise for commercial productions involving video, film, or audio, which require a film permit. Find permit forms and additional information.

Commercial or real estate entities that film with drones multiple times a year must receive permission annually with a fee added to their business license fee. Business license information and forms.

All Orange Beach drone filming permit applications must provide valid FAA certification and each applicant must produce proof of liability insurance.

Each permitted drone user’s flight plan – including those used for special events, concerts, and film productions – must be approved by the city with a minimum of 7 days’ notice. Permits, where applicable, are required prior to submission via email.

Each permit application must have the owner’s written consent to takeoff and/or land on the owner’s property. In the case of properties such as condominiums and townhomes, the permit applicant will need written consent from the property’s management company or owners’ association.

Fill out the drone use application.

City of Oxford Rules

City of Oxford

Article XI – UAS

Section 26-291 – Definitions

For the purpose of this article a UAS shall be defined as any aircraft operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft or any other such definition as promulgated by the FAA.

Section 26-292 – Prohibited operations

No person shall from operate control or assist in the operation or control of a UAS as that term is herein defined within. In violation of any rule or regulation as promulgated by the FAA, including but not limited to those acts as contained in 14 CFR 107.

Section 26-293 – Prohibited area operations and exemptions

(a) No person shall operate a UAS within the city of any municipal property including but not limited to, city parks or recreational areas or any other area as designated by the chief of police.

(b) Anyone seeking a special exemption to operate a UAS within any of the prohibited areas as designated in this section must apply for and receive permission from the chief of police.

Section 26-294 – Penalty of violations

Any person violating any provision of this article as enumerated herein shall be deemed as a separate offense for each day such offense has occurred and upon conviction, shall be punished by fine not to exceed $500.00 or incarceration not to exceed six months.

Daphne City Park Rules

Daphne

Section 15-10 – Daphne city park rules and regulations

(16) No person shall launch, operate, or land within or upon any city park any remote-control airplane, unmanned aircraft system (i.e., “drone” or “quadcopter”), or other unmanned aerial device (excluding kites) unless authorized by prior written consent of the city, except that certain areas may be designated appropriate landing places for law enforcement or official government aviation equipment. Exempted from the restrictions of this provision are:

(a) Any sports field located at Al Trione Sports Complex that is not otherwise occupied or in use; and

(b) Any other fields (and the airspace immediately above such fields) approved for such purposes by the Daphne City Council.

… (17) Any person who obtains a special event permit may use a drone to photograph their special event in the park during the course of the event. For hobby or recreational use, unmanned aircraft, including but not limited to drones, quadcopters, and remote-control planes, may only occur on fields located at Al Trione Sports Complex that are not otherwise occupied or in use and any other fields approved for such purposes by the Daphne City Council. Operation of any unmanned aircraft must be done so as to not be flown within one hundred (100) feet of people, power lines, buildings, or light fixtures.

Gulf Shores Rules

Gulf Shores

Division 9 – Operation of UAS

Section 3-164 – Definitions

In addition to the definitions in chapter 1 of this Code, the following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this article, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Construction control line or CCL means a line seaward of which construction activities are restricted or prohibited as defined in section 7-121 of the Code of Ordinances.

Contact information means full name, resident and business addresses, and home, business, and cellular telephone numbers. Contact information shall also include the FAA registration number for the UAS, and the permit number, if any, that has been issued for the flight.

FAA means the United States Federal Aviation Administration established pursuant to 49 USC § 106.

Gulf beach area means the area commencing at the CCL and extending seaward into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico for a distance of one thousand (1,000) feet.

Outdoor special event shall mean any celebration gathering, ceremony, show, exhibit, concert, pageant, rally, demonstration, parade or assembly of any kind which is calculated to attract at any one (1) time the physical attendance of more than one hundred (100) persons and which is held in or on any public beach, public space, open space, plaza street, park, stadium, or any opera open-air facility or closed-air facility that is open to the public, ticketed and/or non-ticketed audience and is an event intended to attract people. The term also includes, but is not limited to, any event receiving a special event permit pursuant to chapter 11, article II of this Code of Ordinances.

Operate means to use, cause to use, or authorize the use of a UAS, with or without the right of legal control.

Operator is any person who deploys, launches, lands, or flies a UAS, and includes any person who is assisting an operator.

Private place means a place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from casual or hostile intrusion or surveillance, but such term does not include a place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access.

Recklessly shall have the meaning set out in Code of Ala. 1975, § 13A-2-2(3).

Surveillance means the secret observation of the activities of another person for the purpose of spying upon and invading the privacy of the person observed.

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) shall mean an unmanned aircraft, unmanned aircraft system, or unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV) that can fly under the control of a remote pilot or by global positioning system (GPS) guided autopilot mechanism. UAS are more commonly known as “drones.”

Venue means collectively or individually any and all municipally owned property, public rights-of-way, and public schools and includes, but is not limited to:

Adult Activity Center—260 Clubhouse Drive

Beach-Gulf Place—100 Gulf Shores Parkway

Beach-Lagoon Pass—1660 West Beach Blvd.

Beach-East Gulf Place—209 East Beach Blvd.

Beach-West Gulf Place—240 West Beach Blvd.

Beach-West 4th Street—499 West Beach Blvd.

Beach-West 5th Street—599 West Beach Blvd.

Beach-West 6th Street—699 West Beach Blvd.

Beach-West 13th Street—1499 West Beach Blvd.

Canal Park—50 West Canal Drive

David L. Bodenhamer Recreation Center—310 West 19th Avenue

Dog Park—308 Clubhouse Drive

Erie H. Meyer Civic Center—1930 West 2nd Street

Erie Hall Meyer Municipal Annex—203 Clubhouse Drive Suite A, B

Erie Hall Meyer Municipal Annex—205 Clubhouse Drive Suite A, B

George C. Meyer Tennis Center—2049 West 2nd Street

Gulf Shores City Hall—1905 West 1st Street

Gulf Shores Cultural Center—19470 Oak Road West

Gulf Shores Museum—244 West 19th Avenue

Gulf Shores Sportsplex—19025 Oak Road West

Harry Roberts Community House—300 East 16th Avenue

Johnnie Sims Park—2008 West 3rd Street

Kid’s Park—348 West 19th Avenue

Lagoon Park/Boat Ramp (Mo’s Landing)—18068 St. Hwy. 180

Meyer Park—400 East 22nd Avenue

Police Station—220 Clubhouse Drive

Public Works—160 West 36th Avenue

Thomas B. Norton Public Library—221 West 19th Avenue

Wade Ward Nature Park—500 Gulf Shores Parkway

Provided, however, that the term venue shall not include any municipally owned property under lease by the city to the Airport Authority of the City of Gulf Shores for operation of the Jack Edwards National Airport.

Wildlife means any live animals living in the wild state, including, but not limited to, coyotes, raccoons, foxes, or any other warm-blooded animal, marine mammal, reptile, and other amphibious animal found in the wild state.

Section 3-165 – Administration; enforcement; jurisdiction; restricted areas

(a) This division shall be administered and enforced by the police chief or his authorized designee or designees and shall apply to all areas within the corporate limits and the police jurisdiction of the City of Gulf Shores.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to take off, land, operate, or to assist in the operation of any UAS over, at, or within five hundred (500) feet of any venue, outdoor special event, or Gulf Beach area unless such operation has been expressly permitted by the FAA and approved by the city by permit issued pursuant to section 3-168 below or unless otherwise authorized in section 3-168 with respect to a local governmental agency and its authorized agents and contractors.

Section 3-166 – Prohibited equipment, safe operation of equipment

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or possess a UAS that is equipped with any weapon or destructive device; or any modification that has not been approved by the FAA; provided, however, that this section 3-166(a) shall not apply to any governmental law enforcement agency and its authorized agents when acting in the line and scope of their authority.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any UAS while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or any substance that impairs the mental or physical faculties of a person, or any combination thereof, to the extent that it affects the person’s ability to operate a UAS.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to recklessly engage in conduct involving a UAS which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.

(d) It shall be unlawful to operate a UAS to intentionally engage in surveillance of another person when the other person is located in a private place or to intentionally engage in surveillance of an individual in any place where the individual being observed has a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the prior express or implied consent of the individual being observed, for the purpose of sexual gratification.

(e) It shall be unlawful to operate a UAS with the intent to offend, annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person or wildlife.

Section 3-167 – Accidents; duty to render aid; harassment; voyeurism prohibited.

(a) It shall be unlawful for an operator, who is directly or indirectly involved in an accident that results in personal injury or property damage, to leave the scene of the accident until the operator’s contact information has been provided to every person sustaining loss or injury, and to any police officer on the scene.

(b) Operators shall render all reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident including, but not limited to, calling 911 or otherwise notifying police and emergency medical personnel.

(c) In case of property damage where the property is unoccupied and/or unattended, operators shall attach full contact information securely and in a conspicuous place in or on the property.

Section 3-168 – Permits; exceptions

(a) Permits. In connection with public assembly permits issued pursuant to article II of chapter 11 of the Code of Ordinances and commercial film and video production permits issued pursuant to article VI of chapter 11 of the Code of Ordinances, the city may issue permits to operators who have a remote pilot airman certificate issued by the FAA for operation of a UAS over a venue, outdoor special event, or Gulf Beach area provided the operator agrees to provide the insurance and indemnification in the manner expressed on the permit application, and to abide by all reasonable time, place, manner, and conditions expressed in the permit.

(b) This division shall not prohibit the use of a UAS for lawful purposes when operated in a lawful manner by any local governmental agency or an authorized agent or contractor of such agency when acting in the line and scope of his authority and shall not apply to any person holding a permit issued by the city that authorizes the flying of a UAS over a venue, outdoor special event, or Gulf Beach area so long as it is operated for lawful purposes and in a lawful manner as may be provided in such permit.

Section 3-169 – Violation of division as offense; affirmative defenses

Any person violating any provision of this division shall be guilty of an offense and upon conviction, shall be punished for each offense by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00), imprisonment for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or both.

The following shall constitute an affirmative defense to any criminal action for violation of section 3-165(b). The burden shall be on the operator to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that:

(1) The operator held a permit issued pursuant to section 3-168 to operate in an area that is otherwise prohibited by section 3-165(b);

(2) The operator was operating the UAS at the direction of a governmental agency, such that it should be considered a public aircraft; or

(3) The operator was expressly authorized by the FAA to operate a UAS in city airspace and that the UAS was operated for lawful purposes and in a lawful manner.

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park Rules

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park

The USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park (BMP) has established requirements concerning the operation of UASs, commonly known as drones. This policy concerning aerial devices has been established to protect the safety of guests, trainees, employees, and property of BMP. BMP has a strict policy prohibiting all unmanned aerial systems over BMP property without prior approval. Aerial vehicles present safety risks to the public and will not be permitted. Anyone flying a drone/aircraft or helicopter on BMP property will immediately be asked to stop and/or asked to leave BMP property without obtaining prior permission. Violators will be subject to citation of trespassing by City of Mobile Police Department and potential notification of the FAA. Any video obtained without consent from the Deputy Executive Director cannot be posted or used and may be subject to financial and legal interventions. BMP may make exceptions to this policy on a case-by-case basis for certain events/ activities, but preapproval must be obtained by the Deputy Executive Director. Effective February 12, 2017.

Drone flights may only occur during daylight hours defined as between official sunrise and official sunset for local time. Permission to fly drones at night at BMP will only be given by the Executive Director on a case-by-case basis.

Excluding takeoff and landing, drones are not to be flown at BMP closer than 25 feet of any individual, except the operator or the operator’s assistant.

Drones are not to be flown within 100 feet horizontally or vertically of the USS ALABAMA, USS DRUM, Aircraft Pavilion, Park Memorials, aircraft, or artifacts on the grounds of BMP. Permission for flights closer than 100 feet shall be granted by the Executive Director on a case-by-case basis.

All drone flights may operate up to 400 feet AGL within BMP.

Drone flights may not occur when precipitation is falling, or when winds exceed 20 mph sustained on when gusts exceed 25 mph.

No person shall operate a drone within BMP beyond the visual line of sight of the person operating the drone. The operator must use his or her own natural vision (which includes vision corrected by standard eyeglasses or contact lenses) to observe the drone. The use of vision-enhancing devices, such as binoculars, night vision goggles, powered vision magnifying devices, and goggles or other devices designed to provide a “first-person view” from the drone do not constitute the visual line of sight of the drone operator.

No person shall operate any drone within BMP in violation of any TFR or NOTAM issued by the FAA.

No person shall operate a drone within BMP in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another. The standard for what constitutes careless or reckless operation under this section shall be the same as the standard set forth in any federal statutes or regulations governing aeronautics but not limited to 14 CFR 91.13.

University Drone Policies

Auburn University

Troy University

University of Alabama

University of Montevallo

University of South Alabama

Note: This list is just a sample… many more could be added.

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)

SJR3 – enacted in 2023

HB 176 – enacted in 2024

 

2023 – Alabama Wants to Get Ahead on Investing in Air Taxis

2024 – Montgomery Regional Airport partners with BETA Technologies to commission Alabama’s first electric aviation charger

 

 

Short Essay Questions

Question 1

You have been hired by a Drone Startup Company. Your boss has immediately assigned this job to you.

They need you to prepare a one-page memo detailing the legalities of filming near the Moundville Archaeological Site in Hale County, pictured above.

They need you to mention any state laws and local ordinances.

They specifically want to know what airspace you will be operating in, and whether or not you need an airspace authorization, with or without LAANC capability.

Lastly, there is a bonus for you if, as you scroll through this chapter, you find any typos or broken links!

Question 2

Do the state drone laws implicate the First Amendment? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 3

Do the state drone laws implicate the Fourth Amendment? Or involve law enforcement officers obtaining warrants? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 4

Do the state drone laws contain a preemption clause? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 5

Does the state have UAM/AAM laws? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 6

Are you aware of any new laws or policies not mentioned above? If so, describe, citing the exact law or policy.

 

 

 

 

License

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Drones Across the World Copyright © 2023 by Sarah Nilsson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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