DE – Delaware

Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

Formal garden as seen from a balcony at the Nemours Mansion, Wilmington, Delaware.

Photo courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Delaware government website just for reference.

The DEDOT has a DEDOT UAS Policy.

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

Map courtesy of Wikipedia

Google Earth

Last updated on June 3, 2024


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


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



Delaware Title 11. Chapter 5. Subchapter VI. Section 1256

Title 11. Chapter 5. Subchapter VI. Section 1256

1256. Promoting prison contraband; class F felony; class A misdemeanor.

(a) A person is guilty of promoting prison contraband when:

(1) The person knowingly and unlawfully introduces any contraband into a detention facility; or

(2) The person possesses with intent to deliver any contraband to any person confined within a detention facility; or

(3) Being a person confined in a detention facility, the person knowingly and unlawfully makes, obtains, or possesses any contraband.

(b) Promoting prison contraband is a class A misdemeanor. However, promoting prison contraband is a class F felony if any of the following applies:

(1) The prison contraband is a deadly weapon, cellular telephone, or any prohibited electronic device not specifically authorized or approved by the Commissioner or designee, any illegal narcotic or look-a-like substance, or any prescription medication, or any item or article that could be used to facilitate an escape.

(2) An UAS is used to deliver or attempt to deliver any of the following into a detention facility

a. Contraband, as defined by § 1258 of this title.

b. Any of the contraband listed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

Delaware Title 11. Chapter 5. Subchapter VII. Section 1334

Title 11. Chapter 5. Subchapter VII. Section 1334

1334. Unlawful use of an UAS; unclassified misdemeanor; class B misdemeanor; class A misdemeanor.

(a) Definitions. —

The following terms shall have the following meanings as used in this section.

(1) “Critical infrastructure” means petroleum refineries, petroleum storage facilities, chemical storage facilities, chemical manufacturing facilities, fuel storage facilities, electric substations, power plants, electric generation facilities, military facilities, commercial port and harbor facilities, rail yard facilities, drinking water treatment or storage facilities, correctional facilities, government buildings, and public safety buildings or facilities.

(2) “First responder” means federal, state, and local law-enforcement officers, fire, and emergency medical services personnel, hazardous materials response team members, 9-1-1 dispatchers, or any individual who is responsible for the protection and preservation of life and is directed to respond to an incident that could result in death or serious injury.

(3) “Unmanned aircraft system” means a powered, aerial vehicle that:

a. Does not carry a human operator;

b. Uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift;

c. Can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely; and

d. Can be expendable or recoverable.

(b) Prohibited acts. —

Except as provided in this section, no person shall knowingly operate, direct, or program an UAS to fly:

(1) Over any sporting event, concert, automobile race, festival, or other event at which more than 1500 people are in attendance; or

(2) Over any critical infrastructure; or

(3) Over any incident where first responders are actively engaged in response or air, water, vehicular, ground, or specialized transport; or

(4) So as to subject another person, who is on private property, to harassment in violation of § 1311(a) of this title; or

(5) So as to invade the privacy of another person, who is on private property, in violation of § 1335(a)(1), (2), (3), (4), or (6) of this title; or

(6) So as to violate or fail to obey any provision of a protective order issued by any of the following:

a. The Family Court.

b. A court of any state, territory, or Indian nation in the United States, as long as such violation or failure to obey occurs in Delaware.

c. A court of Canada, as long as such violation or failure to obey occurs in Delaware.

(c) Exemptions. —

The prohibitions set forth in subsection (b) of this section shall not apply to:

(1) An UAS used for law enforcement purposes; or

(2) An UAS flying over property where written permission has been granted by the property owner or occupier; or

(3) An UAS operated by an institution of higher education for educational purposes in compliance with FAA regulations; or

(4) An UAS that is being used for a commercial or other purpose if the operator is authorized by the FAA.

(d) Penalties. —

Except as set forth in § 1256 of this title, unlawful use of an UAS is an unclassified misdemeanor for a first offense and a class B misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense, except that in any case where physical injury to a person or damage to property occurs as a result of a violation of this section unlawful use of an UAS is a class A misdemeanor.

State Preemption

(e) Preemption. —

Only the State may enact a law or take any other action to prohibit, restrict, or regulate the testing or operation of an UAS in the State. This section preempts the authority of a county or municipality to prohibit, restrict, or regulate the testing or operating of UAS and supersedes any existing law or ordinance of a county or municipality that prohibits, restricts, or regulates the testing or operating of UAS.


Delaware Title 21. Chapter 45. Section 4504

Title 21. Chapter 45. Section 4504

4504. Regulations; fees; permits for excessive size and weights.

(a) The Secretary of Transportation may adopt such regulations, issue permits and may impose such fees as the Secretary may deem reasonable to implement the requirements of this chapter. The fee for permits issued pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section for vehicles operating on any interstate highway within this State shall be $1.00 per single trip permit.

(b) (1) The Secretary of Transportation is hereby authorized to adopt rules and regulations, to establish and set fees and to adopt procedures for the issuance of permits for the movement of vehicles and/or loads of a size and weight exceeding the maximum specified in this chapter.

(2) Local authorities may adopt regulations under which permits may be granted for the movement of vehicles and/or loads of a size and weight exceeding the maximum specified in this chapter over any highway for which the local authority has the sole maintenance responsibility.

(3) Every permit granted shall be in writing and shall contain a description of the vehicle and load, a statement of the fee levied and the name of the authorized officer of the granting authority. It may designate the route and certain restrictions, rules, conditions and regulations as deemed necessary.

(4) Permits may be obtained only for vehicles or trailers complying with this title.

(5) A permit obtained pursuant to this section shall relieve no person of the obligation to comply with all laws, rules and regulations otherwise applicable.

(c) (1) Single trip permits shall be issued for single trips from the designated starting point to the designated terminal point. Intermediate stopping points and round trips are not permitted.

(2) Multi-trip permits shall be issued for a period of 1 year or the period from the first day of the month to the first day of the following month. Each permit shall be valid as authorized herein; it shall not be transferable.

a. Utility companies may be issued a permit for piling and pole trailers. Each permit may be valid for up to 4 trailers at the time of issue.

b. Utility companies and governmental agencies may be issued a permit for a manned and/or unmanned aerial type single motor vehicle up to 50 feet long. Each permit shall be valid for an individual vehicle only.

9201 Regulations Governing State Parks

9201 Regulations Governing State Parks

13.0 Aviation – Environmental D Violations

13.1 No person shall voluntarily bring, land or cause to descend or alight on or upon any lands or waters administered by the Division any aircraft, flying machine, balloon, parachute, drones, or other apparatus for aviation except with the prior consent of the Director. “Voluntarily” shall mean for purposes of this paragraph anything other than a forced or emergency landing.

13.2 Flying of radio‑controlled model aircraft, including drones, or the launching of model rockets shall not be permitted in areas administered by the Division except in areas set aside and designated for such purposes. Special policies regarding insurance and operating conditions will be posted.

Delaware State Parks Drone Rules

Delaware State Parks Drone Rules

To ensure the comfort and safety of park visitors and protection of state park cultural and natural resources, a special use permit is required for operation of a drone or other UAV on or over any land or water administered by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Parks and Recreation.

Specific Restrictions and Procedures

Drones/UAVs may not be flown:

– In or around unprotected persons

– In parking lots

– Near any protected wildlife species, in active wildlife nesting or breeding areas or harassing wildlife

– Nature Preserves

– Where the activity would not be appropriate within the overall character of a park.

– Within 100’ of vulnerable property

– General recreational use is limited to areas designated by the Division for such purposes.

Obtain A Permit

For information or to obtain a permit, contact the superintendent of the park where you want to fly, then submit the following to the park superintendent at least 10 days before your planned flight:

– Licensure

– Insurance

– FAA documentation

– Flight plan

There is a $75 administrative fee for the permit. If it is determined that supervision by park staff is required for your flight, an additional supervision fee of $35 per hour is charged.

Permit Evaluation

In areas designated for recreational use, the following factors will be considered when evaluating your special permit request:

– Public safety

– FAA regulations and AMA guidelines

– Natural resource protection

– Cultural resource protection

– Visitor experience

– Purpose of the flight

– Date and time of day of flight

– Specific location(s) selected for the flight

Insurance coverage required by the State of Delaware: $1,000,000 per occurrence, $3,000,000 aggregate. Insurance must specifically cover the use of drones.

In areas NOT designated for recreational use, the following factors will be considered when evaluating your special permit request:

– Enforcement/Safety

– Government operational missions, such as infrastructure inspections, GIS, marketing, etc.

– Requires pre-approved FAA Part 107 exemption and issued Certificate of Authorization (COA), as well as Division ofParks and Recreation authorization

– Scientific research

– Those conducted by State Park Friends Groups or volunteers in support of the mission of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Parks and Recreation

– Educational purposes in cooperation with state-recognized formal educational entities in coordination with an identified need of the Division.

Town of Bethany Beach Code

Town of Bethany Beach

Article III – UAS

212-6. Definitions; operating regulations; seizure and unlawful use.

A. Definitions. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

AIRCRAFT. Any contrivance invented, used, or designed to navigate or fly in the air.

COMMERCIAL. For pay, profit or any form of compensation and includes but is not limited to the use of SUA to further any commercial enterprise.

FIREARM. Has the meaning ascribed to the term as set forth in 11 Del. C. § 222(12).

HOBBY OR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES. A pursuit engaged in for relaxation, and not for business purposes and not for compensation or hire.

OPERATE. To pilot, steer, direct, fly or manage a SUA through the air whether from within the aircraft or remotely. The term “operate” includes managing or initiating a computer system that pilots, steers, directs, flies, or manages a SUA.

OUTDOOR ASSEMBLY. Includes but is not limited to bandstand, beach, boardwalk, public swimming pools, special events, parades.

PUBLIC AIRCRAFT. Has the meaning ascribed to the term in Section 40102 of Title 49 of the United States Code.

SMALL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT. An aircraft that: 1) is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft; and 2) weighs less than 55 pounds at the time of the operation, including the weight of any payload or fuel. The term “small unmanned aircraft” includes drones but does not include “toy aircraft” or “public aircraft” as defined herein.

SURVEILLANCE. The gathering, without permission and in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person, of visual images, physical impressions, sound recordings, data or other information involving the private, personal, business or familial activities of another person, business or entity, or that otherwise intrudes upon the privacy, solitude or seclusion of another person, business or entity, regardless of whether a physical trespass onto real property owned, leased or otherwise lawfully occupied by such other person, business or other entity, or into the airspace above real property owned, leased or otherwise lawfully occupied by such other person, business or other entity, occurs in connection with such surveillance.

TOWN AIRSPACE. The airspace above the land, water, and waterways within the jurisdiction of the Town.


(1) A glider or hand tossed SUA that is not designed for and is incapable of sustained flight; or

(2) A SUA that is capable of sustained flight and is controlled by means of a physical attachment, such as a string or wire.

WEAPON. Any instrument, article, or substance that, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury.

B. Operating regulations. Except as otherwise provided in Subsection C of this section, no person shall operate any SUA in Town airspace:

(1) Except for hobby, recreational or permitted commercial purposes only and in conformity with this section;

(2) Directly over any person who is not involved in the operation of the SUA, without such person’s consent;

(3) Over property that the operator does not own, without the property owner’s consent, and subject to any restrictions that the property owner may place on such operation;

(4) At an altitude higher than 400 feet AGL;

(5) Outside the visual line of sight of the operator. The operator shall use his or her own natural vision (which includes vision corrected by standard eyeglasses or contact lenses) to maintain at all times an unobstructed view of the small unmanned aircraft, without the use of vision-enhancing devices, such as binoculars, night vision goggles, powered vision magnifying devices, goggles designed to provide a “first person view” from the model or similar devices; in a manner that interferes with, or fails to give way to, any manned aircraft;

(6) Between dusk and dawn;

(7) Whenever weather conditions impair the operator’s ability to operate the SUA safely;

(8) Over any outdoor assembly, place of worship, police station, public right-of-way, beach, boardwalk, boardwalk plaza, waterway, public thoroughfare or land zoned MORE within the corporate limits of the Town of Bethany Beach;

(9) Within 50 feet of the water plant or within 25 feet of any electric distribution facility or of any overhead wire, cable, conveyor or similar equipment for the transmission of sounds or signal, or of heat, light or power, or data, upon or along any public way within the Town, without the facility or equipment owner’s consent, and subject to any restrictions that the facility or equipment owner may place on such operation;

(10) For the purpose of conducting surveillance, unless expressly permitted by law;

(11) While under the influence of alcohol (as defined in Title 21, Section 4169, of the Delaware Code) or other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds or any combination thereof;

(12) That is equipped with a firearm or other weapon;

(13) With intent to use such SUA or anything attached to it to cause harm to persons or property;

(14) In a reckless or careless manner; or

(15) In violation of any federal or state law.

C. SUA may be operated for commercial purposes with the issuance of a permit by the Code Compliance Officer. Permitting will require proof of FAA SUA registration and a specific identifier for the aircraft. Aircraft operators will require an FAA certificate of waiver (COA). Permits will be issued on a daily basis and require the day, date, location and purpose of the proposed flight and will be valid for 24 hours from issuance. Commercial flight of SUA, unless otherwise permitted, is regulated by § 212-6B of this Town Code.

D. Operations authorized by the FAA; exception. Notwithstanding the prohibitions set forth in this section, nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit, limit or otherwise restrict any person who is authorized by the FAA to operate a SUA in Town air space, pursuant to Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 or a certificate of waiver, certificate of authorization or airworthiness certificate under Section 44704 of Title 49 of the USC or other FAA grant of authority for a specific flight operation(s), from conducting such operation(s) in accordance with the authority granted by the FAA.

E. Operations prohibited by the FAA; clarification. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the operation of any SUA in Town airspace in violation of any federal statute or rules promulgated thereunder, including, but not limited to, any TFRs or NOTAMs issued by the FAA.

F. This article shall not prohibit the use of UAS by any law enforcement agency of the Town of Bethany, and/or any town, state or federal governments or their agents for lawful purposes and in a lawful manner.

G. Seizure for unlawful use. If a duly authorized enforcement officer or designee has a reasonable basis to believe that any SUA is or has been operating in violation of this section, said SUA may be seized by such duly authorized enforcement official, followed by an opportunity for an administrative hearing, with notice to the owner within seven calendar days of such seizure, for the purpose of reviewing the appropriateness of the seizure, and shall be held by the Town until such time that the owner of such SUA reimburses the Town for the actual cartage costs incurred in connection with the seizure and pays to the Town $20 for each day, or part of a day, that the SUA is in storage. If criminal charges involving the use, condition or operation of the SUA are pending, the SUA shall be held until disposition of the criminal charges. If it is determined at an administrative hearing, by a preponderance of evidence, that the seized SUA was not operated in violation of this section, such SUA shall be returned to its owner without charge.


212-7 Violations and penalties.

Any person violating this article shall, upon conviction, pay such fine as set out in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, Penalties.


University Drone Policies

Delaware Technical Community College

Goldey–Beacom College

University of Delaware

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

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)


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 a wedding in the formal garden at the Nemours Mansion, Wilmington, Delaware, 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.





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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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