ME – Maine

Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

The Maine coast and Portland Head Light

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Maine government website just for reference.

The MEDOT has a MEDOT Aviation Page.

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

Map courtesy of Wikipedia

Google Earth

Last updated on June 4, 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



Maine Statute § 4501

Maine Statute § 4501

Title 25: Internal Security and Public Safety

Part 12: UAVs

Chapter 551: Regulation of UAVs

Regulation of UAVs

1. Findings.  The Legislature finds that evolving technology regarding UAVs presents a potential economic driver for the State, an opportunity for research and development and a very real benefit for security, for search and rescue efforts and for disaster prevention and relief, as well as a tool for the investigation of serious crimes, but the technology also presents a potential threat to the privacy of citizens of this State if used by law enforcement in the conduct of criminal investigations without appropriate guidelines and supervision.

2. Definitions.  As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. “Law enforcement agency” has the same meaning as in section 3701, subsection 1.

B. “Unmanned aerial vehicle” means an aircraft operated without a physical human presence within or on the aircraft that, in the manner in which the aircraft is used or the manner in which it is equipped, is capable of performing audio or visual surveillance.

3. Acquisition of UAVs.  The acquisition of an UAV by a law enforcement agency must be approved by the governing body of the governmental unit overseeing the law enforcement agency seeking to make such an acquisition or, in the case of a state agency, by the commissioner of that agency.

4. Law enforcement agency operation of UAVs.  A law enforcement agency’s operation of an UAV must fully comply with all FAA requirements and guidelines, including the acquisition of a certificate of authorization or waiver from the FAA. Additionally, a law enforcement agency’s use of an UAV is governed by the following provisions.

A. A law enforcement agency may not use an UAV before adopting standards that meet, at a minimum, the standards set forth in subsection 5.

B. Except as permitted by a recognized exception to the requirement for a warrant under the Constitution of Maine or the US Constitution, a law enforcement agency may not use an UAV for criminal investigations without a warrant.

C. Notwithstanding paragraph A, a law enforcement agency may use an UAV for the purpose of a search and rescue operation when the law enforcement agency determines that use of an UAV is necessary to alleviate an immediate danger to any person or for training exercises related to such uses.

D. Notwithstanding paragraph A, a law enforcement agency may use an UAV for purposes other than the investigation of crime, including, but not limited to, aerial photography for the assessment of accidents, forest fires and other fire scenes, flood stages and storm damage.

E. In no case may a weaponized UAV be used or its use facilitated by a state or local law enforcement agency in this State.

F. A law enforcement agency may not use an UAV to conduct surveillance of private citizens peacefully exercising their constitutional rights of free speech and assembly.

G. Notwithstanding paragraph A, a law enforcement agency may use an UAV for an emergency use approved by the chief administrative officer of the agency or the Governor.

5. Minimum standards for law enforcement.  The Board of Trustees of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, shall establish minimum standards for written policies and protocols for use of UAVs by law enforcement agencies. The standards must include at a minimum:

A. Training and certification requirements for a person operating an UAV;

B. Requirements for prior authorization for the use of an UAV by the chief administrative officer of the law enforcement agency seeking to use such a vehicle;

C. Approval by the Attorney General or chief prosecuting attorney for the appropriate jurisdiction for the deployment of an UAV for criminal investigation purposes;

D. Restrictions on the use of night vision technology, high-powered zoom lenses, video analytics, facial recognition technology, thermal imaging and other such enhancement technology;

E. Procedures to minimize the inadvertent audio or visual recording of private spaces of 3rd parties who are not under investigation;

F. Procedures for destroying any unnecessary audio or visual recordings without further duplication or dissemination;

G. Recommended minimum altitudes and speeds at which an UAV may be flown in order to minimize the invasion of privacy of 3rd parties who are not under investigation;

H. Methods to minimize the number of UAVs deployed at any one time in any one area or at any one event;

I. Procedures to avoid hazards to persons and property on land and in the air due to the operation of UAVs;

J. Methods for tracking and recording the flight of each UAV;

K. Requirements for regular statistical reporting of all uses of UAVs, including the purposes, the results and the duration of such uses, to the appropriate governmental bodies; and

L. Accountability of a law enforcement agency for any mistake in deployment or misuse of an UAV, including sanctions as provided in section 2803‑C or section 2806‑A, as applicable.

6. Data collection.  On or before July 1, 2016 and July 1st of each subsequent year, the Commissioner of Public Safety shall submit to the Legislature a report containing the number of instances in which an UAV has been deployed by any law enforcement agency in the State with summary descriptions of the number of deployments for investigative purposes, the general nature of those investigations and the number of search warrants sought and the number of search warrants obtained for the deployment of UAVs.

Maine State Park UAS Policy

Maine State Park UAS Policy

Drones, UAS Policy

Public safety, privacy of park users, liability, protection of wildlife, and noise are the primary factors considered in formulating this policy. The general use of drones (UAS) is prohibited in Maine State Parks, Historic Sites, or DACF Boat Launches without direct oversight and guidance of an approved law enforcement agency or by the issue of a Special Activity Permit.

Commercial Use
Commercial use of drones (UAS) is prohibited.

Law Enforcement Use

Maine law enforcement agencies including Maine State Police, Maine Warden Service, Maine Marine Patrol, Maine Forest Service, Maine County Sheriff Departments, and Maine Municipal Police Departments are authorized under this policy to provide oversight and guidance for search and rescue missions or training under the following circumstances:

The mission of all UAS use must be for search and rescue operations or training.
Law enforcement agencies may coordinate with an outside agency that is licensed, FAA registered, and certified for the purposes of search and rescue or reconnaissance necessary to effect recovery of an individual.
The collaborating law enforcement agency must contact the Bureau of Parks and Lands immediately when any use of UAS from Bureau of Parks and Lands property is used and must be present, on site, at all times that the UAS is used.
The law enforcement agency will be required to notify the Park, Regional office, or Central office of the Bureau of Parks & Lands regarding each mission immediately or prior to the start of the mission.

State Employee Use
State employees or their representatives in the official conduct of their duties and with prior written permission from the Bureau are exempted from this policy.

Special Activity Use
Under certain rare circumstances Special Activity Permits may be issued. Individuals wishing to pursue the use of drones in a Maine State Park can apply for a Special Activity Permit. The issue of a Special Activity Permit will be processed through the Parks regional office containing a full description of the activity along with an appropriate Certificate of Liability Insurance listing the State of Maine, Bureau of Parks and Lands, and the specific park, as co-insured. The permit will be valid only after the signature of the Regional Manager has been obtained.


University Drone Policies

Bates College

Bowdoin College

Colby College

Husson University

University of Maine

University of Maine at Augusta

University of Maine at Fort Kent

University of Southern Maine

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 the Portland Head Light on the Maine Coast, 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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