RI – Rhode Island

Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

The Towers are a Narragansett landmark

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Rhode Island government website just for reference.

RIDOT website just for reference.

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

Map courtesy of Wikipedia

Google Earth

Last updated on June 6, 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



RI Gen Laws § 1-8-1

RI Gen Laws § 1-8-1


Title 1 – Aeronautics

Chapter 8 – Unpiloted Aerial Vehicles

State Preemption

Exclusive aerial regulations.
Subject to federal law, the state of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island airport corporation shall have exclusive legal authority to regulate any object capable of flying that is remotely controlled and flies autonomously through software-controlled flight plans embedded in the object’s system by a global-position system, commonly known as unpiloted aerial vehicles, remotely piloted aircraft, drones, or unmanned aircraft systems.


Rhode Island Parks and Recreation Rules

Rhode Island Parks and Recreation

Airborne conveyances such as balloons, gliders, engine-powered airplanes unmanned aircraft systems, and ultra-lights shall not be operated without official written permission from the Individual Park Facility Manager.

Town of Narragansett Code

Town of Narragansett

Posted on: June 7, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), AKA “Drones” Ordinance

On June 6, 2016 the Narragansett Town Council adopted an ordinance that prohibits UASs from being deployed, launched or flown in any airspace within 500 feet or over the Town Beach during beach season, any large venue special event in the Town of Narragansett, and over public parks, roads and public facilities during large venue special events. This ordinance is intended to promote and protect the personal privacy and public safety of our Town Beach patrons during the summer season and all persons that patronize Narragansett municipal venues and large public gatherings/events throughout the year. This ordinance will also protect our residents against the physical invasion of privacy that occurs when a drone, without permission, knowingly enters onto the land or into the airspace above the land of our town residents for the purpose of viewing, capturing an image or sound recording unless otherwise exempted.

This ordinance is NOT intended to restrict legitimate hobbyists operating UASs in compliance with FAA rules and any other applicable laws, and outside of the prohibited areas.

An event principal, or their designee, may apply for a permit to operate an UAS in conjunction with a permit to organize a large venue special event. Such permit will issue at the sole discretion of the Town, based on considerations of the type of activities which would tend to damage private/public property, endanger the public or event attendees, or which are likely to create an atmosphere which would discourage use of town-owned property, other locations or venues for their intended purpose.

Please refer to the ordinance for definitions, prohibitions, UAS application process, exemptions, enforcement and all applicable details.

A drone permit may be obtained in the Town Clerk’s office.

University Drone Policies

Brown University 

Bryant University

Roger Williams University 

University of Providence 

University of Rhode Island 

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

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)

2023 – Advanced Air Mobility Testing RoundUp 2023



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 inspecting the Towers, a Narragansett landmark, 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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