San Diego

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

DroneThe City of San Diego has developed an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drone) policy that allows for local law enforcement action in serious cases of infractions, while still allowing for the use of drones for infrastructure inspections, photography, and general recreation. The information here is intended as a basic overview of the City’s drone ordinance, as well as valuable resources for drone users.




  Fly for Fun Fly for Work
Pilot Requirements Must be registered if over 0.55 lbs. Must have Remote Pilot Airman Certificate
Must be 16 years old
Must pass TSA vetting
Aircraft Requirements No FAA registration required.

Mus be less than 55lbs.
Must be registered if over 0.55 lbs.
Must undergo pre-flight check to ensure UAS in condition for safe operation

Location Requirements 5 miles from airports without prior notification to airport and air traffic control Glass G airspace*
Operating Rules

Must ALWAYS yield right of way to manned aircraft
Must keep the aircraft in sight (visual line-of-sight)
UAS must be under 55 lbs.
Must follow community-based safety guidelines
Must notify airport and air traffic control tower before flying within 5 miles of an airport

Must keep the aircraft in sight (visual line-of-sight)*
Must fly under 400 ft*
Must fly during the day*
Must fly at or below 100mph*
Must yield the right of way to manned aircraft*
Must NOT fly over people*
Must NOT fly from moving vehicle*

Example Applications Educational of recreational flying only Flying for commercial use (e.g. providing aerial surveying or photography services)
Flying incidental to a business (e.g. doing roof inspections or real estate photography)

*These rules are subject to FAA waiver. Source https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started

For most up to date information on rules, regulations, and restrictions, visit www.KnowBeforeYouFly.org

PDF icon State and Local Regulation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)


You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.