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Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)/Drones

Owners of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS), commonly referred to as drones, as of February 19, 2016, must register them with the FAA before operating them in the National Airspace System.  There was an exception to this requirement given to operations that fell under the guidelines of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, section 336.  However, as of December 12th, 2017, H.R. 2810 section 1092, was signed into law, making it now a requirement for all sUAS to be registered with the FAA.  Any commercial operations of a sUAS must be in compliance with 14 C.F.R. 107.13.  The cost to register your aircraft is $5, and is valid for 5 years.  To register your aircraft, please go to: FAA UAS Registration.

As of August 29th 2016, all commercial operators of sUAS must follow all rules set forth by the FAA in 14 C.F.R. Part 107.  These regulations put rules in place that govern all aspects of commercial sUAS operations, to include operating rules, pilot certification, and the requirement to obtain waivers for certain operations.   

As of now, there are no additional requirements by the state of Tennessee to operate a sUAS within the boundaries of the state of Tennessee.  However, we would like to remind everyone to operate safely and follow these basic guidelines, whether operating commercially or recreationally:

  • Always fly below 400 feet above ground level (AGL)
  • Always keep the aircraft in visual line of sight (VLOS), unless you have a waiver
  • Always give way to manned aircraft
  • Know the airspace you are flying in, and any FAA restrictions that pertain to it.
  • Do not fly within 5 miles of an airport without proper coordination with the airport operator, and air traffic control, if required to do so
  • Do not fly over people or large crowds of people without a waiver
  • Do not fly at night without a waiver
  • Never fly a sUAS while impaired

If you feel someone is operating a sUAS in an unsafe or illegal manner, please notify your local law enforcement.      

For more UAS information and resources, please visit