Drone Laws
in Arizona (2022)

Welcome to this wiki. The goal of this wiki is to crowd-source drone information. Having said that, information may be inaccurate, out-of-date, and should not be relied upon for legal advice.

Arizona State Drone Laws
These laws apply in the entire state.

Senate Bill 1449 (2016)

SB 1449 is currently the only state-wide law regulating UAS operations in Arizona in accordance with the state legislator and Department of Transportation. It amends Section 13-2904 of tHE Arizona Revised Statutes to add Section 13-3729; Relating to Unmanned Aircraft.

Among the more important points of SB 1449 are the following:

  • UAS operations that interfere with law enforcement, firefighting, other operations of manned aircraft, or in any reckless manner that may endanger the life or property of another person are prohibited.
  • UAS are not allowed to fly within 500 feet horizontal distance or 250 feet vertical distance from the physical boundary of a critical facility, unless written consent has been granted.
  • UAS are not allowed to intentionally photograph or loiter over or near a critical facility
  • Prevents any city, town, or county in Arizona from adopting any ordinance, policy, or rule that regulates the ownership or use of an unmanned aircraft. This does not apply to public UAS owned by the city, town, or county.

The law also has a provision that requires the Department of Transportation to monitor FAA regulations on UAS to possibly repeal state laws. However, this section has been repealed since December 31, 2019.


Critical Facilities

Critical facilities include—but are not limited to—power plants, hospitals, military installations, water
treatment plants, oil and gas facilities, and courthouses, etc.


Arizona State Pre-emptions

Arizona State Legislature maintains pre-emption for all rules and regulations that concern recreational and
commercial drone use.

Ref Senate Bill 1449 (2016)

City and County
Drone Laws
These laws apply in some areas.

Local drone laws for Arizona state refer to UAV operations in specified cities, counties, and regions.

 

Maricopa County

County park rules state that the use of engine-powered models and/or toys in any park must be done in a manner that does not pose any hazard to the public.
Ref Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Rules (2016)

 

City of Phoenix

The city municipal code bans all drone operations within Phoenix city parks except in parks designated by the Director. Acceptable operation sites must have at least 400 feet of unobstructed space that is free of trees, structures, or fences ten feet or higher.

The list of eight drone-friendly city parks can be found in the official Phoenix government page:

  • Coyote Basin
  • Desert Foothills Park – Lower Field
  • Dynamite Park
  • El Prado Park
  • Esteban Park – East Quadrant
  • Grovers Basin
  • Mountain View II Park – South of Ballfield
  • Werner’s Field

All UAS operations within designated operation sites must conform to the AMA Safety Code.
Ref Municipal Code Section 24-49
Ref List of drone-friendly parks

 

City of Scottsdale

The city ordinance identifies locations where launching or landing of UAS is prohibited:

  • McDowell Sonoran Preserve
  • Pinnacle Peak Park and Trailhead
  • Mescal Park
  • Stonegate Park
  • Westworld
  • McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

The official Scottsdale government page also identifies additional prohibited sites:

  • Cactus Aquatic Center
  • Chaparral Aquatic Center
  • Eldorado Aquatic Center
  • McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic Center

Ref City Ordinance (2016)
Ref List of prohibited sites

 

City of Tempe

The city ordinance prohibits launching or landing UAS in Tempe Beach Park, Papago Park (Tempe section), Rio Salado Park, and city preserves.
Ref City Ordinance (2017)

 

City of Mesa

The operation of drones is prohibited in all Mesa city parks and facilities with Basin 114 as the sole exception. The designated area is available for drop-on use on a first-come, first-served basis only. All operators must have a valid AMA membership card. Insurance is required to operate an aircraft.

Ref Mesa Parks Rules and Regulations
 

Town of Prescott Valley

The municipal ordinance outlines official drone uses and permitted operations by city employees including search and rescue, law enforcement, and emergency management.
Ref Municipal Ordinance (2018)

 

Town of Paradise Valley

A 2015 press release states that commercial UAV operations must be registered with the Town at least 4 hours prior to the start of the operations. However, Paradise Valley property owners may fly UAVs recreationally on their own property at a height of less than 500 feet. Flying over other’s private property without their consent will be considered a form of trespass.
Ref Paradise Valley Town Council Press Release (2015)

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