Drone Laws
in Virginia (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 Having said that, information may be inaccurate, out-of-date, and should not be relied upon for legal advice.

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

Code of Virginia 4VAC5-30-400

Bans all drone operations in all Virginia State Parks or DCR-owned property unless a Special Use Permit has been issued by the DCR.

Ref VA Admin. Code 4VAC5-30-400

 

House Bill 2350 (2017)

Classifies the use of drones to trespass on property or to spy or peep on others through structural apertures as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Ref House Bill 2350 (2017)

 

House Bill 742 (2021)

Authorizes a political subdivision, by ordinance or regulation, to regulate the take-off or landing of drones in property owned by the political subdivision.

Ref House Bill 742 

 

House Bill 412 (2016)

Restricts local governments from regulating the use of privately owned drones within their boundaries.

Ref House Bill 412 (2016)


Virginia State Pre-emptions

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

 

Senate Bill 873 (2017)

Gives control of the immediate airspace in disaster and emergency scenes to fire chiefs or another officer in charge of a Virginia fire department.

Ref Senate Bill 873 (2017)

 

House Bill 2125 (2015)

Requires law enforcement agencies to obtain an official warrant before using drones in operations, except in emergency situations or training exercises.

Ref House Bill 2125 (2015)

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

Local drone laws in Virginia refer to policies and regulations that are enacted and enforced at the county, city, or town levels.

 

Prince William County

Prohibits the use of drones in Prince William County parks in the outdoors during night time. Any person who wishes to operate such aircraft in county parks or facilities must first secure permission from the park authority.

Ref County Ordinance Sec 14.5

 

York County

Flying or controlling any airborne equipment from a public area is prohibited without a permit from the appropriate government official. “Public area” in this context is defined as the grounds of any county-owned property including any park, beach, public boat landing, vacant open land, public parking areas, county-owned buildings, and public school grounds.

Ref County Code Sec. 17-20

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