There are many gorgeous locations in Denver, Colorado, that are worth viewing from above. Tourists are set for a fascinating voyage, starting with breathtaking lakes and mountains that spread for miles to lively cities.
The thrill is only increased by using a drone to take pictures and videos of everything. Colorado has both state and local legislation in effect, so the rules could appear to be a little complex.
But can you fly a drone in the capital city of Denver?
Unfortunately, you can’t fly a drone in most parts of downtown Denver. Drones are not permitted in Denver parks unless there is a designated place for them. The use of drones at events on Denver streets, alleys, and sidewalks requires a Denver Film Permit, and to apply, you must provide proof of an FAA Pilot’s license and Aircraft Registration.
But don’t leave your drone at home if you’re headed for Denver, Colorado.
We’ll look at some Colorado-specific drone laws and then get into a few places in the environs of Denver where you can fly a drone.
Colorado Drone Laws (General information)
In reality, Colorado is subject to a number of drone laws.
First off, the purpose for which you fly your drone will affect the laws the federal government imposes. Therefore, in Colorado, commercial pilots, hobbyists, and government employees aren’t subject to the same rules.
Drone legislation was submitted by the Colorado General Assembly, which applies to drone use for the whole state. They deal with using drones for state park operations as well as other regional and local activities.
There are also further regulations for particular Colorado cities, regions, and nations. These include the drone policy in Boulder and the local legislation in Denver, Cherry Hills, and Telluride.
In order to avoid any misconceptions, a pilot who intends to fly a drone in Denver or any other city in the state of Colorado must get familiar with all of these rules before doing so.
Except in areas specified by the DPR Director for such activities, flying or propelled objects, including drones, are not permitted to be launched or operated in any Denver Park facilities.
If a permit has been issued by the City granting the required authorization, exceptions may be made for drone operations connected with events or particular activities.
Guide for recreational and commercial use of drones
Let’s go deeper into Colorado’s drone regulations in this step-by-step tutorial. Take a look at some of the things to keep in mind when using a drone in the Centennial State.
- Fly your drone as low as possible: No higher than 400 feet (122 meters) — and clear of any impediments.
- Weight: If the drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (25 kilograms), it must be registered.
- Registration: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversees the registration process. You are required to supply details like your full name, residential address, email address, and others.
- Identification: You will also have an identification number for your aircraft after you acquire the certificate of aircraft registration and your confirmation of ownership. This number needs to be prominently displayed on your UAV at all times.
- Flying Guidelines: Drones shouldn’t be flown over openly exposed people or moving vehicles. Avoid flying in close proximity to helicopters and other low-flying aircraft.
Additionally, this implies that you shouldn’t obstruct operations involving manned aircraft. Finally, you should always keep your drone in your line of sight.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the agency in charge of enforcing drone laws, both nationally and in Colorado. You can contact the FAA to get accurate information about drone flying in Colorado.
Colorado’s federal drone regulations
These drone regulations were made by the federal government and are applicable to all 50 states in the United States, including Colorado and the city of Denver.
Any drone pilot planning to fly a drone in the city of Denver must comply with the requirements of the FAA’s Part 107 Small UAS Rule (Part 107), which includes completing the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test to get a Remote Pilot Certificate in order to fly a drone as a commercial pilot in the state of Colorado (i.e., for work or business reasons).
The FAA mandates that you pass the Recreational UAS Safety Test before you can fly a drone recreationally in the state of Colorado (i.e., for fun or enjoyment) (TRUST).
You must also abide by the recreational model airplane regulations set forth by the FAA. One of those regulations states that you must register your drone (at a cost of $5) if it weighs more than 0.55 lbs (250g).
Additional guidelines apply to airspace, height, maintaining line-of-sight when flying your drone, and more.
The FAA’s Part 107 rule and a federal Certificate of Authorization (COA) are both options for using a drone as a government employee in the state of Colorado (such as for a police or fire agency).
The first thing to realize is that, in accordance with federal FAA regulations, you are either operating recreationally or commercially when flying a drone in Denver (or any other city, for that matter).
The FAA’s recreational flyer regulations, which are outlined below, apply to recreational drone operators. As required by the FAA, make sure your aircraft is registered and that you pass the Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST).
Commercial drone operators are subject to FAA Part 107 regulations, which provide for completing a multiple-choice exam and earning a drone pilot certification from the FAA.
When flying within five miles of an airport, drone operators no longer need to independently contact air traffic control.
Instead, to obtain airspace authorization to fly in regulated airspace near and above many airports, both commercial and leisure fliers can use the automated LAANC system.
You must apply for airspace authorization if you are operating in Class B, C, D, or E controlled airspace. In places where LAANC is unavailable, you can do this through FAADroneZone or LAANC.
State Drone Laws in Colorado
The Colorado General Assembly passed these drone regulations, which are applicable to the entire state of Colorado.
There are several state-wide regulations governing drones in Colorado, according to the Colorado General Assembly, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Code of Colorado Regulations 406-0, Article IV, Section C
It is unlawful to use a drone to aid in looking for, scouting, or detecting wildlife for hunting.
HB 1070 / 2017
The Center of Excellence within the Department of Public Safety is required by this law to conduct a study to ascertain how to integrate UAS within local and state government.
Additionally, this law establishes a pilot program that requires the deployment of at least one team of UAS commanders to a state area that has been classified as a fire incident, where they will receive training on how to use UAS for the above-mentioned purposes.
State Parks of Colorado Regulation #100-c.24
Drone use is prohibited in Colorado State Parks under this rule, with the exception of certain places. Cherry Creek State Park and Chatfield State Park have model airfields that are designated sites for drone use.
Drone operators have previously been given special usage permissions by several parks, such as Staunton State Park, usually just for business purposes. Contact the park you want to fly in if you need a special usage permit.
The FAA’s Part 107 regulations apply to all drone operators in the state of Colorado.
Places to fly a drone near Denver, CO
Here are our top recommendations for where to fly a drone in the Denver region. These places were chosen because of their accessibility, airspace constraints, and tourist attractions.
You’ll discover that the majority of the spots we’ve picked are situated in unregulated Class G airspace, where flying is allowed without a permit.
We also made sure to draw attention to any areas with recognized sUAS/remote aircraft fields.
West Florida Avenue and Kipling Parkway, Lakewood, Colorado 80226
Class G — Uncontrolled Airspace
Just outside of Denver, Colorado, near Lakewood, is where you’ll find the East Reservoir. It is set on 14 acres and offers breathtaking views of the reservoirs nearby and the distant mountains.
This place is perfect for capturing the splendor of Denver and its surroundings because of the lake’s walking track and several wide-open spaces.
Suhaka Model Airfield (AMA)
Englewood, Colorado, 80111, Model Airfield Access
Airspace Class: Class D — Controlled
In Englewood, Colorado’s Cherry Creek State Park, the Suhaka Field is an AMA field. The Denver R/C Eagles, who have been in business since 1960, are responsible for managing and running the airfield.
Due to the AMA field’s location in Class D airspace, attention to aviation traffic and safety is crucial. The fixed-wing airspace and the multi-rotor airspace are divided up into separate parts of the property.
The Cherry Creek Reservoir and its surroundings can be seen from the airfields. Drone operators will value the defined flight space and stunning surroundings.
Chatfield State Park RC Field
Littleton, Colorado 80125, 11500 N Roxborough Park Rd.
Airspace Class: Uncontrolled, Class G
Just outside of Denver, Colorado, in Littleton, is where you’ll find Chatfield State Park RC Field. The Jeffco Aeromodelors RC Club is in charge of managing the airfield.
The 3,889-acre park property includes the 1,423-acre Chatfield Reservoir. The reservoir’s size was increased as of 2017. Beautiful views of the mountains to the east of the area may be found in the park.
Drone operators wishing to capture breathtaking views will find the free space to be excellent.
Colorado’s drone regulations could change. This article was only for informational purposes and not as a replacement for legal counsel. Make sure to visit the FAA website, and the websites of the relevant departments or speak with an attorney for further details about drone laws in Colorado.