Can You Fly A Drone In Pittsburgh? | Top 5 Places To Fly Drone

Pittsburgh is a city with a blend of old and new, featuring rivers and a skyline that reflect its history and modernity. The city has both traditional neighborhoods and high-tech companies, making it a hub of innovation in Pennsylvania. Tech enthusiasts and hobbyists often wonder Can you fly a drone in Pittsburgh? The answer is yes, you can fly drones in Pittsburgh.

You can fly your drone in Pittsburgh because Pennsylvania laws allow it. You can’t use a drone in a state park, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources and the Bureau of State Parks.

Only a handful of state parks in Pennsylvania allow drone usage, including:

  • Benjamin Rush State Park
  • Hillman State Park
  • Prompton State Park
  • Tuscarora State Park
  • Beltzville State Park

Pittsburgh has many state parks nearby, but none of them are on the approved list. Stay away from:

  • Point State Park
  • Cherry Springs State Park
  • Ohiopyle State Park
  • McConnells Mill State Park
  • Moraine State Park

You can’t fly near Pittsburgh airports, including:

  • Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in nearby Latrobe
  • Allegheny County Airport in nearby West Mifflin
  • Pittsburgh NorthEast Airport in nearby Tarentum
  • Pittsburgh International Airport
Can You Fly A Drone In Pittsburgh?

By following FAA regulations you can fly drones on these spots:

Boyce Mayview Park

Boyce Mayview Park, situated in Upper St. Clair and South Fayette townships near Pittsburgh, is a hidden gem for drone enthusiasts. This expansive park spans 238 acres and offers a diverse landscape perfect for capturing stunning aerial footage.

Nestled within this expansive green space is the renowned Miracle Field, home to the Miracle League. It would help if you went far from busy places and sports fields to find peaceful trails with beautiful natural scenery that drone lovers will enjoy.

Allegheny RiverTrail Park

For drone enthusiasts seeking dynamic shots, the park’s playground area presents an opportunity to capture lively scenes of children playing and families enjoying outdoor activities. It is important to note that you shouldn’t operate your drone during any live events held at the park to ensure safety and respect for others.

Lake Elizabeth

Lake Elizabeth is a highlight of the Allegheny River Trail Park since 1868. This historic park was upgraded in the late 1960s by an architectural firm. Fly low along the bridge that stretches across the lake to capture detailed shots of its intricate architecture, or soar high above to showcase the entire V-shaped layout from a bird’s eye view.

Capture the changing seasons above as vibrant spring blooms give way to lush summer foliage, then transform into fiery autumn hues reflected in the water below. A blanket of snow in winter creates a serene yet captivating scene perfect for capturing unique aerial shots.

Millvale Riverfront Park

Just a 10-minute drive from downtown Pittsburgh lies the scenic Millvale Riverfront Park, a hidden gem for drone enthusiasts seeking stunning aerial views. Spanning 1.7 miles along the Allegheny River, drone pilots can witness incredible views of the water shimmering under the sunlight, with boats lazily drifting along its surface, creating mesmerizing patterns.

South Shore Riverfront Park and Trail

Spanning from 25th Street to 29th Street, this expansive park covers 3.4 acres of green space, making it an ideal location for flying drones with ample room to explore different angles and perspectives.

This park, opened in 2012, provides a unique blend of urban and natural beauty along the Monongahela River. As you soar above the trail, keep your distance from crowds and respect other park visitors enjoying their time along the riverfront.

are drones legal in pa

Drone enthusiasts must adhere to strict drone regulations Pennsylvania when operating their unmanned aerial vehicles. Make sure you are following the drone laws in PA:

Do Not Fly Your Drone Without A License

Breaking Pittsburgh’s drone rules can result in hefty fines and legal trouble. It is crucial to get a license before flying. Hobbyists must pass The Recreational UAS Safety Test to know air safety rules and fly responsibly. Commercial pilots must pass the Part 107 exam to use drones for business in the city.

Checking your license before going to Pittsburgh can save time and stress, letting you focus on getting great aerial footage. Remember, your pilot certificate expires every two years, so keep it updated.

All Commercial Drones Must Be Registered

All commercial drones must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This registration process helps to ensure safe and responsible drone operation within city limits.

Registering a commercial drone is just $5, a small price to pay for the privilege of operating an unmanned aerial vehicle in the vibrant cityscape of Pittsburgh. Operators need to understand that registrations are valid for three years.

Recreational Drones Over 0.55 Pounds Must Be Registered

Depending upon drone weight, hobbyists aren’t necessarily exempt from registering their drones. As of recent regulations, individuals flying recreational drones in Pittsburgh that weigh or surpass 0.55 pounds are required to register their devices. There’s a loophole for those with drones weighing less than 0.55 pounds – they can forego the registration process altogether.

Do Not Fly Your Drone Over 400 Feet

Pittsburgh drone rules strictly state that flying your drone over 400 feet is prohibited. This limitation ensures safety and prevents potential hazards in the airspace. When launching your drone, watch your altitude keenly and keep it under that 400-foot mark.

Don’t Operate Your Drone Faster Than 100 Miles Per Hour

The rule regarding flying drones in Pittsburgh is clear: do not exceed 100 miles per hour. This guideline is not just for fun; the FAA expects drone operators to fly responsibly and monitor their speed closely. By adhering to this limit, you’re complying with regulations and ensuring the safety of people and property around you.

Don’t Fly Closer Than Five Miles To An Airport

Drones should not be flown closer than five miles from an airport. Flying a drone near an airport can pose serious risks, such as interference with aircraft navigation systems or even collisions with planes during takeoff or landing. By giving manned aircraft the right of way, drone pilots can help prevent potential mid-air collisions and maintain a harmonious airspace.

Do Not Use Your Drone In Inclement Weather

The unpredictable nature of Pittsburgh’s weather, with frequent snowstorms, heavy rains, icy conditions, and foggy mornings, can pose significant risks for drone operators. Strong winds or hail can also compromise the stability and control of your drone, potentially leading to accidents or damage.

best places to fly drones in pennsylvania

Can you fly a drone in Pittsburgh? Pittsburgh offers a vibrant and diverse landscape for drone enthusiasts to explore. Its numerous parks and outdoor areas provide plenty of opportunities to capture stunning aerial shots and videos. It is important to remember the restrictions in place around military bases and airports to ensure safe and legal drone operations. By following guidelines and regulations, drone pilots can fully enjoy the beauty of Pittsburgh from above.

Can I fly a drone in Pittsburgh without any prior experience? 

No, you must have some level of experience and knowledge to safely operate a drone in Pittsburgh.

What should I do if my drone crashes on private property in Bellevue, PA?

Contact the property owner immediately and offer compensation for any damages caused by the crash.

Can I fly my drone at night in Pittsburgh?

Nighttime drone flights are allowed but require proper lighting and adherence to safety regulations.

Jaweria Malik

Leave a Comment