Drone Laws In Rhode Island | 5 Best Places

Rhode Island is the small state but it offers many places such as Fort Adams State Park, Castle Hill Lighthouse, Roger Williams Park, and Rose Island to fly your drones. In Rhode Island, known for its beautiful landscapes and history, there are federal, state and local drone laws for safe flight. Before flying drone you must be familiar with drone laws in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island drone enthusiasts must follow laws and regulations carefully. Using drones in state parks without a permit is not allowed to protect natural areas and ensure visitor safety. Flying over certain parts of Narragansett is restricted to respect privacy and property boundaries. Pilots must follow Part 107 rules to comply with federal regulations on airspace, safety, and operational guidelines.

Understanding and following Rhode island drone rules promotes responsible drone use and benefits both operators and the public.

Federal Drone Laws

Federal Rhode Island drone laws are created by the Federal government that applies to the every state in US including Rhode Island:

Recreational Drone Pilots

Recreational drone pilots in Rhode Island must adhere to federal drone laws, including following the FAA Part 107 rules. It is essential for drone operators to have a TRUST certificate, which demonstrates their understanding of safety guidelines and regulations.

Recreational drone pilots are required to register their drones with the FAA if it weighs 0.55 pounds or more. By ensuring compliance with these federal drone laws, recreational drone pilots fly drones in Rhode island and contribute to a safer and more responsible drone flying community.

Agency Drone Pilots

These laws are strict, requiring all agency drone pilots to either obtain a COA or follow the FAA’s Part 107 rules. This ensures that drones are operated safely and responsibly within the state.

Agency drone pilots must be aware of the regulations and guidelines set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration to avoid any legal repercussions.

Commercial Drone Pilots

Commercial drone pilots in Rhode Island must comply with the FAA’s Part 107 rules, which include special requirements for operating drones for commercial purposes. You have to register your drone with the FAA and carry a Remote Pilot Certificate if operating commercially.

This certificate acts as a license for commercial pilots and demonstrates that the pilot has knowledge of airspace regulations and safety protocols. It’s important to note that the Remote Pilot Certificate expires after two years, requiring pilots to undergo recurrent training and pass a recurrent knowledge test to renew their certification.

Local Drone Laws

These drone laws are created by the authorities in the state that applies to the certain region, state, cities or countries within the state of Rhode Island:

Town of Narragansett – Municipal Ordinance // 2016

The recent drone laws implemented in the Town of Narragansett under Municipal Ordinance 2016 have sparked a debate among residents and technology enthusiasts. The prohibition on deploying drones within 500 feet over the Town Beach during beach season reflects concerns about privacy, safety, and potential disruptions to beachgoers’ experience.

The restriction on flying drones over public parks, roads, and facilities during large venue special events highlights efforts to ensure the smooth functioning of these communal spaces without unnecessary intrusions.

Drone Laws In Rhode Island

State Drone Laws

These drone laws are created by the Rhode Island general assembly that applies to the whole state of Rhode Island:

HB 7511 // 2016

With this law, Rhode Island asserts its exclusive legal power to regulate remotely controlled flying objects, including drones, that operate autonomously through software-controlled flight plans. This move underscores the state’s commitment to ensuring safe and responsible use of drones within its borders while complying with federal laws governing airspace management.

By granting legal authority to both the state government and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, HB 7511 aims to strike a balance between supporting innovation and safeguarding public safety.

Title 250 – Park and Management Area Rules and Regulations // 2019

In Rhode Island, the State Drone Law under Title 250 Park and Management Area Rules and Regulations for 2019 strictly prohibits the operation of drones within any state park without a special use permit.

While this may seem restrictive, it is crucial for maintaining the safety and preservation of these natural areas. Issuance of special use permits is currently limited to professional film companies and news organizations, indicating a controlled approach to drone usage within the parks.

This law highlights the importance of respecting both users and wildlife within these state parks. It specifically mentions that drone operations should not harass or disturb any individuals or natural resources present in these areas.

These are our top 5 pickup places to fly a drone in Rhode Island:

Scituate Reservoir

With its expansive 5.3 square mile surface area, drone enthusiasts can capture stunning panoramic views and breathtaking landscapes from above. The reservoir’s interconnectedness with six tributary reservoirs provides endless opportunities for capturing dynamic shots that showcase the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

Exploring the former sites of five villages and Rockland Cemetery through aerial photography can uncover hidden historical gems and offer a glimpse into the region’s rich past. The presence of over 1,500 graves in Rockland Cemetery adds an intriguing layer to the landscape, inviting drone pilots to capture poignant and evocative images that merge history with nature.


Rhode Island’s Newport offers a picturesque setting for drone enthusiasts, with its stunning coastal landscapes and historic architecture. The best places to capture aerial footage is at The Breakers, a magnificent Gilded Age mansion that exudes opulence and grandeur.

With its Italian Renaissance-style architecture, flying a drone above this iconic landmark provides a unique perspective on its beauty and sheer scale. For those looking to explore Newport’s natural beauty from above, the 3.5-mile long Cliff Walk offers an excellent opportunity to capture breathtaking views of the coastline and beaches.

The scenic 10-mile Ocean Drive provides ample flying grounds for capturing panoramic shots of the ocean and shoreline.

Drone Laws In Rhode Island

Point Judith Lighthouse

From high above, you can capture the mesmerizing sight of the ocean waves crashing against the rugged rocks in front of the historic octagonal brick building dating back to 1816.

The contrast between the deep blue waters and the weathered facade of the lighthouse creates a cinematic backdrop for aerial photography and videography enthusiasts. As your drone soars over Point Judith Lighthouse, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Narragansett Bay stretching out before you, dotted with sailboats and fishing vessels.

The dynamic interplay between land and sea is beautifully showcased from this vantage point, allowing you to appreciate Rhode Island’s natural beauty in a whole new light.


You can fly a drone in Providence is Prospect Terrace Park, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city. From this vantage point, you can capture stunning shots of the skyline and the historic Roger Williams statue that overlooks downtown. The park’s elevated location provides an ideal backdrop for aerial photography and videography, making it a popular spot for drone enthusiasts.

Another must-visit location for flying drones in Providence is India Point Park, located along the waterfront. This expansive park offers ample space to maneuver your drone while capturing scenic views of the Providence River and skyline.

Watch Hill

Located in this affluent coastal village, Napatree Point offers breathtaking views of the ocean from its round sandy beach. As a wildlife preserve, it attracts migratory birds, making it important to be mindful and respectful of their presence while flying your drone.

Capture stunning aerial footage around the iconic lighthouse and its surrounding buildings for a unique perspective of this charming area.

Understanding and following drone laws in Rhode Island is important for safe and legal drone operation. By knowing the rules from the FAA and local authorities, you can fly your drone responsibly while respecting others’ privacy and safety. The 5 best places in this guide offer great views and landscapes for drone enthusiasts.

What are the Penalties for Violating Drone Laws in Rhode Island?

Violating drone laws can result in fines, confiscation of your drone, and potentially criminal charges.

Do I need Insurance to fly a Drone Legally in Rhode Island?

While it’s not required by law, having liability insurance for your drone can protect you financially in case of accidents or damage caused by your device.

How High can I fly my Drone in Rhode Island?

The maximum allowable altitude for flying drones in Rhode Island is 400 feet above ground level.

Jaweria Malik

Leave a Comment