Can You Fly a Drone at the Beach?

Yes, you can fly your drone at the beach. There are some restrictions, so be sure to check your local rules and regulations regarding drone usage in public spaces. 

Hello, fellow drone enthusiasts! My name is Lavelle and I am a professional drone owner and operator. Over the past decade, I have been flying drones for professional and recreational uses and many of my drone expeditions have taken place at the beach.

In this article, I will address the topic of flying your drone at the beach and provide some tips for doing so.

Key Takeaways

  • When flying at a public or private beach, avoid flying directly over crowds of people.
  • Sand can damage your drone, so make sure to prepare the launch and landing site.
  • Check the wind conditions in advance.

Can You Fly a Drone at the Beach

As I mentioned before, you are allowed to fly your drone at the beach. However, there are restrictions regarding the height of flights and flying over people. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) restricts drones from flying above 400 feet in the air. Additionally, the FAA requires drones that are flown in public spaces to not fly over moving people or over animals.

It is important to always keep your drone within your line of sight and to fly in open spaces at the beach. It is often tempting to catch aerial footage of people on the beach, but it is advised that you do so from an angle that does not pose a hazard or interfere with public safety.

When You Can Not Fly a Drone at the Beach

You must follow all local laws when flying your drone at a beach. Private beaches do allow open flight, even when people are present, unless otherwise posted. However, public beaches do not allow flight over people or animals. 

Additionally, public beaches may impose other restrictions during special events. 

Also, if a public beach is a part of a national park, then you are not allowed to fly in that location unless you obtain a special permit from the national park authorities. Check with local authorities prior to embarking on your flying journey.

Tips for Flying the Drone at the Beach

Here are some helpful tips I’ve gained along my drone flying journey.

1. Follow the Regular FAA Rules and Regulations

The FAA provides specific guidance for flying drones in the US. Be sure to follow all of their regulations to experience your best drone flying adventures.

2. Stay Within the Maximum Height

Don’t fly too low or too high. FAA regulations require that drones are flown at 400 feet or below

3. Keep Your Eyes on a Drone

This is a basic principle for flying drones and should be adhered to for safety reasons. It protects you, others, and your drone.

4. Don’t Fly Too Close to People

Be responsible when flying your drone. Do not fly too close to people or animals. You do not want to invade people’s privacy or space and you do not want to scare them.

5. Try to Start and Land Away from the Sand

If possible, take off and land in a spot that is free of sand on a beach. If no such spot is available, you may consider taking off and landing on a landing pad or from some other stable position. 

Taking off and landing in the sand presents a hazard to you and to others because of the possibility of sand flying in the air.

6. Stay Away from Trees and Buildings

Be cautious and consider staying away from trees and buildings. While many drones have obstacle avoidance technology, it is not always 100% accurate. 

Flying near trees and buildings presents a hazard to your drone and potentially to others. 


Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about flying a drone at beaches.

Are Drones Allowed on Florida Beaches?

There is no federal restriction for flying drones at beaches in Florida and the state of Florida does not have any laws against flying drones. However, it is best to check with the local authorities in the city where the beach is located to ensure that no local laws are violated.

Can a Drone Fly Across the Ocean?

Yes, you can fly your drone across the ocean. The FAA does not prohibit such activities. However, be sure to follow height restrictions and other restrictions relating to waterborne vessels and other federally protected facilities.

Can You Fly a Drone at the Beach in California

Yes, you can fly your drone at beaches in California. Be sure to check with local authorities regarding regulations in whichever city or jurisdiction you are flying in.

Are Drones Allowed in Maui Hawaii?

Hawaii is part of the United States of America and drone activity is governed in all US states by the FAA. You are allowed to fly drones in Maui, Hawaii as long as you adhere to all federal and local laws.

Final Thoughts

Flying drones at beaches is an exhilarating experience. You can enjoy the experience by following all federal, state, and local laws. Most importantly, be safe and respect the privacy of others. 

Have you ever flown a drone on a beach? Do you find my tips accurate or something is missing? Share your experience in the comments below.

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