Can I Fly a Drone in My Neighborhood in the USA

Yes, you can fly a drone in your neighborhood. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US, does not prohibit the flying of drones in neighborhoods. However, there are regulations to follow and consideration of your neighbors should be a priority when operating a drone in a residential area.

Hello friends! My name is Lavelle and I am a professional drone pilot and a long-time drone enthusiast. For more than a decade now, I have been flying drones recreationally and professionally and I have come across many instances when flying a drone in a neighborhood has been an issue of concern.

In this article, I will cover some of the helpful tips that I use to communicate my drone operations to neighbors and I will also provide some guidance from the FAA’s website regarding drone use.

Key Takeaways

  • It is important to be respectful of neighbors and their property.
  • When flying a drone in your neighborhood, fly safely and observe all FAA guidelines.
  • Before flying, check to see if there are any restricted airspace areas nearby, such as airports or military bases.

Where Can I Fly a Drone in the USA

You can fly a drone in your backyard, neighborhood, and even over private property. However, it is always a good idea to check the federal and local laws to see if there are any restrictions in the area where you intend to fly.

According to the FAA guidelines, drones are permitted to be flown up to 400 feet in the air. Drones should not be flown over people or animals and should not pose a nuisance to the general public. 

Here are a few of the highlights regarding restricted flying areas from the FAA guidelines:

  • Near Airports
  • Stadiums and Sporting Events
  • Restricted Air Spaces such as military bases and federal facilities
  • Over emergency or rescue operations
  • Washington, D.C.

All drones should be registered with the FAA on their website.

How to Fly in Your Neighborhood in the USA

Below you will find some tips for flying a drone in your neighborhood.

1. Inform Your Neighbors

The neighborly thing to do first is to inform your neighbors. Communicating your intentions to your neighbors alleviates many of the misunderstandings that are associated with flying a drone in a neighborhood. 

When neighbors are informed, they are less likely to feel intruded upon or nervous about someone “spying” on them. I’ve experienced many instances where the neighbors enjoy seeing the drone fly and partake in the excitement of the moment.

2. Fly Safe

The next and perhaps the most important consideration when flying your drone in a neighborhood is to be safe! 

Observe common protocols such as not flying too close to people or animals. Do not fly too close to houses, buildings, or other private structures. Be aware of where automobiles are parked and do not fly too close to them.

3. Don’t Annoy Your Neighbors

As you practice safe flying habits, be sure to not damage anyone’s personal property. DO NOT SPY on anyone and avoid being perceived as an annoyance to your neighbors. Again, communication is the key!

4. Don’t Break the Law

Above all else, be sure to follow FAA guidelines and not break any applicable laws.

What to Do When Your Neighbor Has a Drone

Here are a few helpful tips when your neighbor has a drone and is bothering you.

Contact Your Neighbor

If your neighbor has a drone and is not following established protocols or simply annoying you, the best thing to do is to communicate cordially with them. Let them know that you are concerned about the drone flying near your home. 

Action for Private Cause

If you cannot communicate effectively with the drone operator or are not able to locate them, get any pertinent information about the drone for authorities. Look for the drone registration number, the approximate size, and the color of the aircraft, and take photos of the drone if you can.

In most instances, simple communication will ease any concerns. Most of the time, drone operators are not intending to be a nuisance and they simply want to enjoy their craft. You might find that you and your neighbor have common interests and can find common ground to stand on.


Below are a few answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about drones flying in neighborhoods.

Can You Fly a Drone Over Residential Houses?

Yes, you can fly your drone over residential houses. However, proceed with caution and follow all applicable laws.

Can You Fly a Drone Anywhere in the US?

No, all areas of the US are not permitted drone flying spaces. Places such as national parks, near airports, military facilities, and sporting events are some of the restricted flying areas in the US. For more information, visit the FAA website here.

How Do I Stop Drones in My Neighborhood?

Attempt to communicate with the drone operator. If that attempt is not successful, contact local authorities or file a complaint on the FAA website here.

Final Thoughts

Drones are a great hobby for many people. However, if not flown properly, they can become a nuisance at times and may present a danger to others. Drone operators should follow all applicable laws and should always fly their drones while giving respect to neighbors. 

Do you often fly a drone over your neighborhood? Have you ever had any issues with that? Share your experience in the comments below.

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