Virginia HB 2125 and SB 1301 require that a law enforcement agency obtain a warrant before using a drone for any purpose, except in limited circumstances. Virginia’s governor also issued an executive order establishing a commission on unmanned systems.
For further research on Virginia drone flying law visit Virginia General Assembly and search for unmanned aircraft systems, unmanned aerial systems and drones.
Law Summary for HB 2125:
Use of unmanned aircraft systems by public bodies; search warrant required. Replaces the moratorium currently set to expire on July 1, 2015, on the use of unmanned aircraft systems by state and local law-enforcement and regulatory entities, except in defined emergency situations or in training exercises related to such situations, with an absolute prohibition on the use of unmanned aircraft systems by such law-enforcement and regulatory entities unless a search warrant has been obtained prior to such use. The warrant requirement does not apply to
(i) utilization of such systems to support the Commonwealth for purposes other than law enforcement;
(ii) certain search and rescue operations;
(iii) certain Virginia National Guard and United States Armed Forces functions;
(iv) research and development conducted by institutions of higher education or other research organizations; or
(v) the use of unmanned aircraft systems for private, commercial, or recreational use.
Do not forget to always abide by the FAA regulations no matter where you fly.
- Fly your Drone below 400 FT
- Fly with local clubs
- Inspect your aircraft before you fly
- Take a lesson before you fly
- Don’t fly your drone beyond line of sight
- Don’t fly near airports or any manned aircraft
- Don’t fly near people or stadiums
- Don’t be careless or reckless, you could be fined if you endanger people or other aircraft
- Don’t fly anything that weighs more than 55lbs.
- Don’t fly for payment or commercial purposes unless specifically authorized by the FAA