Skip to Main Content
Banner Image
ESR & Bethany Resources
Friends Collection & College Archives
Facilities & Services
Library Home

Drones and UAVs

Rules and Regulations

Indiana General Assembly, Indiana has five state-wide laws concerning the use of drones in the state.

SB 299 // 2017This law creates new criminal offenses related to the use of drones by “sex offenders" and “public safety remote aerial interference offense” 
HB 1013 // 2016This law allows the use of drones to photograph or take video of a traffic crash site.
HB 1246 // 2016
This law prohibits the use of UAS to scout game during hunting season.
HB 1009 // 2014
This law creates warrant requirements and exceptions for the police use of drones and real time geo-location tracking devices. This law also creates the crime of “Unlawful Photography and Surveillance on Private Property” 
IAC 312 8-2-8 (i) // 2018
This law prohibits the use of drones on Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) property such as state parks, natural and recreational areas.

Key Operating Rules for Flying Drones

“Key operating rules"
​Source: (Extracted Aug 1, 2019)

"Detail rules (here):

  • Obtain a remote pilot certificate from the FAA or operate within the programming of a community-based organization such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).
  • Register with the FAA at
  • Must fly under 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if flying at an altitude higher than 400 feet AGL, stay within 400 feet of a structure
  • Must keep the UAS in sight (i.e. visual line of sight), either by the remote pilot in command or a visual observer*
  • Must fly during daylight hours* or civil twilight hours (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) with appropriate anti-collision lighting
  • Must fly at or below 100 mph*
  • Must yield right of way to manned aircraft*
  • Must not fly over people be at least 25 feet away from individuals*
  • Must not fly from a moving vehicle unless you are in a sparsely populated area*”
  • Contact the airport and control tower before flying within five miles of an airport or heliport. (Read about best practices below)
  • Ensure the operating environment is safe and that the operator is competent and proficient in the operation of the sUAS.
  • Do not fly in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.
  • Do not fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Do not conduct surveillance or photograph persons in areas where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual’s permission (see AMA’s privacy policy)
  • Do not fly near or over sensitive infrastructure or property such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, government facilities, etc.

Note: Users of commercial and recreational UAS should be aware that in remote, rural and agricultural areas, manned aircraft, including fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, may be operating very close to ground level. Pilots conducting agricultural, firefighting, law enforcement, emergency medical, wildlife survey operations and a variety of other services all legally and routinely work in low-level airspace. Operators controlling UAS in these areas should maintain situational awareness, give way to, and remain a safe distance from these low-level, manned airplanes and helicopters.


“Guidelines for Neighborly Drone Use:

  • If you can, tell other people you’ll be taking pictures or video of them before you do so.
  • If you think someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy, don’t violate that privacy by taking pictures, video, or otherwise gathering sensitive data, unless you’ve got a very good reason.
  • Don’t fly over other people’s private property without permission if you can easily avoid doing so.
  • Don’t gather personal data for no reason, and don’t keep it for longer than you think you have to.
  • If you keep sensitive data about other people, secure it against loss or theft.
  • If someone asks you to delete personal data about him or her that you’ve gathered, do so, unless you’ve got a good reason not to.
  • If anyone raises privacy, security, or safety concerns with you, try and listen to what they have to say, as long as they’re polite and reasonable about it.
  • Don’t harass people with your drone.

Important Note: the best practices do not apply to news-gatherers and news reporting organizations, which are protected by U.S. law and the First Amendment to the Constitution. These organizations should operate under the ethics rules and standards of their organization, and according to existing federal and state laws.”

Earlham College • 801 National Road West • Richmond, Indiana 47374-4095