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HomeDrone NewsCan You Fly Drones in Zilker Park? – Droneblog

Can You Fly Drones in Zilker Park? – Droneblog

Zilker Metropolitan Park in south Austin is a 350-acre park that hosts main occasions just like the Zilker Park Kite Pageant and the Austin Metropolis Limits Music Pageant.

Can You Fly a Drone in Zilker Park

It’s a must-see a part of any Austin journey, however are you able to fly your drone on the park?

You may fly drones in Zilker Park. Industrial pilots should receive a allow from the Austin Police. Pilots are anticipated to comply with the park’s rules and FAA guidelines when working.

This information will current all the knowledge you must know to function a drone in Zilker Park.

Ensure you hold studying, particularly when you’ve got a visit to Austin deliberate quickly!

Are you able to fly drones in Zilker Park?

Drones can function in Zilker Park, topic to momentary flight restrictions resembling when a serious occasion just like the Austin Metropolis Limits happens. Leisure and business pilots can function right here, however business pilots will need to have a allow.

The Austin Police Division issued this Coaching Announcement in 2017 that outlines its coverage on drones:

“Officers shouldn’t focus their enforcement efforts on drones flying safely in public locations, or over non-public property the place the drone operator has permission to function. There are a selection of various situations, nevertheless, the place drone operation:

  • (1) presents a possible hazard to public security;
  • (2) violates non-public property rights or non-public pursuits;
  • (3) or interferes with professional legislation enforcement operations. It’s in these conditions that officers ought to think about enforcement motion. Officers who encounter drones being utilized in these conditions ought to use the title code ‘Drone Concerned #4208’ for monitoring repeat offenders.”

In Part 1, Unsafe Operations of Drones in Public Locations, the Austin Police Division has the next guidelines:

  • “Enforcement will probably be primarily centered on the unsafe operation of drones over or close to occasions with numerous individuals, resembling sporting occasions, races, outside concert events, and different particular occasions. Officers might also reply to studies of unsafe drone operation in different conditions. Examples would possibly embody flying a drone:
    • close to buildings, individuals, motor autos, or animals;
    • exterior of the operator’s line of sight;
    • within the neighborhood of different plane
  • Officers might implement the next Metropolis Code provisions – violation of which is a category C misdemeanor–once they observe unsafe drone operation in public locations, together with drones working over crowds:
    • Part 13-1-14(B)(3)(Prohibited Acts): ‘The operator of an plane might not: (3) function an plane in a careless or reckless method that creates a hazard to a different particular person’s well being or property.’
    • Part 13-1-13 (Hazards to Air Navigation): ‘If requested to take action by an airport official or police officer appearing on the route of the air site visitors controller or the director (of the Aviation Division), an individual within the company limits of town should instantly take away a hazard to air navigation, together with a kite, balloon, mannequin plane, radio-controlled plane, or different related machine or object.’
  • If an officer observes a drone working inside 5 miles of the airport, they could contact an air site visitors management or aviation division official to find out if the flight is permitted. If requested by the airport official, an officer might require a drone operator to land a drone.
  • Officers shouldn’t: Implement Metropolis Code provisions, together with § 13-1-11, that require an airman’s certificates, or a certificates of airworthiness, for operation of a drone.”

In Part 2, Drones on Non-public Property, the principles are as follows:

  • “State legislation prohibits people from utilizing drones to surveil non-public property or sure vital public infrastructure.
  • Texas Gov’t Code Chapter 423 creates an offense (class C misdemeanor) if an individual makes use of a drone to ‘seize a picture of a person or privately owned actual property…with the intent to conduct surveillance on the person or property captured within the picture.’ TEX. GOV’T CODE § 423.003(a).
  • It’s a class B misdemeanor for an individual to reveal, distribute, or show a picture or video taken in violation of part 423.003 TEX. GOV’T CODE § 423.004. It’s a protection to prosecution if the drone operator destroys the pictures captured upon being knowledgeable that capturing the pictures violates the legislation. Regardless, law enforcement officials ought to NOT destroy photos captured by a drone.
  • Texas Gov’t Code Chapter 423 additionally makes it an offense to function a drone over a ‘vital infrastructure facility’ (e.g., electrical energy facility or a water therapy plant) at an altitude of lower than 400 ft, or in a fashion that interferes with the power, except the particular person has prior written consent or (if a business drone) consent from the FAA to function within the airspace.”

Part 3, Drones Interfering with Legislation Enforcement, outlines the next guidelines:

  • “Officers ought to NOT detain a drone operator who’s safely utilizing a drone to file police in a public place, performing legislation enforcement duties, from a protected distance that’s exterior any cordoned-off or restricted space, UNLESS officers can articulate particular info to exhibit that:
    • the drone operator is in violation of one of many legal guidelines cited above;
    • the drone operator is interfering with or impeding a legislation enforcement operation in violation of Texas Penal Code § 38.15; or
    • the drone operator, by flying the drone within the neighborhood of an emergency or accident scene, is interfering with legislation enforcement, fire-fighting, or rescue efforts and refuses to adjust to the route of the on-scene authority (together with law enforcement officials accountable for the scene) or air site visitors controller, in violation of Austin Metropolis Code § 13-1-16
  • Examples of when a drone could also be interfering with, disrupting, or impeding legislation enforcement or emergency responders embody:
    • the drone is working within a cordoned-off crime or accident scene that’s not accessible to the general public;
    • there’s a police or emergency helicopter within the neighborhood;
    • the drone is fairly believed to be able to streaming dwell video (this perception could also be developed by interviewing the operator, prior expertise with the operator, or by counting on info developed by different officers, who, for instance, observe the dwell web stream) and is monitoring a police pursuit, a SWAT deployment, or a seek for a fleeing suspect; or
    • the drone is flying so near officers or different emergency responders that it’s disrupting operations or inserting the officers or emergency responders at risk drones can disrupt or pose a hazard to officers or different emergency responders with their lights, noise, or proximity (drones might lose management and their rotor blades could cause accidents).
    • Officers making an arrest for interference or impeding ought to be capable of articulate particular info to exhibit how the drone negatively affected emergency or legislation enforcement operations.”

Part 4, Seizure of Drones as Proof, states that:

  • “Drones could also be or comprise (usually within the type of saved video) proof of against the law. Accordingly, in acceptable circumstances, they could be topic to look and seizure by police.
  • Officers ought to adhere to ADP Coverage 306 when looking or seizing a drone.
  • Officers who fairly consider {that a} drone is proof or accommodates proof of against the law should get permission from their supervisor earlier than looking or seizing a drone.”

By the way in which, in Texas, a Class B misdemeanor can result in fines of $2,000, 180 days in jail, and probably each. A Class C misdemeanor leads to a high-quality of $500 and no jailtime.

Austin, Texas guidelines and rules for flying a drone

The above guidelines are simply scratching the floor. Let’s go over Austin’s drone utilization legal guidelines.

Restrict drone utilization round bats and wildlife

The Austin Police Division has these guidelines for utilizing a drone round bats:

“Below state legislation and the State of Texas Administrative Code Title 5, Subtitle B, Chapters 63.101, 65.151 and 152 and 42.1095 – the next applies as famous in legislation:

  • The operation of drones/unmanned plane are hazardous to wildlife/the bat inhabitants. Below State Legislation, Wildlife might NOT be photographed by a drone/unmanned plane with out State of Texas authorization. Bats might NOT be hunted (killed) or harmed.
  • Besides with permits issued by Texas Parks & Wildlife Division (the division), the usage of drones to hunt (kill), drive, seize, take, rely or {photograph} any wildlife is illegal. This contains positioned wounded animals as properly. Permits required from the division are an Aerial Administration Allow (AMP) and a Land Proprietor Authorization (LOA). Division guidelines are adopted below the framework and tips of the Federal Airborne Searching Act.”

Keep away from no-fly zones

Whereas you should utilize a drone in Zilker Park, the next elements of Austin are no-fly zones:

  • Texas State parks except with prior permission
  • Texas Capital Grounds
  • Darrell Okay Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium
  • Energy stations and dams, together with Tom Miller Dam and Mansfield Dam
  • Circuit of the Americas
  • Camp Mabry Army Base
  • Austin-Bergstrom Worldwide Airport

Additional, Texas state legislation HB 1424, enacted in 2017, prohibits pilots from flying over vital infrastructure, detention services, and correctional services.

HB 1481 provides to the checklist, together with focused services resembling rubber or chemical manufacturing services, fuel or oil pipelines, nuclear electrical energy technology services, pure fuel technology services, electrical technology services, and alumina or petroleum refineries.

You may obtain a Class B misdemeanor for violating the principles in HB 1481!

Don’t overlook to comply with all FAA tips when working a drone in Zilker Park, together with:

  • Don’t fly your drone greater than 400 ft from the bottom
  • Have a sound drone license
  • Register your drone if it weighs greater than 0.55 kilos or flying it commercially
  • Don’t fly at night time except with prior permission
  • Don’t function your drone over crowds or shifting autos
  • Solely use your drone in clear climate


Zilker Park in Austin permits drone use, making it a improbable place to go to and soak up some wonderful sights. Ensure you comply with native ordinances and FAA tips to have a enjoyable, protected expertise!



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