Information on Drones

An Unmanned Aircraft System, commonly referred to as a drone, is an aircraft without a pilot onboard controlled from an operator on the ground. It is the responsibility of the drone operator to understand and abide by the rules established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Federal law requires drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds that are flown outdoors to be registered with the FAA and marked with an FAA-issued registration number.  Owners of drones can register their aircraft online at https://registermyuas.faa.gov/.  Please note: When operating a drone you must have the FAA registration certificate in your possession. If you fly a drone indoors, you do not need to register your drone. However, when flying in public, as well as in your own yard or over your property, you will need to register your drone with the FAA if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds.

The City of Irvine does not regulate the operation of drones in the City. Drones are permitted to be flown in City parks, recognizing it is the responsibility of every pilot to understand and abide by FAA regulations. Pilots who operate drones for commercial/work purposes (e.g. photography, inspections, real estate, aerial surveying, etc.) are required to obtain an Irvine Business License.  

For more information, resources and rules associated with flying drones, please visit the Federal Aviation Administration’s website at https://www.faa.gov/uas/. The FAA also sponsors a free “B4UFLY” (Before You Fly) smartphone app to help drone operators determine whether there are any restrictions or requirements in effect at the location where they want to fly. The app can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding the operation of drones in the City of Irvine, please contact Special Assistant to the Chief of Police Dan Jung at 949-724-7209 or djung@ci.irvine.ca.us. To report an emergency related to the operation of a drone, please contact Irvine Police Dispatch at 911 or 949-724-7200.