Please refer to the FAA for current information regarding the operation of drones (UAS or UAV)

Drone operators often have questions regarding local and federal rules and regulations regarding the use of drones. We as drone pilots want to be respectful but often have difficulty finding information regarding FAA rules. Learn more about the best places to fly your drone in Sedona, Arizona.

Can I fly my drone within 5 miles of the Sedona airport (SEZ)?

Yes. Please be respectful of air traffic. Be aware that the Sedona airport authority has no legal authority to regulate the airport’s airspace. The Sedona-Oak Creek Airport website unclearly explains that small uncommercial drones can be operated within 5 miles of the airport on their website (link).

The Sedona Airport is in uncontrolled airspace. Your drone must remain under 400’ above the ground; prior authorization is not required within 5 miles of SEZ. When flying in these areas, remote pilots and recreational flyers must be aware of and avoid traffic patterns and takeoff and landing areas. A drone must not interfere with operations at the airport and must yield the right-of-way to all other aircraft. Uncontrolled airspace and other flying restrictions can be found on our B4UFLY app.

The fact is, most drones are connected via apps and software which restricts their flight near airports regardless of the pilot’s desires.

Sedona airport map

Can you fly a drone in a “Wilderness Area”?

To protect wildlife and the environment, the use of drones is strictly prohibited in ‘Wilderness Areas’. In addition, congressionally designated Wilderness Areas or Primitive Areas ban use as many people seek these places out for the solitude and quiet that they provide. The USFS website states, “UAS are considered to be both ‘motorized equipment’ and ‘mechanical transport’ as such they cannot take off from, land in, or be operated from congressionally designated Wilderness Areas.”

Wilderness areas near Sedona Arizona

Can I fly a drone in Sedona?

The city of Sedona is now a destination for recreational and professional drone users due to its scenic red rock geography. Except for ‘Wilderness Areas’, neither the USFS, nor municipal, county or airport governments have the legal authority to regulate airspace. The Federal Aviation Administration is the only authority with legal control over airspace. More

Sedona area authorities

Do you have tips for flying drones for recreational use in Sedona?

The following tips are for responsible hobby or recreational use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or ‘Drones’ on National Forest Service Lands.

Drones must be flown below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles.

Drones are not permitted to fly in areas that have Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) in places, such as wildfires or other natural disasters. Search the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Web site for current TFRs .

Do not fly over congressionally designated wilderness areas or primitive areas as many people seek these places for the opportunities for the solitude and quiet that they provide. Do not fly over or near wildlife as this can create stress that may cause significant harm and even death.

Keep your drone within your visual line of sight at all times and take lessons and learn to operate your drone (UAS) safely.

Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations.

Deer in Sedona