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 Drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles, as they are also referred to), are incredibly popular and are an increasingly common sight in the sky along the beach, at events, or above the golf course.

The aerial views are amazing, especially in South Walton where there are 26 miles of sugar-white sand beaches and so much natural beauty.

In South Walton, for the safety of our beachgoers, drones or other aircraft are not allowed to take off from, or land on, the beach or body of water.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has an ever increasing number of rules that apply as well, and since technology is constantly changing, be sure to stay up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations concerning drone operation. Here are the main points you need to be aware of when it comes to flying a drone.

FAA rules and regulations for UAS’s include:

Register Your Drone/UAV:

  • Register your drone with the FAA
  • Label your drone with your registration number
  • Registration is $5 per aircraft and is valid for 3 years

Obtain a Remote Pilot Certification (FAA Part 107)

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Pass an aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved facility
  • Undergo a Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) safety screening

Abide by Part 107 Operating Rules:

  • Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 pounds, including payload, at takeoff
  • Fly only in Class G airspace
  • Keep the unmanned aircraft within visual line-of-sight
  • Fly at or below 400 feet
  • Fly only during daylight or civil twilight
  • Fly at or under 100 mph
  • Yield right of way to manned aircraft
  • Do not fly directly over people
  • Do not fly from a moving vehicle, unless in a sparsely populated area


To learn more about Walton County’s Waterways and Beach Activities Ordinance, visit https://library.municode.com/fl/walton_county/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=CO_CH22WABEAC.

For a complete list of FAA guidelines, visit https://www.faa.gov/uas/.

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