drone laws in louisiana

Paying attention to everything the FAA has put forth since their rules and regulations were initially put into full effect is crucial for all drone fliers. Are you aware of the laws and regulations related to drones in your state, as well?

Flying Over Louisiana

The laws regarding drones in the state of Louisiana are absolutely insane, as you will found out when you scroll to our law sections further down. With this in mind, we highly recommend that you go over the information we are about to provide and make a decision.

Because flying a drone in Louisiana is a touchy situation, we recommend speaking to your local law enforcement directly about where you can and cannot fly.

It’s unclear where there are any areas in Louisiana that give the green light to fly a drone, so if you know any, let us know in the comments!

flying over louisiana

The Registering Process in Louisiana

drone laws in louisiana registering process
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that all Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) owners follow strict regulations and laws. You will need to file your name, home address and your email address as a start.

From there, you will receive a Certificate of Aircraft Registration and Proof of Ownership. These will include an identification number for your aircraft. You must have this number displayed on your drone at all times. The number will be valid for up to 3 years.

All aircraft that weighs more than 0.55 pounds, or 250 grams, and less than 55 pounds, or 25 kilograms, must be registered. This also includes any added payloads, such as an onboard camera.

You must be at least 13-years-old in order to register and, effective December 21st, 2015, all newly purchased or made drones must be registered before their first flight. You are able to register through a paper-based process, but you can also do so online by clicking here.

Proximity to Airports in Louisiana

proximity to airports in louisiana
As a general rule of thumb, and in accordance with the law from the FAA, you may not fly within a 5-mile radius of any airport. In 2012 the FAA enacted the Modernization and Reauthorization Act which requires hobbyist drone operators, meaning residential, to contact air traffic control and/or airport management if they are operating within a 5-mile radius of any local airport.

This is enacted nationwide, not only in Louisiana, under Part 101 of the Act, being Special Rule for Model Aircraft, to ensure that drone operations under unsafe conditions are disapproved before the drone can be launched.

Regardless of the local airport you will be flying near, and possibly breaching airspace, you will need to contact either the airport air traffic control tower or the airport operator.

You will need to establish an agreed-upon operating procedure with airport air traffic or the airport operator and answer a couple of questions. For example, questions relating to how long you are going to be flying for.

Unique Drone Laws in Louisiana

At this time of writing, all of the legal information listed below is deemed as accurate as possible and fully in effect.

CHAPTER 1-A. UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS

LA Revised Statutes 3:41. Definitions

For the purposes of this Chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

“Agricultural commercial operation” means the use of any agricultural facility or agricultural land for agricultural production or agricultural processing and includes the production and processing of crops or products, livestock or livestock products, farm-raised fish and fish products, wood, timber or forest products, fowl and plants for breeding or sale, and poultry or poultry products for commercial or industrial purposes. “Agricultural commercial operation” also includes the use of farm machinery, equipment, devices, chemicals, products for agricultural use, materials, and structures designed for agricultural use and used in accordance with traditional farm practices.

“Aircraft” means an unmanned aircraft operated as a part of an unmanned aerial system.

“Commissioner” means the Louisiana commissioner of agriculture and forestry.

“Data” means any information, pictures, images, samples, or other such information obtained through an unmanned aerial system.

“Department” means the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

“Unmanned aerial system” means an unmanned aircraft and all associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications, and navigation equipment necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft. Such system may include drones, remote-controlled aircraft, unmanned aircraft, or any other such aircraft that is controlled autonomously by computer or remote control from the ground.

LA Revised Statutes 3:42. Powers of the commissioner

The commissioner shall adopt rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Chapter, including but not limited to rules and regulations governing the registration of unmanned aerial systems used in the course of agricultural commercial operations. All rules and regulations shall be adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

B. The commissioner shall administer and enforce the provisions of this Chapter and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.

C. The commissioner may appoint committees to advise on the implementation of the provisions of this Chapter. The appointed committees shall include public universities holding certificates of authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration as well as other active university research programs.

LA Revised Statutes 3:43. Licenses and registration

Each person operating an unmanned aerial system in the course of an agricultural commercial operation shall obtain a license from the department, which shall be issued upon the applicant meeting the following requirements:

Applicants shall submit a written application to the department as provided by the commissioner by rule.

Prior to applying for a license, each applicant shall complete an agricultural education and safety training course administered by the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service or the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and comply with any other licensing requirements established by the commissioner by rule.

B. Each unmanned aerial system operated in the course of an agricultural commercial operation shall be registered with the department.

C. Licenses and registrations shall be valid for three years and may be renewed for additional three-year periods in accordance with rules adopted by the commissioner.

LA Revised Statutes 3:44. Unmanned aerial systems; operation

Unmanned aerial systems may operate in agricultural commercial operations in accordance with this Chapter and the rules and regulations established by the commissioner, except as prohibited by federal law.

B.

Private landowners engaged in agricultural commercial operations on their private property may use unmanned aerial systems within the geographical confines of their property.

Producers, tenants, lessees, university researchers, or other contracted or hired personnel working on private property who are engaged in agricultural commercial operations may use unmanned aerial systems within the geographical confines of the property, only with written permission of the landowner or entity controlling the agricultural commercial use of the property.

Data obtained through the use of an unmanned aerial system shall be used solely in the course of conducting a generally accepted agricultural commercial operation, or in conjunction with an agricultural research, extension program, or initiative conducted by a Louisiana public postsecondary educational institution.

All data obtained through the use of an unmanned aerial system shall remain the property of the legal owner of the property where the data was collected, unless written approval is given by the property owner for other uses. Public universities conducting agricultural research may negotiate with the legal owner of the property for the terms of use or shared ownership of the data.

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LA Revised Statutes 3:45. Violations

Violations of this Part shall include but shall not be limited to the following:

The failure or refusal to obtain an unmanned aerial system license in accordance with R.S. 3:43.

The failure or refusal to register an unmanned aerial system operated in the course of an agricultural commercial operation in accordance with R.S. 3:43.

Any violation of this Chapter or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.

Any interference with the commissioner and the department or its representatives in the performance of their duties as prescribed in this Chapter.

Failure to timely pay any penalties or costs due pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter or any rule or regulation of the commissioner adopted pursuant to this Chapter.

LA Revised Statutes 3:46. Stop orders

When the commissioner has reason to believe that a violation has occurred, the commissioner may issue a stop order prohibiting the continued use of an unmanned aerial system.

B. Any violation of a stop order shall constitute a separate violation.

C. A stop order may be released by the commissioner upon a determination by the commissioner that the cause for issuing the stop order has been remedied.

D. Any person aggrieved by a stop order may petition the commissioner for a hearing to contest the validity of the stop order by making a written request within five calendar days after issuance of the stop order. The hearing shall be held within ten calendar days of receipt of the written request for a hearing. The commissioner may appoint a hearing officer to preside over the matter. The commissioner shall issue a ruling in the matter. The hearing and any subsequent appeal shall be held in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.

E. Based upon the results of the hearing, or a consent agreement, the commissioner may take one or more of the following actions:
Release the stop order.
Require the cause for the stop order to be remedied prior to releasing the stop order.
Amend the stop order.

LA Revised Statutes 3:47. Penalties

If the commissioner determines that a violation of the provisions of this Chapter or of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter has occurred, an adjudicatory hearing shall be held to make a determination with respect to the suspected violation.

B. The commissioner shall give written notice to the alleged violator, which shall comply with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, at least five days prior to the date set for such adjudicatory hearing.

C. The commissioner shall designate a hearing officer to preside at all adjudicatory proceedings.

D. At any such adjudicatory hearing, the alleged violator shall be accorded all of the rights set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act.

E. Whenever the commissioner makes a determination from the proceedings of the adjudicatory hearing that a violation of this Chapter or these regulations has occurred, the commissioner may impose a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars for each violation. Civil penalties shall be imposed only on the basis of an adjudication of violations pursuant to an adjudicatory hearing held in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

F. Each separate day on which a violation occurs shall be considered a separate violation.

LA Revised Statutes 3:48. Fees

The commissioner shall establish, by rule in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, a registration fee for each unmanned aerial system in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars.

B. The commissioner shall establish, by rule in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, an agricultural education and safety training course fee payable to the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center or the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, not to exceed fifty dollars for conducting the agricultural education and safety training course as required by R.S. 3:43(A)(2).

LA Revised Statutes 14:63. Criminal trespass

No person shall enter any structure, watercraft, or movable owned by another without express, legal, or implied authorization.

B.

No person shall enter upon immovable property owned by another without express, legal, or implied authorization.

For purposes of this Subsection, the phrase “enter upon immovable property” as used in this Subsection, in addition to its common meaning, signification, and connotation, shall include the operation of an unmanned aircraft system as defined by R.S. 14:337 in the air space over immovable property owned by another with the intent to conduct surveillance of the property or of any individual lawfully on the property.

The provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not apply to any person operating an unmanned aircraft system in compliance with federal law or Federal Aviation Administration regulations or authorization.

C.

No person shall remain in or upon property, movable or immovable, owned by another without express, legal, or implied authorization.

For purposes of this Subsection, the phrase “remain in or upon property” as used in this Subsection, in addition to its common meaning, signification, and connotation, shall include the operation of an unmanned aircraft system as defined by R.S. 14:337 in the air space over immovable property owned by another with the intent to conduct surveillance of the property or of any individual lawfully on the property.

The provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not apply to any person operating an unmanned aircraft system in compliance with federal law or Federal Aviation Administration regulations or authorization.

D. It shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution for a violation of Subsection A, B, or C of this Section, that the accused had express, legal, or implied authority to be in the movable or on the immovable property.

LA Revised Statutes 14:108. Resisting an officer

Resisting an officer is the intentional interference with, opposition or resistance to, or obstruction of an individual acting in his official capacity and authorized by law to make a lawful arrest, lawful detention, or seizure of property or to serve any lawful process or court order when the offender knows or has reason to know that the person arresting, detaining, seizing property, or serving process is acting in his official capacity.

B.

The phrase “obstruction of” as used herein shall, in addition to its common meaning, signification, and connotation mean the following:

(e) Knowing interference with a police cordon resulting from the intentional crossing or traversing of a police cordon by an unauthorized person or an unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The cordoned area includes the airspace above the cordoned area.

(i) For purposes of this Subparagraph, “police cordon” means any impediment or structure erected or established by an officer for crowd or traffic control, or to prevent or obstruct the passage of a person at the scene of a crime or investigation.

(ii) “Impediment or structure” includes but is not limited to crime scene tape, rope, cable, wire or metal barricades, or the posting of uniformed officers or other personnel otherwise identifiable as law enforcement officers.

(iii) “Unmanned aircraft system” shall have the same meaning as provided by R.S. 14:337(B).

(iv) If the flight of a UAS into the cordoned area endangers the public or an officer’s safety, law enforcement personnel or fire department personnel are authorized to disable the UAS.

The word “officer” as used herein means any peace officer, as defined in R.S. 40:2402, and includes deputy sheriffs, municipal police officers, probation and parole officers, city marshals and deputies, and wildlife enforcement agents.

C. Whoever commits the crime of resisting an officer shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

LA Revised Statutes 14:283. Video voyeurism; penalties

Video voyeurism is any of the following:

The use of any camera, videotape, photo-optical, photo-electric, unmanned aircraft system, or any other image recording device for the purpose of observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping a person where that person has not consented to the observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping and it is for a lewd or lascivious purpose.

The transfer of an image obtained by activity described in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection by live or recorded telephone message, electronic mail, the Internet, or a commercial online service.

B.

(1) Except as provided in Paragraphs (3) and (4) of this Subsection, whoever commits the crime of video voyeurism shall, upon a first conviction thereof, be fined not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than two years, or both.

On a second or subsequent conviction, the offender shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars and imprisoned at hard labor for not less than six months nor more than three years without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

Whoever commits the crime of video voyeurism when the observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping is of any vaginal or anal sexual intercourse, actual or simulated sexual intercourse, masturbation, any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola or of any portion of the pubic hair, anus, cleft of the buttocks, vulva, or genitals shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars and be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than one year or more than five years, without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

Whoever commits the crime of video voyeurism when the observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping is of any child under the age of seventeen with the intention of arousing or gratifying the sexual desires of the offender shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars and be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than two years or more than ten years without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

C. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to the transference of such images by a telephone company, cable television company, or any of its affiliates, an Internet provider, or commercial online service provider, or to the carrying, broadcasting, or performing of related activities in providing telephone, cable television, Internet, or commercial online services.

D. After the institution of prosecution, access to and the disposition of any material seized as evidence of this offense shall be in accordance with R.S. 46:1845.

E. Any evidence resulting from the commission of video voyeurism shall be contraband.

F. A violation of the provisions of this Section shall be considered a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541. Whoever commits the crime of video voyeurism shall be required to register as a sex offender as provided for in Chapter 3-B of Title 15 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.

G. For purposes of this Section, “unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator, can be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated, and can be expendable or recoverable.

LA Revised Statutes 14:283.1. Voyeurism; penalties

Voyeurism is the viewing, observing, spying upon, or invading the privacy of a person by looking or using an unmanned aircraft system to look through the doors, windows, or other openings of a private residence without the consent of the victim who has a reasonable expectation of privacy for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desires of the offender.

B.

Whoever commits the crime of voyeurism, upon a first conviction, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

Upon a second or subsequent conviction, the offender shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than one year, or both.

C. For purposes of this Section, “unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator, can be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated, and can be expendable or recoverable.

LA Revised Statutes 14:284. Peeping Tom; penalties

No person shall perform such acts as will make him a “Peeping Tom” on or about the premises of another, or go upon the premises of another for the purpose of becoming a “Peeping Tom”.

B. “Peeping Tom” as used in this Section means one who peeps through windows or doors, or other like places, situated on or about the premises of another or uses an unmanned aircraft system for the purpose of spying upon or invading the privacy of persons spied upon without the consent of the persons spied upon. It is not a necessary element of this offense that the “Peeping Tom” be upon the premises of the person being spied upon.

C.

Whoever violates this Section, upon a first conviction, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

Upon a second conviction, the offender shall be fined not more than seven hundred fifty dollars, imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

Upon a third or subsequent conviction, the offender shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than one year, or both.

D. For purposes of this Section, “unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator, can be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated, and can be expendable or recoverable.

LA Revised Statutes 14:337. Unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system

Unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system is either of the following:

The intentional use of an unmanned aircraft system to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record a targeted facility without the prior written consent of the owner of the targeted facility.

The intentional use of an unmanned aircraft system over the grounds of a state or local jail, prison, or other correctional facility that incarcerates or detains juveniles or adults accused of, convicted of, sentenced for, or adjudicated delinquent for violations of criminal law without the express written consent of the person in charge of that state or local jail, prison, or other correctional facility.

B. As used in this Section, the following definitions shall apply:

“Federal government” means the United States of America and any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof.

“State government” means the state of Louisiana and any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof.

“Targeted facility” means the following systems:
Petroleum and alumina refineries.
(b) Chemical and rubber manufacturing facilities.
(c) Nuclear power electric generation facilities.
(d) School and school premises as defined by R.S. 14:40.6(B).

“Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator, can be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated, and can be expendable or recoverable. “Unmanned aircraft system” does not include any of the following:
A satellite orbiting the earth.
(b) An unmanned aircraft system used by the federal government or a person who is acting pursuant to contract with the federal government to conduct surveillance of specific activities.
(c) An unmanned aircraft system used by the state government or a person who is acting pursuant to a contract with the state government to conduct surveillance of specific activities.
(d) An unmanned aircraft system used by a local government law enforcement agency or fire department.
(e) An unmanned aircraft system used by a person, affiliate, employee, agent, or contractor of any business which is regulated by the Louisiana Public Service Commission or by a local franchising authority or the Federal Communications Commission under the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 or of a municipal or public utility, while acting in the course and scope of his employment or agency relating to the operation, repair, or maintenance of a facility, servitude, or any property located on the immovable property which belongs to such a business.

C.

Nothing in this Section shall prohibit a person from using an unmanned aircraft system to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record his own property that is either of the following:
Located on his own immovable property.
(b) Located on immovable property owned by another under a valid lease, servitude, right-of-way, right of use, permit, license, or other right.

Third persons retained by the owner of the property described in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not be prohibited under this Section from using an unmanned aircraft system to conduct activities described in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection.

D. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to any of the following:

Any person operating an unmanned aircraft vehicle or unmanned aircraft system in compliance with federal law or Federal Aviation Administration authorization or regulations or to any person engaged in agricultural commercial operations as defined in R.S. 3:41.

The operation of an unmanned aircraft by institutions of higher education conducting research, extension, and teaching programs in association with university sanctioned initiatives.

E.

Whoever commits the crime of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system as provided in Paragraph (A)(1) of this Section shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

On a conviction for a second or subsequent offense as provided in Paragraph (A)(1) of this Section, the offender shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars, or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than six months nor more than one year, or both.

Whoever commits the crime of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system as provided in Paragraph (A)(2) of this Section shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

On a conviction for a second or subsequent offense as provided in Paragraph (A)(2) of this Section, the offender shall be fined not less than two thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than one year, or both.

F. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to unmanned aircraft systems used for motion picture, television, or similar production where the filming is authorized by the property owner.

Senate Bill No. 69 – Act No. 238 – State Preemption

AN ACT

To enact R.S. 2:2, relative to unmanned aircraft; to provide for definitions; to provide exclusive jurisdiction to the state in the regulation of such systems; to preempt local ordinances, rules, regulations, and codes; to provide for federal preemption; and to provide for related matters.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana;

Section 1. R.S. 2:2 is hereby enacted to read as follows:

§2. Regulation of unmanned aerial systems and unmanned aircraft systems; preemption

Subject to the provisions of Subsection C of this Section and except as otherwise provided by law:

The state shall have exclusive jurisdiction to regulate all unmanned aircraft systems and all unmanned aerial systems.

State law shall supersede and preempt any rule, regulation, code or ordinance of any political subdivision or other unit of local government.

B. As used in this Section, the following phrases shall have the following meanings:

“Unmanned aerial system” means an unmanned aircraft and all associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications, and navigation equipment necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft. The system may include drones, remote-controlled aircraft, unmanned aircraft, or any other such aircraft that is controlled autonomously by computer or remote control from the ground.

“Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator, may be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated, and may be expendable or recoverable. “Unmanned aircraft system” does not include any of the following:

A satellite orbiting the earth.
An unmanned aircraft system used by the federal government or a person who is acting pursuant to contract with the federal government to conduct surveillance of specific activities.
An unmanned aircraft system used by the sate government or a person who is acting pursuant to a contract with the state government to conduct surveillance of specific activities.
An unmanned aircraft system used by a local government law enforcement agency or fire department.
An unmanned aircraft system used by a person, affiliate, employee, agent, or contractor of any business that is regulated by the Louisiana Public Service Commission, while acting in the course and scope of his employment or agency relating to the operation, repair, or maintenance of a facility, servitude, or any property located on the immovable property belonging to such business.
An unmanned aircraft system used by a person, affiliate, employee, agent or contractor of any business that is regulated by a local franchising authority, while acting in the course and scope of his employment or agency relating to the operation, repair, or maintenance of a facility, servitude, or any property located on the immovable property belonging to such business.
An unmanned aircraft system used by a person, affiliate, employee, agent, or contractor of any business that is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission Under the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 or under Part 73 of Title 47 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations, while acting in the course and scope of his employment or agency relating to the operation, repair, or maintenance of a facility, servitude, or any property located on the immovable property belonging to such business.
An unmanned aircraft system used by a person, affiliate, employee, agent, or contractor of a municipal or public utility while acting in the course and scope of his employment or agency relating to the operation, repair, or maintenance of a facility, servitude, or any property located on the immovable property belonging to such municipal or public utility.
An unmanned aircraft system used by a person, affiliate, employee, agent, or contractor of any business that is regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration, while acting in the course and scope of his employment of agency relating to the operation, repair, or maintenance of a facility, equipment, servitude, or any property located on the immovable property belonging to such business.

C. If federal law or regulation preempts any provision of this Section, that provision of this Section shall be null.

Senate Bill No. 141 – Act No. 529 – Criminal Trespassing

AN ACT

To amend and reenact R.S. 14:63(B) and (C) and 337(D), relative to crimes involving unmanned aircraft systems; to provide that surveillance by an unmanned aircraft constitutes criminal trespass under certain circumstances; to provide relative to federal preemption of the crime of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system; to provide definitions; to provide exceptions; and to provide for related matters.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:

Section 1. R.S. 14:63(B) and (C) and 337(D) are hereby amended and reenacted to read a follows:

§63. Criminal trespass.

B.(1) No person shall enter upon immovable property owned by another without express, legal, or implied authorization.

For purposes of this Subsection, the phrase “enter upon immovable property” as used in this Subsection, in addition to its common meaning, signification, and connotation, shall include the operation of an unmanned aircraft system as defined by R.S. 14:337 in the air space over immovable property owned by another with the intent to conduct surveillance of the property or of any individual lawfully on the property.

The provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not apply to any person operating an unmanned aircraft system in compliance with federal law of Federal Aviation Administration regulations and authorization.

C.(1) No person shall remain in or upon property, movable or immovable, owned by another without express, legal, or implied authorization.

For purposes of this Subsection, the phrase “remain in or upon property” as used in this Subsection, in addition to its common meaning, signification, and connotation, shall include the operation of an unmanned aircraft system as defined by R.S. 14:337 in the air space over immovable property owned by another with the intent to conduct surveillance of the property or of any individual lawfully on the property.

The provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not apply to any person operating an unmanned aircraft system in compliance with federal law or Federal Aviation Administration regulations or authorization.

§337. Unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system

D. This Section shall not apply to any person operating an unmanned aircraft system in compliance with federal law or Federal Aviation Administration regulations or authorizations, or to any person engaged in commercial agricultural generations as defined in R.S. 3:41.

House Bill No. 635 – Invasion of Privacy

AN ACT

To amend and reenact R.S. 14:283(A)(1), 283.1(A), and 284(B) and to enact R.S. 14:283(G), 283.1(C), and 284(D), relative to crimes affecting public morals; to amend crimes involving the observation and invasion of privacy of another to include the use of unmanned aircraft systems; to define unmanned aircraft systems; and to provide for related matters.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:

Section 1. R.S. 14:283(A)(1), 283.1(A), and 284(B) are hereby amended and reenacted and R.S. 14:283(G), 283.1(C), and 284(D) are hereby enacted to read as follows:

§283. Video voyeurism; penalties

Video voyeurism is any of the following:

The use of any camera, videotape, photo-optical, photo-electric, unmanned aircraft system, or any other image recording device for the purpose of observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping a person where that person has not consented to the observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping and it is for a lewd or lascivious purpose;

G. For purposes of this Section, “unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator, can be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated, and can be expendable or recoverable.

§283.1. Voyeurism; penalties

Voyeurism is the viewing, observing, spying upon, or invading the privacy of a person by looking or using an unmanned aircraft system to look through the doors, windows, or other openings of a private residence without the consent of the victim who has a reasonable expectation of privacy for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desires of the offender.

C. For purposes of this Section, “unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator, can be autonomous or remotely piloted, and can be expendable or recoverable.

§284. Peeping Tom; penalties

B. “Peeping Tom” as used in this Section means one who peeps through windows or doors, or other like places, situated on or about the premises of another or uses an unmanned aircraft system for the purpose of spying upon or invading the privacy of persons spied upon without the consent of the person spied upon. It is not a necessary element of this offense that the “Peeping Tom” be upon the premises of the person being spied upon.

D. For purposes of this Section, “unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator, can be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated, and can be expendable or recoverable.

House Bill No. 335 – Act No. 545 – Licensing & Registration – Commercial Agriculture

AN ACT

To amend and reenact R.S. 3:48(A)(2) and to enact R.S. 3:48, relative to fees for unmanned aerial systems; to establish a registration fee for unmanned aerial systems; to establish an agricultural education and safety training course fee for operators of unmanned aerial systems; and to provide for related matters.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:

Section 1. R.S. 3:43(A)(2) is hereby amended and reenacted and R.S. 3:48 is hereby enacted to read as follows:

§43. Licenses and registration

Each person operating an unmanned aerial system in the course of an agricultural commercial operation shall obtain a license from the department, which shall be issued upon the applicant meeting the following requirements:

Prior to applying for a license, each applicant shall complete an agricultural education and safety training course administered by the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service or the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and comply with any other licensing requirements established by the commissioner by rule.

§48. Fees

The commissioner shall establish, by rule in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, a registration fee for each unmanned aerial system in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars.

B. The commissioner shall establish, by rule in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, an agricultural education and safety training course fee payable to the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center or the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, not to exceed fifty dollars for conducting the agricultural education and safety training course as required by R.S. 3:43(A)(2).

House Bill No. 19 – Act No. 539 – Surveillance of Prisons and Schools

AN ACT

To amend and reenact R.S. 14:337(A), (D), and (E) and to enact R.S. 14:337(B)(3)(d) and (4)(e), relative to unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system; to prohibit use of an unmanned aircraft system to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record a school, school premises, or correctional facilities; to provide with respect to elements of the crime; to provide for exceptions; to provide for applicability; to provide criminal penalties; to provide relative to the definitions of school and school premises; and to provide for related matters.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:

Section 1. R.S. 14:337(A), (D), and (E) are hereby amended and reenacted and R.S. 14:337(B)(3)(d) and (4)(e) are hereby enacted to read as follows:

§337. Unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system

Unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system is either of the following:

The intentional use of an unmanned aircraft system to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record a targeted facility without the prior written consent of the owner of the targeted facility.

The intentional use of an unmanned aircraft system over the grounds of a state or local jail, prison, or other correctional facility that incarcerates or detains juveniles or adults accused of, convicted of, sentenced for, or adjudicated delinquent for violations of criminal law without the express written consent of the person in charge of that state or local jail, prison, or other correctional facility.

B. As used in this Section, the following definitions shall apply:

“Targeted facility” means the following systems:

(d) School and school premises as defined by R.S. 14:40.6(B).

“Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator, can be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated, and can be expendable or recoverable. “Unmanned aircraft system” does not include any of the following:

(e) An unmanned aircraft system used by a person, affiliate, employee, agent, or contractor of any business which is regulated by the Louisiana Public Service Commission or by a local franchising authority or the Federal Communications Commission under the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 or of a municipal or public utility, while acting in the course and scope of his employment or agency relating to the operation, repair, or maintenance of a facility, servitude, or any property located on the immovable property which belongs to such a business.

D. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to any of the following:

Any person operating in an unmanned aircraft vehicle or unmanned aircraft system in compliance with federal law or Federal Aviation Administration authorization or regulations.

The operation of an unmanned aircraft by institutions of higher education conducting research, extension, and teaching programs in association with university sanctioned initiatives.

E.(1) Whoever commits the crime of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system as provided in Paragraph (A)(1) of this Section shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

On a conviction for a second or subsequent offense as provided in Paragraph (A)(1) of this Section, the offender shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars, or imprisoned, with or without hard labor for not less than six months nor more than one year, or both.

Whoever commits the crime of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system as provided in Paragraph (A)(2) of this Section shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

On a conviction for a second or subsequent offense as provided in Paragraph (A)(2) of this Section, the offender shall be fined not less than two thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than one year, or both.

Senate Bill No. 73 – Act No. 268

AN ACT

To enact R.S. 14:108(B)(1)(e), relative to the crime of resisting an office; to add the knowing interference with a police cordon to the definition of “obstruction of” an officer; to provide additional definitions; and to provide for related matters.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:

Section 1. R.S. 14:108(B)(1)(e) is hereby enacted to read as follows:

§108. Resisting an officer

B.(1) The phrase “obstruction of” as used herein shall, in addition to its common meaning, signification, and connotation mean the following:

(e) Knowing interference with a police cordon resulting from the intentional crossing or traversing of a police cordon by an unauthorized person or an unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The cordoned area includes the airspace above the cordoned area.

(i) For purposes of this Subparagraph, “police cordon” means any impediment or structure erected or established by an officer for crowd or traffic control, or to prevent or obstruct the passage of a person at the scene of a crime or investigation.

(ii) “Impediment or structure” includes but is not limited to crime scene tape, rope, cable, wire or metal barricades, or the posting of uniformed officers or other personnel otherwise identifiable as law enforcement officers.

(iii) “Unmanned aircraft system” shall have the same meaning as provided by R.S. 14:337(B).

(iv) If the flight of a UAS into the cordoned area endangers the public or an officer’s safety, law enforcement personnel or fire department personnel are authorized to disable the UAS.

Other Legal Issues With Drones in Louisiana

At this time of writing, there are currently a number of bills in circulation within the state of Louisiana surrounding drones.

Senate Bill No. 356 – Critical Infrastructure

CRIME/PUNISHMENT. Prohibits “drones” from flying over chemical plants or water facilities. (gov sig)

AN ACT

To enact R.S. 2:18, relative to the regulations of aeronautics; to restrict the use of unmanned aircraft systems under certain circumstances; to provide definitions; to provide for civil liability and penalties; and to provide for related matters.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:

Section 1. R.S. 2:18 is hereby enacted to read as follows:

§18. Restrictions on use of unmanned aircraft systems; civil liability

As used in this Section, the following definitions shall apply:

“Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator, can be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated, and can be expendable or recoverable. “Unmanned aircraft system” does not include:

A satellite orbiting the earth.
An unmanned aircraft system used by the federal government or a person who is acting pursuant to contract with the federal government to conduct surveillance of specific critical infrastructure.
An unmanned aircraft system used by the state government or a person who is acting pursuant to contract with the state government to conduct surveillance of specific critical infrastructure.
An unmanned aircraft system used pursuant to prior written authorization of the department. The department shall provide standards for such authorizations in rules adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, R.S. 49:950 et seq., after consultation with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

“Critical infrastructure” means systems, facilities, and assets vital to national defense, national security, economic security, public health or safety, including state, regional, and national infrastructure, and may be publicly or privately owned, examples of which include but are not limited to:

Gas and oil production, storage, or delivery systems.
Facilities described in R.S. 32:1510(E).
Water supply and treatment systems.
Telecommunications networks.
Electrical power generation or delivery systems.
Financing and banking systems.
Emergency services, including medical, police, fire, and rescue services.
Transportation systems and services, including highways, mass transit, airlines, and airports.
Facilities subject to the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.

“Federal government” means the United States of America and any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof.

“State government” means the state of Louisiana any any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof.

B. No person shall use an unmanned aicraft system to intentionally conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record a specially targeted critical infrastructure without the prior written consent of the owner of the targeted critical infrastructure.

C.(1) Nothing in this Section shall prohibit a person from using an an unmanned aircraft system to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record his own property that is:

Located on his own immovable property.
Located on immovable property owned by another under a valid lease, servitude, right of way, right of use, permit, license, or other right.

Third persons retained by the owner of the property described in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection to conduct any such nonprohibited activities are not prohibited under this Section from using an unmanned aircraft system to conduct such activities.

D. Any person who uses an unmanned aircraft system in violation of this Section shall be liable to the owner of the critical infrastructure that is the subject of the prohibited conduct for each such violation as follows:

Any actual damages sustained as a result of such use, or ten thousand dollars, whichever is greater.
Treble damages, in any case where such violation resulted in profit or monetary gain.
The costs of the action together with reasonable attorney fees as determined by the court, in the case of a successful action to enforce any civil liability under this Section.

Section 2. This Act shall become effective upon signature by the governor or, if not signed by the governor, upon expiration of the time for bills to become law without signature by the governor, as provided by Article III, Section 18 of the Constitution of Louisiana. If voted by the governor and subsequently approved by the legislature, this Act shall become effective on the day following such approval.

House Bill No.811 – Privacy Property, Law Enforcement, Invasion of Privacy

CRIME: Prohibits and provides criminal penalties for the use of unmanned aircraft in certain areas and for certain purposes

AN ACT

To enact R.S. 14:338, relative to the unlawful use of unmanned aircraft; to prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft in certain areas and for certain purposes; to provide for definitions; to provide exceptions; to provide criminal penalties; and to provide for related matters.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:

Section 1. R.S. 14:338 is hereby enacted to read as follows:

§338. Unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft

(1) No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft in the airspace directly above privately owned immovable property up to a height of three hundred fifty feet from the ground without the express or legal consent of the property owner.

(a) No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record an individual or privately owned immovable property without the express or legal consent of the individual or the property owner.

(b) If privately owned immovable property is occupied by a person other than the property owner, no person shall operate an unmanned aircraft to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record the property without the express or legal consent of both the property owner and the person occupying or residing upon the property.

B. For purposes of this Section, “unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.

C. The provisions of this Section do not apply to any of the following:

A satellite orbiting the earth.
As part of an operation, exercise, or mission of any branch of the United States military or the United States Department of Homeland Security.
A law enforcement agency if either of the following occur:

A warrant is issued authorizing the use of the unmanned aircraft for a specified period of time not to exceed thirty days.
The law enforcement agency has probably cause to believe that a person has committed a crime, is committing a crime, or is about to commit a crime, and exigent circumstances exist that make it unreasonable for the law enforcement agency to obtain a warrant authorizing use of the unmanned aircraft.

D. The provisions of this Section shall apply unless preempted by applicable federal law or by regulations adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

E. Whoever violates the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

FAQ on Louisiana Law and Drones

If you do not see your question, or an answer to it, listed below, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll gladly give you one.

Is a drone/UAS considered the same as a model aircraft?

The United States Congress has defined and concluded that a model aircraft is only considered a drone or a UAS when the following points are met:

It’s flown for recreational purposes or as a hobby and not for any business or commercial reasons
It’s flown within visible distance, meaning being able to see it at all times, of the individual operating it
It’s capable of sustaining flight within the atmosphere, meaning that it can fly

If your model aircraft, regardless of whether or not you acquired it pre-built or built it yourself, meets the above points to your knowledge, it’s considered a drone/UAS.

What is the Small UAS Rule?

The Small UAS Rule requires those who have unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, that weigh less than 55 pounds, payload included, to register their aircraft with the FAA. This only applies to recreational or hobby fliers and not commercial drone use, however.

Is the FAA’s Small UAS Rule still in effect?

Yes, it has been in effect from August 29th of 2016 and is still in effect at this time of writing.

Do I have to carry my Certificate of Aircraft Registration while flying my UAS at all times?

Yes, you must have the registration certificate from the FAA at all times during flight operation. In accordance with federal law, all UAS operators must show their certificate of registration to any local, state, or federal law enforcement officer when they are asked to do so.

What do I do for registration if my UAS is over the 55-pound limit?

If your UAS weighs more than 55 pounds, including payload, you will need to register it by clicking here.

sUAS Service Agreement

Drone Laws in Louisiana

Knowing the laws, regulations, restrictions, etc., regarding drones in your state is extremely important. Remember to educate yourself, follow the rules, fly safely and responsibly, and have fun!

There are 3 comments:

  • Mike at 7:47 pm

    Are there any rules or laws about using a drone to video fishing in Louisiana?

  • Daniel at 6:04 am

    Yes there are plenty of places to fly in louisiana. All areas in green on a fly zone map are encouraged to fly. Also we have another area in mossville that’s a green zone. And there are many more. So don’t let these confusing laws prevent you from having fun. Don’t take still shots of your locations or video. Without permission and follow the height requirments and no fly zones and a little common since and you will be fine.

  • Katie at 12:32 pm

    I have a peeping tom outside my house pretty much every night until the early morning. I sent an email to the FAA in Baton Rouge yesterday. Should I be contacting anyone else? I have several videos with different dates but could not send them to the FAA. I am located in the Slidell area.

    Help would be appreciated. I am scared as I live alone.

    Respectfully,

    Katie

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