Utah Drone Laws
State Rules and Regulations
Federal airspace laws take precedence over state drone laws. If a state or local law directly conflicts with FAA regulations, the state or local law is likely to be invalidated.
“Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is:
“Unmanned aircraft system” means the entire system used to operate an unmanned aircraft, including:
Title 72 - Chapter 14 Part 1: General Provisions (72-14-1)
Section 101: Title
This chapter is known as "Unmanned Aircraft -- Drones."
Section 102: Definitions
As used in this chapter:
Section 103: Preemption of local ordinance
Section 104: Applicability
This chapter does not apply to a person or business entity:
Title 72 - Chapter 14 Part 2: Law Enforcement Use of Unmanned Aircraft (72-14-2)
Section 201: Title
This part is known as "Law Enforcement Use of Unmanned Aircraft."
Section 202: Definitions
Section 203: Unmanned aircraft system use requirements -- Exceptions.
A law enforcement agency or officer may not obtain, receive, or use data acquired through an unmanned aircraft system unless the data is obtained:
A law enforcement officer or agency may only use for law enforcement purposes data obtained from a nongovernment actor if:
A law enforcement agency that “obtains, receives, or uses” data acquired pursuant to the methods above must destroy the data as soon as reasonably possible.
Section 204: Data retention
Section 205: Reporting
Title 72 - Chapter 14 Part 3: Unlawful Use of Unmanned Aircraft.
Section 301: Title
This part is known as “Unlawful Use of Unmanned Aircraft.”
Section 302: Reserved
Section 303: Weapon attached to unmanned aircraft -- Penalties.
A person is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor if they fly an unmanned aircraft that carries a weapon or to which a weapon is attached.
An exception is made when:
Section 304: Unlawful operation of unmanned aircraft near prison facilities -- Penalties.
Title 72 - Chapter 14 Part 4: Safe Use of Unmanned Aircraft
Section 401: Title
This part is known as “Safe Use of Unmanned Aircraft.”
Section 402: Reserved
Section 403: Safe operation of unmanned aircraft.
The individual operating the drone or an observer must:
An individual may not operate an unmanned aircraft in Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport unless the operator of the unmanned aircraft has prior authorization from air traffic control.
An individual may not operate an unmanned aircraft in a manner that interferes with operations and traffic patterns at any airport, heliport, or seaplane base.
Flying a drone at an altitude higher than 400 feet above ground is prohibited unless :
An individual who violates this section is liable for any damages that may result from the violation. A law enforcement officer shall issue a written warning for the first violation. If an individual violates the statute after receiving a written warning, he or she is guilty of an infraction. Every subsequent offense of the statute after an infraction was received is a class B misdemeanor.
65A-3-2.5 Wildland fire and unmanned aircraft.
A person may not operate an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes an unmanned aircraft to fly within an area that is under a temporary flight restriction that is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration as a result of the wildland fire, or an area designated as a wildland fire scene on a system managed by a federal, state, or local government entity that disseminates emergency information to the public, unless the person operates the unmanned aircraft system with the permission of, and in accordance with the restrictions established by, the incident commander.
A person, other than a government official or a government employee acting within the person’s capacity as a government official or government employee, that recklessly operates an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes an unmanned aircraft to fly within an area described in Subsection (2) is guilty of:
(i) causes an aircraft being used to contain or control a wildland fire to drop a payload of water or fire retardant in a location other than the location originally designated for the aircraft to drop the payload;
(ii) causes an aircraft being used to contain or control a wildland fire to land without dropping a payload of water or fire retardant in the location originally designated for the aircraft to drop the payload; or
(iii) prevents an aircraft, intended for use in containing or controlling a wildland fire, from taking flight;
72-10-109 Certificate of registration of aircraft required – Exceptions.
Unmanned aircraft as defined in Section 72-14-102 are exempt from the state registration requirement
76-6-206 Criminal trespass.
Criminal trespass laws in relation to drones. In the context of this section, “enter” means “intrusion of the entire (...) unmanned aircraft.” “Remain unlawfully” is defined as staying on or over private property when the property or part of it is not open to the public, and the person flying the drone is not authorized to do so.
A person is guilty of criminal trespass as it relates to drones if he or she:
Violations of either of the above is a class B misdemeanor unless the violation is committed in a dwelling, in which event the violation is a class A misdemeanor.
76-9-402 Privacy violation.
The law specifies that a person is not guilty of what would otherwise be a privacy violation if the person is operating a UAS for legitimate commercial or education purposes consistent with FAA regulations.
76-9-702.7 Voyeurism offenses – Penalties.
It is a class A or class B misdemeanor to use any type of technology, including UAS, to secretly record video of a person in certain instances.
R651-602-8. Operation of Unmanned Aircraft (park system)
A person must obtain written permission from the park manager before operating an unmanned aircraft within the park system.
HB 217 Harassment of livestock. (76-9-308)
Prohibits a person from intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly chasing, actively disturbing, or harming livestock through the use of UAS. Anyone who violates this law is guilty of a class B misdemeanor for the first offense and a class A misdemeanor for a subsequent offense or if livestock is seriously injured or killed or there is damage in excess of $1,000.
HB 59 UNMANNED AIRCRAFT REVISIONS
AMENDS: 72-14-102, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2017, Chapter 364
ENACTS: 72-14-304, Utah Code Annotated 1953