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Nice to Know Before You Fly:

Federal Regulations and Guidance:  The Federal Aviation Administration have changed the the requirement for hobbyist flying of a model aircraft/recreational drone in controlled airspace. The requirement to notify air traffic controllers in the PHX Tower and/or Chandler Tower in areas of south Tempe about plans to fly within five (5) statute miles of an airport has been replaced by a new requirement to obtain an airspace authorization prior to flying a drone in controlled airspace. Recreational flyers will be able to obtain authorization from the FAA to fly in controlled airspace, but for now flying can only occur at published fixed sites. All of Tempe is inside controlled airspace.

Links: FAA Press Release  Know Before You Fly  Apps to download: B4UFLY for iOS phones and B4UFLY for Android phones.

State Restrictions: With SB 1449 the Arizona legislature included state wide restrictions on hobbyist drone use in Arizona Revised Statutes, §3729 (PDF), that include offensive uses, trespass and interference with local fire and law enforcement operations among other unlawful uses. 

City Parks Restrictions: On June 15, 2017 the City of Tempe adopted Ordinance No. O2017.36 (PDF), an amendment to the City Code Chapter 23, Article III, Division 1 regarding the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – meaning those that are flown solely for recreational or hobby purposes while in the visual sight of the operator – in city parks and preserves. The amendment prohibits takeoffs and landings with UAVs in Tempe Beach Park, Papago Park (Tempe section), Rio Salado Park, and city preserves.

  • Fly at or below 400 feet
  • Be aware of federal airspace requirements and restrictions.
  • Stay away from surrounding obstacles.
  • Keep your done within sight.
  • Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports.
  • Never fly over groups of people.
  • Never fly over stadiums or sports events.
  • Never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires.
  • Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Airport Guidance

PHX drone use notice.

Chandler drone use notice.

5-mile Maps:


Green Areas: Parks & golf courses.

Red Areas: Tempe areas where takeoffs and landings with model aircraft/ hobbyist drones are prohibited.

Orange Areas: Five (5) mile notification zone for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Chandler Municipal Airport.

Grey Areas: The bottom of Class B controlled airspace for the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.