Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) / Drone Information

Thinking of flying a UAS/drone in the City of Helena?

If you are a recreational user flying your drone within a 5-mile radius of the Airport, you MUST submit a request to the FAA Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) in order to operate the drone/UAV. See below for definitions and how to submit those requests:

FAA Provided Drone Information

  • Regulations on flying near an airport can be found HERE.
  • Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) information is found HERE
  • Commercial UAS Operator Facility Maps can be found HERE
  • FAA’s DroneZone is HERE
  • Recreational UAS information can be found HERE

These FAA videos illustrate how to operate your drone in a safe way.

Recreational and hobby operators need to adhere to the following safety guidelines:

  • Fly below 400 feet.
  • Fly your drone within visual line of sight.
  • Do not fly near airports, stadiums or groups of people.
  • Do not fly within 5 miles of an airport without first contacting FAA Air Traffic Control and the Helena Airport Administration Office. Use the UAS Notification Form to notify the FAA.
  • Never fly your drone near other aircraft.
  • Never fly your drone near emergency response efforts, such as fires.
  • Never fly your drone under the influence.
  • Be aware of FAA airspace requirements.
  • If you see a safety issue involving drones, contact local law enforcement immediately.

Small Commercial Drones/UAS

  • UAS operating under Part 107 must weigh less than 55 lbs
  • Part 107 operators will be required to obtain a remote pilots’ certificate, pass an aeronautical knowledge test at a FAA-approved testing center and will be vetted by TSA through a background check
  • Current Part 61 pilots’ certificate holders must obtain an UAS rating by passing an online knowledge test
  • Altitude will be restricted to 400 ft. AGL – a key change from the NPRM
  • Speed is restricted to less than 100 mph (87 knots)
  • Only daylight, and twilight operations with proper lighting, will be permitted
  • Operations must be within visual line of sight (VLOS) of the operator
  • Minimum operator age under Part 107 will be 16 years of age
  • Operations over unprotected or non-participating individuals are not permitted, but will be addressed later as the Micro UAS ARC recommendations are implemented
  • Accidents causing more than $500 worth of damage must be reported within 10 days
  • External loads will be allowed, as long as they are secure
  • Transportation of property and goods for sale will be permitted, as long as the total weight is less than 55 lbs and the operations are within VLOS; and
  • Airworthiness certifications are not required.
  • NO LONGER require UAS Operators to notify, or in any way coordinate with, the airport operator when operating near airports within class G airspace.
  • However, operators would need to obtain ATO (Control Tower) permission prior to operating in any other class of airspace (INCLUDING WITHIN 5 MILES of the HELENA AIRPORT).

Remote ID – What to Know


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We know you have questions about Remote Identification (ID). We’re here to help you figure it out.

Do I have to fly with Remote ID?

Remote ID applies to drones which are required to be registered or have been registered with the FAA, including those flown for recreation, business, or public safety, and drones that are foreign-registered.

While drone operators were required to comply with Remote ID beginning September 16, the FAA recognizes the unanticipated issues that some operators are experiencing with complying with this rule and will exercise discretion in determining enforcement actions for noncompliance through March 16, 2024.

Why is Remote ID necessary?
Remote ID is necessary to ensure the safety and security of the national airspace system by distinguishing compliant airspace users from those potentially posing a safety or security risk. Remote ID also helps to lay the foundation for routine advanced operations such as package delivery and flying beyond visual line of sight..

What do I need to do?
There are three ways to be Remote ID ready:

  1. Operate a Standard Remote ID Drone – a drone produced with built-in Remote ID broadcast capabilities; or
  2. Operate a Drone with a Remote ID Broadcast Module – a device with Remote ID broadcast capabilities that can be attached to a drone; or
  3. Operate at an FAA-Recognized Identification Area (FRIA) – areas where drones without Remote ID broadcast capabilities can operate.

How do I know if my drone or broadcast module is Remote ID ready?
1. Go to the FAA UAS Declaration of Compliance website
2. Click on “View Public DOC List”
3. Filter by “RID”
4. Search for your drone or broadcast module

My drone or broadcast module broadcasts Remote ID but is not on the Public DOC List, am I Remote ID ready?

No, even if advertised as “Remote ID ready” or uses other verbiage, only drones or broadcast modules listed on the FAA DOC are considered to be in compliance with the rule. However, the FAA’s policy on Remote ID enforcement discretion provides until March 16, 2024, to have the DOC updated.

Do I need to update my drone’s registration with Remote ID information?

If your drone or broadcast module is listed on the public DOC list, you need to register or update your existing drone registration through FAADroneZone to include the standard Remote ID drone or Remote ID broadcast module serial number. The Remote ID serial number is not the same as your drone’s serial number. Drone owners should check with their manufacturer for additional information.

Since recreational pilots only need to register once and can apply that registration number to multiple aircraft, they can list one Remote ID broadcast module serial number and move the broadcast module from drone to drone as long as it is listed on the same registration.

Part 107 pilots need to register each drone individually. Therefore, each drone must have its own Standard Remote ID or Remote ID broadcast module serial number.

Visit our Remote ID webpage to learn more about adding a Remote ID serial number to your drone’s registration.

Have more questions? We’re here to help at the UAS Support Center or call us at 844-FLY-MY-UA (844-359-6982).


The FAA Flight Standards District Office is located in Helena and can be reached at (406)-449-5270. Please ask for the Drone/UAS Specialist and you will be directed to someone that can help with your specific questions.