Wildwood days are something that every New Jerseyan warmly anticipates each summer, but it’s not just the locals! With tourism in the area up, you too might consider coming to Wildwood and bringing your drone with you.

Can you fly a drone in Wildwood, New Jersey?

You can fly a drone in Wildwood, but you can’t get closer to the piers than 200 feet. If you do, then the operators will have to shut down the rides. You must also follow all other New Jersey drone laws and FAA guidelines.

In today’s article, we’ll more closely examine Wildwood’s drone laws and the enacted laws in New Jersey as a whole so you can fly safely all summer long!

Can you fly a drone in Wildwood, New Jersey?

New Jersey has its fair share of beaches, but few are as popular as Wildwood. The beach stretches for 1.65 square miles with a 2.5-mile boardwalk with 70,000 wooden planks.

Moreys Piers and Beachfront Water Parks in Wildwood, New Jersey.

Why are we telling you this? Well, because Wildwood is yours to explore with your drone, that’s why! Within reason, of course.

The main rule to remember when flying a drone near Wildwood’s boardwalk is to keep your distance from the piers.

Note: The boardwalk is home to more than 100 rides; if your drone is closer than 200 feet, the ride operators will have no choice but to shut down the fun.

Drones and high-flying steel machines that weigh thousands of pounds simply don’t mix.

Further, there are limitations when flying around people, but we’ll get to that in the next section.

Considering that New Jersey has a laundry list of local drone laws with strict rules enabled to keep pilots out, that you can fly so freely in Wildwood is sure to put a smile on your face.

Rules to know when flying your drone in Wildwood

Being a part of New Jersey, Wildwood is subject to that state’s drone laws. Oh, and New Jersey, being a part of the United States, also enacts federal drone laws.  

Moreys Piers and Beachfront Water Parks, Wildwood, New Jersey.

Let’s go over the laws so you can maximize your fun when flying in Wildwood.

You must have the appropriate drone license

First of all, you must have a license before you ever launch your drone in New Jersey, Wildwood, or otherwise.

Commercial pilots need a Remote Pilot Certificate, an official FAA license. Earning your license means passing the Part 107 exam first, and that’s no easy ask!

The Part 107 exam is a comprehensive overview of all FAA flight rules. You’ll be asked more than 50 test questions (all multiple-choice, at least) over two and a half hours. If you answer at least 70 percent correctly, you pass.

What if you’re just in it for the fun? Recreational pilots still need a license, per the FAA. Yours is the TRUST license.

To get this license, you’ll have to take the TRUST exam. This is a much shorter test by comparison, and it’s done online. You can also change your incorrect answers as you go along, so you don’t have to cram as much.

Make sure your license is current too. That’s not so much an issue for the TRUST certificate, as it never expires, but the same cannot be said about the Remote Pilot Certificate.

That will expire in two years. These days, recertifying is easy as pie, as you can take a free online exam through the FAA.

Do that before your license expires. After all, an expired drone license is as good as having no license at all.

You have to register your drone

In the United States, the FAA requires all pilots to register drones that weigh more than 0.55 pounds. Once you exit toy drone territory, your drone will certainly surpass this weight threshold.

Once your drone is registered, it maintains that status for three years, and it only costs $5 to do, too!

Do not fly over people

The FAA’s Operations Over People law allows only lightweight, Category 1 drones that are 0.55 pounds or less to fly over crowds. Heavier drones can’t do it.

This is where launching your drone and capturing the sights of Wildwood becomes dicey. As we mentioned in the intro, this beachside resort city is attracting larger crowds than ever, into the millions.

Finding a time to use your drone on the beach or the boardwalk when there are few people around is going to be difficult but isn’t impossible.

You could fly first thing in the morning before the crowds gather. You can also schedule your drone flight for a weekday. That won’t matter much in the summer, as kids are off school and parents take extended vacations, but the beach should be more readily available during other times of the year.

Taking to the skies during the offseason is another viable option. Once Labor Day passes, Wildwood and most New Jersey beaches become ghost towns. The seasons change, the days become colder, and all but permanent residents pack it in.

It might not be the ideal environment for taking drone footage, but you can be sure that Wildwood will be empty enough for you to fly legally!

Your max altitude is 400 feet, but you might want to fly lower

Across the US, drone pilots are required to fly no higher than 400 feet.

That’s the case for Wildwood, too (and the whole state of New Jersey), but with a caveat.

Wildwood and other NJ beach towns always have banner planes flying through the air, advertising products and services. These planes fly well under 400 feet, usually around 250 feet.

If you don’t want to risk colliding with one of the banner planes–and we’re sure you don’t–then lower your altitude below 250 feet but not so low that you risk flying over people’s heads.

Stay 200 feet from the piers

Yes, we discussed this in the section above, but we can’t stress enough that within 200 feet of Wildwood’s piers is a designated no-fly zone.

The beach has three piers in all, so there’s not one exception from one to another. Keep your distance from them all.

Do not fly when under the influence

New Jersey state law SB 3370, which has been enforced since 2017, prohibits pilots from operating UAVs “while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more by the weight of alcohol,” as we wrote about in our overview of New Jersey drone laws.

» MORE: Drone Laws in New Jersey

In a fun resort environment like Wildwood, it’s easy to lower your inhibitions, but you still have to allow your better judgment to prevail. If you violate SB 3370, you could be jailed for up to six months, fined $1,000, or face both penalties.

Don’t interrupt first responders

SB 3370 also makes it illegal to “operate a drone in a manner that interferes with a first responder who is actively engaged in response or air, water, vehicular, ground, or specialized transport.”

New Jersey law counts this as a fourth-degree crime, so the punishment is much steeper. This time, you could be jailed for 18 months or fined up to $10,000; both punishments are viable.

Keep your drone within your visual line of sight

Wildwood is a sensory-heavy place. At any time, you can expect kites and banner planes in the sky, throngs of people on the beach and boardwalk, and sights and sounds all around you.

In all the excitement, make sure that your drone is always where you can see it. If you need a visual augmentation tool such as binoculars to track your drone, then it’s flown too far.

Reconsider operating your drone at night

In New Jersey, you can legally fly a drone after dark, but you might want to rethink that when operating in Wildwood.

The city often puts on dazzling fireworks displays at night. These fireworks shows can be fun to capture on your UAV if you’re up high enough, but if you aren’t, you risk collisions with fireworks.

All the smoke from the show can make navigation difficult, as can the lack of daylight.

If you must fly, consider sticking closer to 400 feet than 250 feet. Banner planes don’t fly after dark!

North Wildwood, New Jersey.

Wildwood, New Jersey is a resort city beloved for its beaches and two-mile boardwalk.

Drones are granted excellent flying freedoms here, but you can’t use your drone within 200 feet of Wildwood’s three piers, you can’t fly over people’s heads, and you should limit your flight altitude to 250 feet to avoid banner planes.

Have a great time!

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