Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAV)

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism UAS Frequently Asked Questions

What is a UAS?

UAS is the acronym for unmanned aircraft systems, aircraft without a human pilot onboard.  Unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV) or drones are other names you may have heard.

Is UAS use permitted on KDWPT-owned and managed properties?

UAS use is only permitted within specified UAS operating areas located at some state parks.  The use of a UAS is not permitted outside of these areas unless authorized by the KDWPT Secretary (see KAR 115-8-13). Within the operating areas, flying over people, structures, campgrounds or beaches is prohibited.

What KDWPT properties have drone operation areas?

The list of state parks with UAS operating areas is currently being developed. This FAQ will be updated when that list is available. 

What are the penalties for unlawful use of UASs on KDWPT lands?

Unlawful use would be classified as a class c misdemeanor.

Who do I contact for more information about using UASs on department lands?

For more information about UAS use, contact the state park or appropriate regional office.  Contact information is available on the department website, www.ksoutdoors.com

Are licenses required for UAS operation on department lands?

FAA regulations pertaining to UAS use are available at https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/. In general, hobby flight requires the UAS to be registered, but no pilot certification.  Any non-hobby commercial use requires both UAS registration and a remote pilot certification. All FAA regulations pertaining to UAS use apply on KDWPT-owned and managed properties.

Are there statutes regarding privacy that apply to UAS use?

Kansas statute 60-31a02 provides protection from stalking or harassment, including the use of UAS over or near any dwelling, occupied vehicle, or other place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from uninvited intrusion or surveillance.

Can a UAS be used for hunting or scouting?

The use of a UAS for hunting is prohibited.  Both federal (16 USC 742j1) and state (32-1003) statutes prohibit the use of aircraft to take wildlife.

Using a UAS for scouting on laonds not owned or managed by KDWPT is permitted. However, like manned aircraft flights, scouting and hunting on the same day is prohibited, and harassment of wildlife is prohibited.

Can a UAS be used for fishing?

A UAS is not a permitted method of take for fish in Kansas (via Kansas statue 32-1002)

Can a UAS be used to locate harvested game?

Based on the definition of take in KAR 32-701, a UAS could not be used to locate wounded or harvested game.

Can a UAS be used to film hunts?

UAS use for filming is permitted on land not owned or managed by KDWPT as long as it is not used as part of taking or locating game.

Can a UAS be used to harass wildlife?

Harassment of wildlife with any aircraft, including a UAS, is prohibited by federal regulation. The state does have the ability to issue permits for specific harassment activity if it chooses to do so. This permitting process is currently being considered, and may be an option in the future.

How do I report unlawful use of UAS?

Illegal operation of a UAS that relates to fisheries, wildlife, or department-owned or managed lands can be reported through the toll-free operation game thief phone number, 877-426-3843. There is also a report form available on the department website, www.ksoutdoors.com

Illegal operation of a UAS that does not relate to wildlife or department lands can be reported to the FAA.

Can I shoot down a UAS?

It is a felony to damage or destroy any aircraft, including a UAS (18 USC 32). A summary of regulations pertaining to UAS use is available at

https://www.faa.gov/uas/resources/uas_regulations_policy/