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Operating Drones

Rules and regulations regarding the flying of drones over the Presidio's interior lands.

Operating Drones in the Presidio

The Presidio is divided into two areas:. Area A includes the northwestern coastline and is managed by the National Park Service. Area B includes the interior lands and is managed by the Presidio Trust. The Presidio Trust and National Park Service do not allow the launching, landing, and operation of drones in the park without a permit.

Presidio A/B map that shows that the Presidio Trust manages Area B interior lands and the National Park Service manages Area A coastal lands.

What is a Drone?

Drones refer to any device used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device and the associated operational elements and components required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, and drones) used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce. 

Commercial Drone Flights

When flying drones in Presidio Area B, the first step is to use the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) identification tool to determine if your planned Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) flight is classified as “recreational” or “commercial.”

Commercial Flights will require a permit, and the pilot will need a current Part-107 Certification issued by the FAA. To find out more about the Part-107 and how to obtain it, visit the FAA website. To obtain a special use permit from the Presidio Trust (see the Special Use Permits page), send a brief email to Due to public safety and visitor conflict concerns, the Presidio Trust may restrict operation of unmanned aircraft at certain permitted special events.

Recreational Drone Flights

Recreational flights of Unmanned Aircraft Systems are prohibited within all areas of the Presidio (Area A and Area B). Launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft (including model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) from or on lands managed by the Presidio Trust is prohibited, except as approved in a written permit issued by the Presidio Trust for a Special Event or commercial use in accordance with 36 CFR §§ 1002.50 or 1005.3.

Commercial  Drone Use

If you are authorized to fly, follow all FAA and Presidio Trust guidelines. Do not fly over people or moving traffic. Additionally, the Presidio Trust and the United States Park Police (USPP) reserve the right to have you land your drone if they feel it’s being flown in an unsafe manor or it’s disturbing visitors and/or wildlife.

1005.3 Business operations states that “engaging in or soliciting any business in Presidio Area B is prohibited, except in accordance with a permit, contract or other written instrument with the Presidio Trust.” This includes the commercial use of drones in the park.

Contact Us

For more information on how to obtain a commercial drone permit, contact Please include the date and location in the email. For recreational drone use, please refer to the above requirements.

Montgomery Street Barracks.Photo by Dan Friedman.