Parks & Recreation
River Rat Regatta

Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones) Policies


The Town of Smithfield recognizes operating unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, has become a popular recreational activity. This webpage will serve as a resource that provides all the necessary information needed for recreational drone flying within the Town of Smithfield. 


Areas that have been approved for UAS or drone use are listed below with their hours and designated approved locations.


Getting Started


As a recreational UAS pilot, you must first register your aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration.


All recreational flyers must pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test and provide proof of test passage (the TRUST completion certificate) to the FAA or law enforcement upon request.


Information regarding obtaining the TRUST completion certificate:


Once you have registered your UAS (drone) and obtained the TRUST certificate, here are a few of the basic rules:


  • Fly at or below 400 feet
  • Keep your drone within visual line of sight (VLOS)
  • Don’t fly in restricted airspace
  • Don’t fly over groups of people
  • Don’t fly over people, traffic, stadiums or sporting events
  • Don’t fly near emergency response efforts
  • Don’t fly under the influence
  • Don’t fly at night


Other Helpful Links




UAS (Drones) weighing less than 400 grams may take off and land in any Town of Smithfield location except for nature preserves, lakes, wetland centers, or cemeteries. UAS (Drones) weighing more than 400 grams should take off and land from the designated locations listed below.

Before flying your drone, be sure to check the area on the U.S. Air Space Map. Once you enter the location address, click on the map to identify all possible air traffic restrictions including airport/heliports you may need to contact before flight.


If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for UAS (Drones) within the Town of Smithfield, call the Smithfield Parks and Recreation Department at 919-934-2148. 



Approved UAS (Drone) Location in Smithfield

Gertrude B. Johnson Park


1222 West Market Street


Location in Park: Open space


Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Note: If park is rented or space is occupied for other activities, no drone flights will be allowed.

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 761, Smithfield, NC 27577
Physical Address:
350 East Market Street
Smithfield, NC 27577
Main Phone: 919-934-2116
Fax: 919-934-1134


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


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