Sarah Nilsson JD, PhD, MAS
Sarah NilssonJD, PhD, MAS



City of Belchertown—Public Access Management Plan // 2017

     According to a story on “drone use will be allowed [on the Quabbin watershed] only by written permit specifying a date and time, designated location and purpose, and only by FAA-registered UAVs operating under FAA rules.” It appears that this restriction is not a local law, but a policy created by the Division of Water Supply Protection—the only documentation we could find to confirm its existence was this draft plan. Regardless of whether the plan was actually confirmed, if you want to fly on the Quabbin watershed we suggest doing some research and contacting the Division of Water Supply Protection to learn more.


City of Chicopee—Municipal Law // 2017

     This city ordinance states that a drone and/or aircraft shall only take off and land on private property owned by the operator or where written permission is granted by the landowner. Said written permission shall include the name and signature of the land owner, the address of the property and the permissible dates and hours of operations. There are a number of other rules for hobbyist (non-Part 107) operators.

Chicopee adopts drone ordinance


Town of Holyoke—Municipal Law // 2016
     This city ordinance makes it illegal to fly UAS over privately-owned or city-owned property without consent.


City of Northampton Resolution


Town of Barnstable - As follows on April 22, 2016:

Drones Banned on Barnstable’s Public Beaches

A public hearing on changes to the rules and regulations for Barnstable’s bathing beaches was held on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at Town Hall. The change is an addition under section 401A-6(C) Prohibited Activities: “Using, launching, landing or operating a UA from, or on, land or waters associated with any of the Town of Barnstable bathing beaches is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Town Manager.” The term “UA” includes devices like model airplanes, quadrocopters, and drones that are used for any purposes including recreation or commerce. After reviewing the public comment and explanation from staff on the safety issues involved, I took the matter under advisement. Based on further information received from the FAA and our legal staff regarding the regulation of “airspace”, I have amended the regulations to take out the word “above” and restrict the regulation to the launching and landing of drones on a public beach. This regulation will be reviewed at the end of the summer season to see if it has been effective or needs further amending.


Newton City Council votes to regulate drones - Dec 2016

Judge overturns local law that effectively banned drones over small town - Sep 2017


Drones in the news

April 2020 - ‘Not a bad idea’: Local police consider use of drones to monitor social distancing




Bill History


Where just the name of the bill or resolution is hyperlinked in black that means that it is not yet law!

Note that bills that are now law are changed to blue font



HB 2977

SB 1835

SB 1841

SB 447

HB 2169

HB 1357



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Sarah Nilsson, J.D., Ph.D., MAS


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The information on this website is for EDUCATIONAL purposes only and DOES NOT constitute legal advice. 

While the author of this website is an attorney, she is not YOUR attorney, nor are you her client, until you enter into a written agreement with Nilsson Law, PLLC to provide legal services.

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