1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. General Business
  4. Article 14: Aircraft


Section 245 Air traffic rules

General Business (GBS)

The following air traffic rules shall govern the operations and use of aircraft in New York state, except that they shall not apply to aircraft used exclusively in the governmental service of the United States, or exclusively in the service of the national guard of this state:

  1. Careless or reckless operation. No person shall operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of others.

  2. Minimum safe altitudes. Except when necessary for a take-off or landing, no person shall operate aircraft below the following altitudes:

  (a) General. An altitude which will permit, in the event of the failure of a power unit, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface;

  (b) Over congested areas. Over congested areas of cities, towns, villages or settlements, or over an open-air assembly of persons, an altitude of one thousand feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of two thousand feet from the aircraft. Helicopters may be flown at less than the minimum prescribed herein if such operations are conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface and at an altitude which will permit an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface;

  (c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of five hundred feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas, and in no event closer than five hundred feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure. Helicopters may be flown at less than the minimum prescribed herein if such operations are conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface and at an altitude which will permit an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface;

  (d) Industrial operations. Where essential to industrial operations and except over congested areas and over an open-air assembly of persons, aircraft may fly at an altitude lower than five hundred feet if such operations are conducted with extreme care and caution and with regard to the safety of persons or property on the surface.

  3. Acrobatic flying. (a) No person shall engage in acrobatic flying over congested areas of cities, towns, settlements, or over an open-air assembly of persons.

  (b) Unless authorized by the federal aviation agency, no person shall engage in acrobatic flying:

  (1) Within any federal airway or control zone, or

  (2) When the flight visibility is less than three miles, or

  (3) Below an altitude of one thousand five hundred feet above the surface.

  4. Dropping objects. No person piloting an aircraft shall permit anything to be dropped from an aircraft in flight which might create any hazard to persons or property.

  5. Water operations. An aircraft operating on the water shall, insofar as possible, keep clear of all vessels and avoid impeding their navigation;

  (a) Crossing. The aircraft or vessel which has the other on its right shall give way so as to keep well clear;

  (b) Approaching head-on. When aircraft, or an aircraft and vessel, approach head-on, or approximately so, each shall alter its course to the right to keep well clear;

  (c) Overtaking. The aircraft or vessel which is being overtaken has the right-of-way, and the one overtaking shall alter its course to keep well clear.

  (d) Special circumstances. When two aircraft, or an aircraft and vessel, approach so as to involve risk of collision, each shall proceed with regard to existing circumstances and conditions including the limitations of the respective craft.

  6. Transportation of explosives and other dangerous articles. The transporting of any explosives and dangerous devices other than small arms ammunition in moderate quantity for personal use, necessary aircraft signaling devices, fuel and equipment necessary to the safe operation of the aircraft and materials for industrial spraying, is prohibited. Dangerous devices shall include, but not exclusively, inflammable and non-inflammable compressed gas, poison gas and liquid, poisonous liquid and solid, and tear gas. Exceptions are permitted where transportation is performed in accordance with federal rules.

  * 7. Liquor and drugs. No person shall pilot an aircraft or serve as a member of the crew while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or drugs, nor shall any person be permitted to be carried in the aircraft who is obviously under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or drugs, except a medical patient under proper care or in case of emergency.

  * NB There are 2 subs. 7

  * 7. Parachutes. No pilot in command of a civil aircraft shall allow a parachute that is available for emergency use to be carried in that aircraft unless it is a type approved under regulations of the federal aviation agency.

  * NB There are 2 subs. 7

  9. Public streets or highways. No take-off or landing shall be made from or on a public street or highway without the prior consent of the local governing authority and the prior approval of the administrator of the federal aviation agency, except as provided for in subdivision (b) of section three hundred sixty-one of the public authorities law.

  10. Lights. Aircraft shall display lights in accordance with the following rules:

  (a) Between sunset and sunrise all aircraft in flight or operated or underway on the water shall display position lights;

  (b) Between sunset and sunrise all aircraft parked or moved within or in dangerous proximity to that part of any airport used for, or available to, night flight operations shall be clearly illuminated or lighted unless the aircraft is parked or moved in an area marked with obstruction lights;

  (c) Between the hours of sunset and sunrise all aircraft at anchor shall display an anchor light, or anchor lights, unless in an area within which lights are not required for vessels at anchor;

  (d) Position lights shall be installed on all aircraft in accordance with rules and regulations affecting aircraft subject to the federal civil air regulations.

  11. Deviation from air traffic rules. Air traffic rules may be deviated from when special circumstances render a departure necessary to avoid immediate danger and when such departure is required because of the stress of weather conditions or other unavoidable causes; provided, however, that aircraft carrying passengers for hire shall not deviate from the air traffic rules pertaining to minimum altitude of flight because of stress of weather conditions.