Drone Use

Nashville District
Published Jan. 10, 2024
Drone with remote sitting on a floor


Drone Policy

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Drone Policy governs the operation and use of recreational unmanned aerial systems (UAS) at all Nashville District lakes within the Cumberland River Basin.

The guidance has designated approved locations to fly drones for hobbyists, while at the same time prohibiting drones where people are camping and recreating such as designated swim beaches. The policy also prohibits UAS flights near critical infrastructure such as locks, dams, power plants and switch yards.

Drones should be operated in accordance with applicable state laws and Federal Aviation Administration regulations including any UAS registration requirements. They may be flown only during daylight hours only and while maintaining a visual line of sight of the aircraft while it is in operation.

Operators will be held liable for damage to Corps of Engineers property resulting from piloting a drone or any other activity associated with operating a UAS.

The operation of unmanned aircraft that harasses or jeopardizes wildlife, including listed endangered and threatened species or critical habitat is prohibited. Critical habitat include areas that contain the physical and biological features that are essential to the conservation of a given species or group of species and that may require special management or protection.

Violations may result in removal from federal property and potential citations.

The authority to approve exceptions to the policy is delegated to the Operations Project Managers. Call the lake resource manager’s offices for more information or to request an exception to policy.

At Corps of Engineers operated and maintained locks at Tennessee Valley Authority projects in the Tennessee River Basin, the TVA Drone Policy applies.


Commercial Drone & Filming Requests

Commercial drone operators and video production companies wishing to fly drones at Corps of Engineers lakes, recreation areas and projects must contact the lake resource managers’ offices to obtain an event permit to film at a Nashville District lake. They must also contact the Public Affairs Office at 615-736-7161 for a production assistance agreement before filming, which takes a minimum of two weeks to accomplish.

Approved Locations

Lake Barkley
Canal Overlook Recreation Area

Cheatham Lake
Brush Creek Recreation Area

J. Percy Priest Lake
Fall Creek Recreation Area
Vivrette Creek Recreation Area

Old Hickory Lake
Sanders Ferry Park
Nat Caldwell Park
Lock Four Recreation Area

Center Hill Lake
Johnsons Chapel Recreation Area

Cordell Hull Lake
Brimstone Recreation Area

Dale Hollow Lake
Keisling Bottom Recreation Area

Lake Cumberland

Pulaski County Park

Contact for Info

Center Hill Lake 
(931) 858-3125

Cheatham Lake 
(615) 792-5697

Cordell Hull Lake 
(615) 735-1034

Dale Hollow Lake 
(931) 243-3136

J. Percy Priest Lake 
(615) 889-1975

Old Hickory Lake 
(615) 822-4846

Lake Cumberland 
(606) 679-6337

Laurel River Lake 
(606) 864-6412

Martins Fork Lake 
(606) 573-7655

Useful Resources