Rules & Regulations
Model rocketry is completely legal under Minnesota
state law. Model rockets are NOT fireworks!
The flying of model rockets may not be allowed in
public parks in some cities. You should check with local
authorities first. In all cases, you should have the
permission of the landowner before flying rockets on private
Always follow the model
rocketry safety code and/or the high
power rocketry safety code!
Summary of FAA launch restrictions
Model Rockets - No restrictions. Just
use common sense and follow the safety code. Rocket must weigh
less than 3.3 pounds at liftoff and contain less than the
equivalent of two (2) G-class engines.
High Power Model Rockets - FAA waiver required.
Rockets that weigh more than 3.3 pounds at liftoff or use an H-class
engine or larger require permission to fly from the FAA. If
you want to fly these types of rockets, you're best off going to a
club launch where the club has taken care of the waiver.
Regulatory information provided by Ted Cochran:
(reprinted from Rocketry
The Minnesota State Fire Marshall's Office's position on the
regulation of model and high power rocketry is that, in the absence
of specific local codes or standards (see below), both model
rocketry and high power rocketry should be carried out in
conformance with NFPA 1122 and NFPA 1127, respectively, in addition
to any applicable Federal regulations.
In the Fire Marshall's opinion, The Explosive Materials rules
(Article 77 of the Minnesota Fire Code, which incorporates the
Uniform Fire Code (UFC)) do not come into play unless activities
fall outside those NFPA standards (e.g., using non certified
motors). The citation for their reliance on NFPA is Minnesota Fire
Code Article 1, Section 101.3, "Subjects Not Specifically
Regulated by this Code," which states that compliance with any
adopted NFPA code is acceptable.
Of course, when the BATF rules are more restrictive than
NFPA 1127, the BATF rules need to be followed--but that's not an
enforcement issue at the state level. There are no use or storage
permits required at the state level: The permit clauses that exist
in the UFC were deleted in the Minnesota fire code, as was the
insurance requirement. The MN SFM phone is (651) 215-0500. The
person to talk to is Kevin Kelly.
There are local jurisdictions that have their own requirements.
The current position of the City of Minneapolis is that if a BATF
permit is required for storage, then a low explosive permit ($25)
and an inspection is required by the Minneapolis Fire Department.
The Minneapolis Fire Department Inspector to talk to is Denise Byrn
at (612) 673-3273.
The Minneapolis Park Board appears to technically prohibit
launches in city parks [Ordinance PB2-30], but regularly violates
this with their own summer camp activities, and I've seen (and in
some cases supervised) a lot of school group launches which proceed
without incident, some with Park Police officers as spectators. The
UFC is available at county libraries--make sure you look at the
latest (1997) version.
NFPA 1122 and 1127 are available from NARTS, at the same ungodly
price as they are from the NFPA itself. They are copyrighted and not
on the web, but TRA has adopted most of 1127 as its safety code.
Minneapolis ordinances are on the web; start at the
help page. The
Minnesota fire code is also on-line.