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Proposed Bill This bill aims to allow local jurisdictions such as states, counties, cities, towns the right to control airspace for sUAS purposes. Commercial art 107 and hobbyists will affected. What will this potentially cause? A concentric ring of laws that may contradict each other. Proposes 200 foot standoff from any private property as a minimum federal guideline. This will shut down closed set filming in close areas where you already have to get film permits. It will kill anyone wanting to do real estate shots. It will cause added confusion and extra bureaucracy to already arduous and complex set of rules and standards to operate in. It will make it harder or shops trying to comply while opening further opportunities for those wishing to ignore the rules. How can you have a conflicting guidance? Well you could have a job to fly in an area where you are inside 200 feet of someones property. By this law you would have to climb your aircraft to 200 feet AGL or higher. But it might be in controlled airspace where you have an ATC authorization to a max of 100 feet AGL because that might be the highest level you can fly at due to proximity of an airport. So in effect you cant fly. Local jurisdictions already have a method to regulate drone use. The loophole is the launch and recovery of them. And for certain operations such as closed set filming they can and have already established permits. Extra rules from different departments will further what acceptable and what is not. What really needs to happen, IMO? Congress needs to let the FAA codify model aircraft rules, treat them like ultralite manned aircraft in Part 91 but in the Part 107. This will make on simple set of rules that will not be arbitrary and piece milled sets of rules, guidance and advisories. What can you do? Write your two senators. I would suggest a hard copy as that will make more of an impression if their staff offices are being flooded with thousands of physical envelopes, versus simply just writing e-mails which are easier to ignore. If you stay silent it may happen. BTW, this is by partisan it is being co sponsored by Tom Cotton. Tom Cotton politically is on the far opposite fringe of the right political spectrum to Feinstein being on the far left. So this is not a liberal versus conservative issue.
Here is a news article about a guy that was detained for flying a drone near the NFL draft that happened in Philadelphia. He should have been more careful checking for temporary flight restrictions or nearby events, but it seems like the police really didn't know how to respond to him. According to the article he might be facing reckless endangerment charges, but it wasn't that clear. Regardless of the exact details of this case, it brings up a very real issue...how will local police deal with the massive amounts of drones both hobby and commercial that are taking to the skies. FAA rules are administrative, should they make their own drone laws? For me it seems reasonable what San Diego did. From how I understand it they basically took the FAA rules and adopted the into local law, that way they had a clear legal basis to fine drone pilots. I wonder what the UAV Coach community thinks?
Lots of local legislation to keep tabs on right now, and I suspect a lot more over the next several months. Here's an interesting one out of California: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2016/01/14/drone-legislation-would-require-owners-to-buy-insurance-get-uav-license-plates/