Local Ordinances Prohibiting UAV


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I heard that Orlando recently passed local ordinances regarding UAV use, and I heard rumors of other communities considering the same. I can see why they might want to have rules in place, but that could really muddy the waters of legality depending on where you are. What are your thoughts?

http://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2017/01/24/orlando-passes-new-drone-ordinance-effective-immediately

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Nuts! The FAA holds unique jurisdiction over the national airspace. Local cities can regulate where a UAV can take off/land, for example, they can ban them from taking off from city parks but they have no legal standing over airspace. This will go on until the feds come down hard on the states and cities. It will take a court case to set precedent. 

Edited by Uaviator53
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I am fortunate that all the cities I am working within Arizona have no drone ordinance. The state has a law but it's pretty benign. 

It helps a little bit I am a retired chief of police and know every chief in my county personally and have performed demos for them and even did a presentation on drone law at their meeting last year..... :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great article Alan. Thanks for sharing.

I don't like to be the one on the cutting edge of challenging legal issues, at least not when I find myself having to defend my actions. I think the key it to keep an eye on your local municipalities and fight it before a law is enacted is the way to go. It doesn't matter how right you are, being arrested or fighting with local government after they have deemed you to be in violation of their ordinances isn't much fun. 

Edited by RTV, Inc. - Jay
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You are so right @RTV, Inc. - Jay but the question becomes how do I as an individual and not an attorney "fight city hall?"  We have an ordinance that I know contradicts Federal Law regarding the National Airspace System, but as the County Police chief said to me "if I write you a summons, are the feds going to be there for you in court?" So what's a little old guy like me to do?

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On 3/3/2017 at 11:58 PM, Ed O'Grady said:

You are so right @RTV, Inc. - Jay but the question becomes how do I as an individual and not an attorney "fight city hall?"  We have an ordinance that I know contradicts Federal Law regarding the National Airspace System, but as the County Police chief said to me "if I write you a summons, are the feds going to be there for you in court?" So what's a little old guy like me to do?

It is definitely tough to fight after an ordinance has been put into place. At that point I guess I would do everything I can to change things at public meetings and then begin reaching out to my state/national representatives. Who has that kind of time when we are trying to make a living right? Good luck! 

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I'm one of the founders of http://www.acuas.org/ advocating for the commercial use  of drones.

It was started on the premise that absent any law it was not illegal to use drones commercially and that there was a process the government must go through to create the law. At the time everyone said that you needed money, guns and lawyers make a difference.  We had neither.

What most failed to realize is that although the FAA regulates airspace they can not create law, they HAVE to go through NPRM process to create regulations and those regulations can not be arbitrary and capricious. Most said we were nieve, that you can't fight city hall.

While DJI, Amazon and the Small UAV Coalition we're putting on a show for congress, we helped develop the brief for the OMB.  The influence that shapped rule 107 were more about commerce than flying drones.  The FAA cannot regulate commerce, they have the difficult task of regulating drone flight without restricting commerce.  This is true of government at all levels.  The trouble is you only have to go through this process once with the federal government whereas you have to do it for every state that wants to impose drone regulations.  

This is more about commerce than drone flights and there are very strict rules all government must follow to create these regulations.  Doesn't mean ever municipality will follow them, So id suggest creating an organization like ACUAS.org that can leverage the experience and success of these regulatory issues, a PAC kind of like AOPA for drones.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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No matter what we do there's going to be people complaining about privacy. They don't realize a guy in a helicopter or a plane already does it under the guise of national security. My take is notification. What if a couple days before a real estate shoot you put up a couple flyers on the surrounding neighbors houses and say here's what we're doing and you're welcome to come watch from a distance. We promise not to take pix of you or your house, and wait for feedback. 

Edited by Longhorn DroneWerx
Mis-spelling
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On 3/20/2017 at 1:49 PM, David Blankenship said:

WV legislature is pushing a few drone laws through. Can't fly over private property, can't take pictures of people naked, can't take pics of businesses (coal mines), etc. The delegates have way more people screaming about drones spying on them, then they do showing how useful the devices can be when handled properly.

Time to become an activist

https://medium.com/@MossPhotography/an-open-letter-to-state-and-local-policy-makers-considering-drone-laws-29c57a705545?_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8LvlUcn1ax0nYOgUcNzBZD5roJREBAFMAP02y11qTzgpMVOkLEBZK0l2S84eY-EyYHPi8c9iRN5-zVH5SyLCPte9sT2A&_hsmi=43378868

http://uavs.insct.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/NLC-Drone-Report.pdf

 

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I am preparing and keeping my eye on my city council should they go loco some day and decide to jump in the fray. The AZ Legislature, in their infinite wisdom (!), adopted this last year.

and threw in this little gem: 

C. Except as authorized by law, a city, town or county may not enact or adopt any ordinance, policy or rule that relates to the ownership or operation of an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system or otherwise engage in the regulation of the ownership or operation of an unmanned aircraft or an unmanned aircraft system. Any ordinance, policy or rule that violates this subsection, whether enacted or adopted by the city, town or county before or after August 6, 2016, is void.

Is that not a beautiful thing?? One town passed a draconian drone ordinance before the state law, big fail....

Edited by Uaviator53
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