Councilmen Seek Hefty Restrictions on UAVs in New York City

Posted by Betsy Lillian on December 18, 2014 No Comments
Categories : UAV Safety

Several New York City council members have proposed legislation that would place hefty restrictions on private unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations in New York City.

Councilman Dan Garodnick's proposed bill, which is listed as under committee review, would create ‘a local law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to prohibiting the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles except by the police department with a warrant,’ according to the Legislation text from the City Council.

In a bill also under committee review, Councilman Paul Vallone, along with a number of other sponsors, seeks to create “a local law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the regulation of the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in city airspace,” the text says.

Under Garodnick’s legislation, UAV use would be outright prohibited, unless it is by police with a warrant or by someone with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval. “The bill also would require a warrant applicant to certify that the operation is necessary and that measures have been taken to minimize danger to the public,” according to the bill summary.

Vallone’s proposed bill restricts “the times, locations and altitudes” of UAV operations. Some of these bans include “within one-quarter mile of any open-air assembly, school, hospital or house of worship,” five miles from an airport, beyond operator line-of-sight, “for the purpose of conducting surveillance” and at nighttime.

In a post on his Facebook page, Vallone writes that his legislation “takes a pragmatic and comprehensive approach to regulating [UAVs].” In the end, he adds, it “will ultimately make [New York City] safer.”

He explains that that as UAVs are “rapidly advancing and quickly becoming more available and affordable,” the city can take action to regulate them “without waiting for the FAA” to do so – or before a “tragedy” occurs.

According to a report from the Epoch Times, Garodnick was quoted as saying, “Having these devices quietly peeping into windows and backyards rightly terrifies many New Yorkers, and we need to act.”

Full texts of Garodnick’s and Vallone’s legislation can be found here and here, respectively.

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