Connecticut Lawmakers Aim to Regulate Flights Under 400 Feet

174_uao_drone_1.20.14ii Connecticut Lawmakers Aim to Regulate Flights Under 400 FeetState legislators in Connecticut held a public hearing on Monday regarding a bill that would regulate unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flights below 400 feet.

Reps. Matthew Ritter, D-Hartford, and James Albis, D-East Haven, drafted the bill out of concern that there are no restrictions on the personal use of UAVs under 400 feet, according to an article by the Hartford Courant. Recently, an employee of a Connecticut television station filed suit against the Hartford police department after officers ordered him to stop flying a UAV over a fatal car crash.

Under the bill, using a UAV for criminal purposes would be deemed a felony. With exceptions for emergencies, the legislation also mandates that law enforcement officials obtain a court-signed warrant before using a UAV in investigations, which has irked the police chiefs association.

The chairman of the legislative committee for police chiefs contends that UAVs should be considered in much the same way as helicopters and fears that the bill, as it currently stands, would hamstring law enforcement operations. As such, he is calling for a task force to review the issue.

The American Civil Liberties Union argues that legislation must be in place before the technology proliferates because UAVs threaten personal privacy.

The full Hartford Courant article can be found here.


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