City Council to Give Teeth to Existing Drone Laws

Police would now be able to cite drone users who don't follow these the laws

San Diego City Council will meet Monday to discuss amendments to the municipal code for drones. Translation: police would now be able to cite drone users who don't follow the laws.

“Right now we're all operating under rules that are more guidelines for hobbyists,” says Benjamin Lepoff, part-owner of EZDrone in Clairemont.

These rules are outlined by the FAA.

“They're pretty basic. It's standard 400 feet, which is where the rest of air traffic is. Stay within line of sight. Don't fly over people,” he said. “These are all guidelines we've been following for 15 years, but these are guidelines that will now be put into place and enforced.”

Well that's if the city council indeed adopts them. Lepoff believes the new rules could help the industry and keep people from making mistakes.

The thing these new laws do not address though is privacy concerns

This municipal code amendment and the prevision – they’re really not going to address that directly as drone-specific violations, but those kinds of concerns could be addressed through existing municipal code,” said John Valencia of San Diego’s Office of Homeland Security.

Those codes include things like eavesdropping, trespassing, disorderly conduct and stalking. There are some tips. The FAA has an app called KnowB4UFly. There are other apps like Hover that will list all the nearby airports. You can also visit your local flying field for instructions on how to safely operate your new drone.

That city council meeting is slated for 2p.m.

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