Silly political gestures (banning model airplanes with cameras!) are par for the course in Berkeley, where I live and the 3D Robotics Bay Area offices are located. Thankfully, they usually don't pass or aren't enforced.
Even as the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department considers buying an unmanned aerial vehicle, Berkeley City Council will discuss declaring the city a No Drone Zone.
Arguing that drones are unsafe and pose a threat to civil liberties, Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission is recommending that the city council adopt a resolution this month proclaiming:
"1. Berkeley a No Drone Zone and instructing the City Attorney to perform the necessary legal tasks to transform this declaration of a No Drone Zone into an Ordinance for the City of Berkeley wherein drones are hereby banned from airspace.
2. That drones will not be purchased, leased, borrowed, tested or otherwise used by any agency of the City of Berkeley over the City of Berkeley, including drones in transit.
3. That exemptions will be made for hobbyists to continue to fly remote controlled model aircraft in specified areas, away from dwellings and the urban cityscape of people and buildings as long as those devices are not equipped with any kind of camera or audio surveillance equipment."
It’s not clear what the “legal tasks” establishing Berkeley as a No Drone Zone would be, of if such an ordinance could be enforced. While the Federal Aviation Administration is still drafting the rules that would regulate what the agency calls unmanned aircraft systems, local law enforcement agencies and other institutions across the country are taking steps to acquire and deploy drones.
Earlier this month, Alameda County supervisors opted to examine the merits of a cop-operated drone in more depth before approving the purchase of the $31,000 laptop-sized flying machine the sheriff said he needs.
(image from No Drones Illinois)
I understand what they are trying to do, and I think many cities are going to attempt to get laws in place to counter the federal/SLG LEO goals of drone use domestically. I think its good in that respect, I also do not think drones should fly over populated areas with or without autopilots. If you want to fly them - do so at an AMA sanctioned field or as others have indicated do it out in the countryside where you can't harm someone. On a personal note, I have seen a lot of drone pilots who the minute you take off stabilization mode are a danger in the air. So let us think for a second, do AP's make it easier for bad pilots to get Airborne. Yes they do, and is that good, No it isn't. Maybe if they learned the basics and learned RC flight first in an organized way, they would be more proficient, but my experience tells me that AP's do not make better pilots. In fact the opposite, they make worse pilots and when something does go wrong it goes very wrong in the hands of these AP based pilots. My RC club has encountered many a quad AP users who we end up grounding until they formally solo or pass a proficiency test. It is a problem IMHO. So do we want every joe - dick and harry flying their quads with cameras over the cities crashing, or as we recently encountered in maryland and virginia flying from a park that is on direct final approach of a major international airport and filming video of a commercial plane on final approach from under 1500 ft distance from said aircraft. Come on guys, we do need proper rules in place here. We can't just go out and let these drones fly wherever they want, and that goes for the federal govt drones and LEO drones. We do as citizens need to make sure they do not crash over our houses and point their cameras at our houses/property with out warrant or legal cause. Just my 2 cents, I am sure I will here an earful now so let me prepare ;) Kudos to Berkeley for putting this to the city council to consider. I hope more cities do the same!
I find this funny in so many ways! As Josh said, what if you were to fly from outside the city limits but use a PTZ camera with 20x zoom? I understand away from heavily (emphasis on heavily) populated areas due to crashes but do some people not understand that these aren't simply wind-up planes which fly wherever they want and crash at a rate at 10 to the dozen???
Thank god I live in the countryside
I will create "no strong wind" areas, to flying around with my drones in peace... Lol...
Sad these agenda issues.
Does the city even have the authority to enforce anything like that in airspace above the city? Say you fly from outside the city limits?
Maybe the next employee you hire at 3DR should be a lobbyist???? There must be a few, here in the ranks of DIYDrones.com, no?
Recently protested against the construction of the railway.
It would signify economic inequality.
Rediculous. How about a no sat zone? Current sattelites can read the newspaper in berkeley and see the stains in your laundry.
When I was training in 1968 with the Navy at Treasure Isand during the Viet Nam war, the protestors would come over from Berkeley and try to enter the base to protest. It never stopped the war during that period.