City Councilman Paul Vallone is calling for a no-fly zone for unmanned aircraft, or drones, over New York City.
Vallone, with the support of nine other council members, will introduce a bill on Wednesday that would empower local authorities to better enforce the Federal Aviation Authority Law regarding drones.
The bill, among other things, would make it a violation for drone operators to fly above four hundred feet in the air or out of the operator’s line of sight and to come within five miles of airports.
“Drone technology is rapidly advancing and quickly becoming more available and affordable,” Vallone said. “New York City can regulate drones now without waiting for the FAA to update federal regulations or for a tragedy to happen.”
Vallone worked with Queens District Attorney Richard Brown to write the legislation. The city currently has little guidance on how to enforce the relatively new trend of flying drones around the city for recreation. If the bill is passed, city authorities would have a clear set of guidelines to enforce the rules.
Vallone began drafting the bill in July after two drones were seen flying near the George Washington Bridge, an act that would be a violation under Vallone’s bill, if it is enacted into law.
“I believe that this bill takes a pragmatic and comprehensive approach to regulating unmanned aerial vehicles and will ultimately make our city safer,” Vallone said.