Legislation Introduced to Ban Drones From New York City Skies

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Drone caught in SeattleDecember 18, 2014- The WSJ reports, “Drones could be banned from the New York City skies under legislation introduced Wednesday in the City Council which lawmakers say is needed to address safety and privacy concerns.

One bill would ban the use of the unmanned aircraft except by the New York City Police Department, which would still need to obtain a warrant. Another would restrict the aerial vehicles to limited public spaces like parks, while banning them from heavily populated areas, such as sports arenas or airports.

Councilman Dan Garodnick, who sponsored the broader ban, said he feared the drones could be used as weapons, or cause mid-air collisions. In September, he noted, an NYPD helicopter had a near-miss with a drone.

“Yes, it is physically possible for drones to deliver pizza to your door, to bring you your newspaper or your dry-cleaning. That sounds exciting,” said Mr. Garodnick, a Manhattan Democrat. “But let’s not rush toward a ‘Jetsons’ future, only to find ourselves scrambling after a tragic accident.”

Councilman Paul Vallone, a Queens Democrat and the sponsor of the bill that would impose less sweeping restrictions, said the city was forced to take on the issue because the Federal Aviation Administration had not.

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