Drone debate underway in Holyoke

The committee created a draft of their proposed regulations

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Holyoke is trying to figure out if and how they can regulate drones. The City’s Ordinance Committee addressed some issues surrounding drones Tuesday night, including privacy and liability.

Holyoke City Council President Kevin Jourdain told 22News as drones become more popular, the City needs to make sure there are regulations to protect residents’ rights.

“What is your property rights over your home? Those are important,” said Jourdain. “You wouldn’t want people just walking through your yard. Now do you want people just low level flying over your yard?”

The committee created a draft of their proposed regulations. They plan to present it to the FAA to make sure there aren’t any conflicts between local and federal law.

Related Drones Coverage:

Proposed Drone (UAS) Ordinance

City of Holyoke

In City Council,

  1. Definitions
    1. “Aircraft” shall be defined as any contrivance invented, used, or designed to navigate, or fly in, the air.
    2. “Drone” shall be defined collectively as any unmanned aircraft, unmanned aircraft system, model aircraft, rotorcraft or similar device or aircraft.
    3. “Model Aircraft” shall be defined pursuant to section 336 of Public Law 112-95.
    4. “Rotorcraft” is defined as an aircraft whose support in the air is chiefly derived from the vertical component of the force produced by rotating airfoils. See 702 CMR §2.01.
    5. “Unmanned Aircraft” shall be defined as any unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.
    6. “Unmanned aircraft system” (UAS) shall be defined as an unmanned aircraft and associated elements including communication links and the components that control the unmanned aircraft that are required for the pilot in command to operate safely and efficiently.
    7. “Visual line of sight” shall be defined as (1) the aircraft must be visible at all times to the operator; (2) the operator must use his or her own natural own natural vision (which includes vision corrected by standard eyeglasses or contact lenses) to observe the aircraft; (3) people other than the operator may not be used in lieu of the operator for maintaining visual line of sight.
  2. Scope
    1. All unmanned aircraft systems, drones, model aircraft and rotorcraft (collectively drones) shall be under the scope of this ordinance to the extent allowed pursuant to state and federal law and regulation.
    2. This ordinance shall be limited to those drones that weigh less than fifty five (55) pounds.
    3. This ordinance shall further be limited in scope to those regulations which are not in conflict with FAA regulations or any applicable state law.
  3. Regulated Activities and Operational Limitations
    1. All drones shall comply with all regulations and operational limitations of the Federal Aviation Administration.
    2. A drone may take off from and land on private property owned by the UAS operator, and as permitted from such private and public property after having received the prior written consent of that property owner.
    3. Any operator of a drone shall:
      1. Shall comply with all regulations and operational limitations of the Federal Aviation Administration.
      2. Maintain at all times a visual line of sight to the drone while operating the drone.
  • Not operate over any persons not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, and not inside a covered stationary vehicle.
  1. Not operate except in daylight-only or civil twilight (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, Eastern Standard time) with appropriate anti-collision lighting.
  2. Not photograph or videotape any resident in their own home or on their property without prior written consent of those person or persons.
  3. Not operate over the private property of another unless prior written consent is obtained from the property owner.
  • Not operate over any property owned by the City of Holyoke unless prior written consent has been obtained by the City of Holyoke.

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