Sunday, March 22, 2015

By any other name, it remains The Masters

When Richmond County sheriff’s Col. Robert Partain came before the Augusta Commis­sion proposing an ordinance that would restrict drone traffic during an upcoming “international event,” commission chambers became an echo chamber.

Partain said unmanned aerial vehicles flying in restricted airspace have become a big concern that needs to be addressed locally because of the “international event” coming to the city.

Though Commissioner Ben Hasan noted that Par­tain was “making a reference to what we know as the Masters Tournament,” some commissioners paid no heed.

“I think that that issue needs to be addressed with the ‘international event’ coming up shortly,” said Commissioner Bill Fennoy.

Commissioner Wayne Guil­­foyle said they had to protect people who fly drones as a hobby and those coming to the “international event.”

Partain said state and federal legislation is being proposed and adopted to restrict drones because of the threat of terrorism, not only at an “international event” but also a smaller one that would bring attention to Augusta.

Guilfoyle suggested banning drones temporarily and waiting for FAA regulations, so they could make sure “this international event is taken care of.”

Finally, Commissioner Bill Lockett said he agreed with what had been said about this big “unidentified event.”

“I guess we all know what it is, but I would fully support some of the comments by my colleagues to cover a specified time,” he said.

Lockett said he’d also like commissioners to include both airports for the big “unidentified event.”

“So I think if we had this big ‘unidentified event’ at both airports for a temporary period of time, that would be great,” he said.


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