Saturday, October 21, 2017

Conyers, Georgia: City Council tweaks no-drone ordinance

CONYERS — The no-drone zone at the Georgia International Horse Park has undergone a slight adjustment as a result of federal law.

The Conyers City Council in August adopted an ordinance that prohibited the use of unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, within the boundaries of the horse park, including Cherokee Run Golf Course.

The purpose of the ordinance, according to City Councilman Chris Bowen, was to protect horses and hikers from drones flying along the trails.

Bowen said that some visitors had complained that drones had come in close contact with them while they were walking or biking on the trails. Concerns were also raised about spooking horses.

During Wednesday’s City Council meeting, however, City Attorney Michael Waldrop advised council members that a recently enacted federal law has forced the city to revise this ordinance.

Waldrop said that federal legislation that went into effect July 1 prohibits local governments from controlling airspace over their jurisdictions.

“That is reserved for the Federal Aviation Administration,” he said.

Therefore, the city’s ordinance was amended to “prohibit the launch and intentional landing” of an unmanned aircraft within the boundaries of the horse park.

“We cannot legally prevent someone who takes flight elsewhere from flying over the horse park,” Waldrop said.

Original article ➤

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