Sunday, November 5, 2017

Port of Long Beach now requires permits for drones

Drone enthusiasts and professionals will now have to obtain a permit from the Port of Long Beach to take off and land in the harbor district.

The new regulations require that the pilot must show proof of insurance, provide registration information and takeoff and landing plans and obtain permission from occupants of any port facilities under the flightpath to receive the permit.

The cost of the permit is $100 and will cover the cost of processing the application. Once the permit is administered, the port will post the flight plans on their website to notify port tenants. A Harbor Patrol Officer will also be dispatched to observe the take off, flight and landing of the unmanned aircraft.

According to port spokesman Lee Peterson, the new regulations are a result of the growing interest in drones and unmanned aircraft in the city and aimed at maintaining safety in the port.

“There’s a lot of safety concerns because we do have ships coming through and we have folks who work out of the ports,” Peterson said in an interview. “People want to make sure that they have a safe environment to work in.”

The permitting process was developed within FAA parameters by port security, risk management and commercial operations staff and the Long Beach City Attorney’s office, port Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a statement.

The unmanned aircrafts have been used around the port and the city to track construction project progress, film for movies and television and for a myriad of other uses.

Drones and unmanned aircraft are already governed by the Federal Aviation Administration, which requires that drones be registered with them if they are being flown outside.

No accidents have happened yet as a result of drones being flown in the area, according to Peterson.

The new rules for the port went into effect as of Oct. 26. 

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