- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

ASHLAND, Mo. (AP) - City officials have passed an ordinance restricting the use of drones to owners’ private property.

The ordinance was approved Monday after the Ashland Board of Aldermen passed it on Dec.1.

The Columbia Daily Tribune (http://bit.ly/1RozT1Q ) reports that owners may fly the drones outside their property if they receive permission from other property owners. The ordinance also states that drones cannot be flown higher than 130 feet.

In contrast, the Federal Aviation Administration prohibits drones from flying higher than 400 feet, or within 5 miles of an airport. Ashland is about 5 miles from Columbia Regional Airport.

Acting city administrator Lyn Woolford said the new ordinance is more of a guideline than a restriction, noting that it was adopted to deal with an expected surge of drones given as Christmas gifts.

“It’s just to give guidelines… so they would fly it appropriately and not be disruptive,” Woolford said.

Woolford also said that the 130-foot flight restriction was established because the city’s water tower is 132 feet tall.

Mayor Gene Rhorer said a property owner’s discovery of an errant drone several weeks ago “kind of brought about our awareness on the up-and-coming drone frenzy.” He said city officials worked with FAA and Columbia Regional Airport officials to craft the ordinance.

Enforcing the legislation is the final step, Rhorer said.

Registration will cost $5 and must be renewed every three years. Owners will have to mark aircraft with an identification number.

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com

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