- Associated Press - Monday, December 14, 2015

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - Aberdeen leaders are considering regulating the use of hobby and recreational drones in the city.

The American News reports (https://bit.ly/1J6NzXE ) that the City Council is considering an ordinance that would prohibit the use of the unmanned aerial vehicles on city property, with the exception of two city parks.

Residents could still operate drones on private property with permission from the property owners. But other restrictions would apply, including no drone use after dark or by children.

“We’re not trying to be anti-drone,” City Manager Lynn Lander said. “We’re just trying to be responsible.”

Local businessman Travis Schaunaman argues the ordinance is premature and not yet needed.



“In terms of privacy, there’s laws that prevent you from taking pictures of people,” Schaunaman said.

Each drone is equipped with a camera but, Schaunaman argues, but they don’t have the ability to zoom. So getting a close-up shot of something requires the drone to be nearby.

“I think their intention is good,” Schaunaman said. “They’re trying to protect people. I don’t think it’s the concern people think it is.”

Lander has said drones are the latest technical advancement that the city needs to address. Although this ordinance restricts hobby and recreational use, he also sees the benefit of drone use, such as using drones to apply larvicide to ponds.

The proposed ordinance in Aberdeen melds federal regulations and guidelines with ordinances adopted or considered by other communities. Businessman Travis Schaunaman says he doesn’t think a city ordinance is needed in Aberdeen.

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Information from: Aberdeen American News, https://www.aberdeennews.com

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