Town of Palm Beach News

To Operate a Drone in The Town of Palm Beach

With the use of drones, for entertainment, commercial, as well as a multitude of other purposes, increasing in the United States, many people are left wondering if and how the use of these remote controlled flying machines should be regulated.

As of now, pretty much anyone with a credit card can legally purchase a drone or Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), as they’re referred to by hobbyists.  It is that ease of access which worries some American citizens and governmental agencies, such as the FAA.

These anxieties aren’t exactly ungrounded as some people have started to use their UAS’s for criminal activity; such as drug trafficking, illegal surveillance, and even harassment. Some operators might even unintentionally cause damage to other people or property with irresponsible use of their UAS. One of the greatest concerns, at least to the FAA, is the possibility of a collision between a drone and a passenger aircraft.

To Operate a Drone in The Town of Palm Beach

Although some governmental restrictions on UASs already exist (such as a 55lb weight limit, 400ft maximum altitude, as well as mandatory visual contact between the operator and the drone), Florida has its own laws, one with a specific focus on privacy for example, to moderate drone use.

The Town of Palm Beach is also doing its part, in order to keep its residents safe, by working on ordinances that would regulate the use of drones and allow for responsible application of these useful devices.  

As of now, it is illegal to operate a drone in Palm Beach. However, Island officials recognize the usefulness of these modern little gadgets (which can range from research, to education, and even aiding in law enforcement) and are therefore working on laws that would allow the use of drones, with strict regulation, on the island.

These regulations come in the form of a possible permit, which anyone who wishes to fly their drone over the town of Palm Beach would have to apply and be approved for before they can do so.

A South Florida local, and self-proclaimed drone enthusiast, has commented on the issue stating that “the regulations are already way too restrictive [referring to the ban on all drones in Palm Beach] so I don’t see how adjusting a few laws in order to make it possible for citizens to use them, even under strict regulation, could be a bad thing”. She added “Sure permits seem restrictive now, but it might help open the door that leads to the city being more trusting of its citizens with drones”.

With the wheels, or should one say propellers, already in motion, it is now up to the Town Council to make a final decision on the whether or not the ordinance will pass.

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Jonathan enjoys covering local events and occurrences. His writings encompass a wide range of topics from news to entertainment, oftentimes mixing business with pleasure.

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