Regulating Drones – New Municipal Laws Are Coming

Land Use

In April, I wrote on the trend nationwide for municipalities to enact laws regulating drones.  The Town of Huntington has now, in fact, commenced review of a local law to regulate drones, which are called “Unmanned Aircraft Systems” in the Town’s law.  Soon, in my analysis, most municipalities on Long Island will adopt their own laws.  Municipalities will adopt these laws notwithstanding the federal pre-emption of regulation of the navigable air space higher than 400 feet from the ground.  The issues are too compelling to ignore:  intrusion on the right of privacy, interference with local law enforcement, impact on the public health safety and welfare from unmanned aircraft, the proper scope of using drones for commercial purposes, and the rights of residents to be free of excess noise, and visual impairment.  And these are only a few of the concerns.  As the trend continues, more updates will follow.


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