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It’s time for New York to craft common-sense regulations for drones

Justin Brannan, who represents Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and Bath Beach in the City Council, argues in the New York Daily News that “it’s time for New York to craft common-sense regulations for drones.” I couldn’t agree with him more. However, Brannan also mentions new legislation that he has drafted to allow drones to be flown in the city. He mentions registration and insurance requirements as well as a form of Remote ID. It is unclear whether his drafted legislation is in line with what the FAA is doing, or whether Brannan is proposing legislation purely for drone flying in New York City. I would argue against the latter, as it will contribute to an impossibly hard-to-navigate patchwork of drone laws around the country, similar to what Mike Lee is suggesting with the Drone Integration and Zoning Act.

Common-sense regulations for drones in NYC

Justin Brannan explains in the New York Daily News:

Drones aren’t just the future, they’re a part of life today. Businesses use these small aerial robots to do their work better, faster, cheaper, and safer. Police and fire departments are saving lives with drones carrying cameras that can see through smoke and darkness.

There’s just one problem: New York City government says a 60-year-old law makes drones illegal.

It’s time for New York to craft common-sense regulations for drones that allow flights where they’re safe, restrict them where they aren’t, and make sure we can get the benefits of these devices while protecting public safety. We need to hear from the city agencies, private companies, and regular New Yorkers who want to use drones, address concerns from police and privacy advocates, and strike a fair balance.

The legislation I’ve drafted would require any drone flown in the city to be registered with the Department of Transportation, covered by a liability insurance policy, and have an identification tag and number linking it to its owner — sort of like a VIN number on a car. It would authorize enforcement by DOT and NYPD against those in violation of these rules.

This city can welcome drones and all the great things they can do while protecting everybody on the ground.

As they say, the sky’s the limit.

You can read the entire article here.

What do you think about flying drones in New York City? Let us know in the comments below.

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Avatar for Haye Kesteloo Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys and Electrek. Haye can be reached at or @hayekesteloo