Multiple cities in Denver are looking to introduce new UAV regulations covering where and how drones can be used.
The new rules may, however, ban flights altogether in certain areas and put local authorities on a crash course with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).
The Denver Post reports legislators wish to ensure that new legislation protects public privacy and safety without being overly prohibitive or detrimental to the UAV industry, projected to be worth $9 billion by 2024.
Greenwood Village, a wealthy city in Arapahoe county with a population of 16,000, joins other cities in the region that will introduce local ordinances which explicitly forbids flight over certain parts of the city. The city’s manager, John Jackson, told the post they were not trying to be the drone police but they did wish to protect their residents’ privacy.
Local have complained that drones in the area were being used in a “voyeuristic manner”, flying in people’s back yards or hanging around ominously when car crashes or fires happen. There is public speculation that some of the drone users are recording footage to sell to news organizations or private buyers.
Greenwood Village is just the latest Denver city attempting to bring drones under control. In 2014, an ordinance was mooted which allowed residents to shoot down trespassing drones. It did not pass at the ballot box.
In the United States, Federal law trumps state or county law. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is the supreme law making body governing the flight of drones. There have already been numerous cases where local UAV rules have been struck down by judges because they clashed with the rules established by the FAA.