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City Council to consider drone restrictions

April 22, 2019 GMT

A new ordinance being introduced Tuesday to the Fort Wayne City Council would place limits on where and when drone operators can fly their aircraft. 

“The regulations set forth in this ordinance seek to promote the ability of hobbyists and commercial users to operate Unmanned Aircraft Systems safely within the city of Fort Wayne while recognizing the need to protect citizens and public safety personnel in designated areas and circumstances where heightened safety concerns are present,” the ordinance states.

Specifically, the ordinance prohibits flying a drone within a 5,500-foot radius of the Superior Lofts building, without first notifying the city. It would also be illegal to fly a drone, without notifying the city, within a 500-yard horizontal radius of, or anywhere above, a public event like the Three Rivers Festival or the Johnny Appleseed Festival. A public event would not have to take place downtown to be covered under this ordinance. 

Anyone who wants to operate a drone during public events or above the Downtown Aerial District would have to submit their name, address and telephone number to the city and explain the purpose of the drone flight as either recreational or commercial use. Operators would also need to submit registration certificate numbers provided by the Federal Aviation Administration and the operator’s remote pilot certificate number to the city for documentation.