Proposal would ban drones at outdoor events in Indianapolis

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 21, 2016) - A proposal being introduced Monday night at an Indianapolis City Council meeting would ban the use of private drones at large outdoor events.

The ordinance, being introduced primarily due to public safety concerns at the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, would ban drones at all major outdoor events in the city of Indianapolis. The proposal states drones would be banned "at any official outdoor sporting event, contest or celebration of the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), North American Soccer League (NASL), Minor League Baseball (MiLB), Indiana High School Athletic Association (ISHAA) or any other sanctioned amateur or professional sports league."

The ban would also include any official event held at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“It could be anything, a mini marathon, an event at White River State Park, it’s really about outdoor events, where there’s a lot of people," explained City Councilman Jeff Miller (R) - District 16.

Miller said the proposed ordinance would expand on current FAA regulations for personal drone usage. Miller stated the FAA's guidelines encompass generic rules and that there's a need for more specific outlines for Indianapolis.

“I think it’s very sensible, very limited approach to it. We looked at what the FAA regulates and what it doesn't," Miller said. He added, “it’s one of those things were technology kind of gets ahead of us and then we have to figure out what to do with it.”

The proposal goes on to specify who can use drones, including law enforcement and fire personnel during investigations.

“Department of public works, if they’re driving around monitoring a situation, checking an intersection for dangerous traffic issues," Miller said.

Miller, who co-authored the proposed ordinance, said they started with a simple approach to public safety at large events in hopes of it passing before the Indy 500.

If it does pass, drone users who violate the flying restrictions would face a $500 fine. Their drone would also be confiscated for any amount of time.

Proposal number 144 will be introduced in Monday night's city council meeting. It will be heard on Wednesday night.


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