LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Drone operators in Los Angeles who break federal rules risk facing criminal charges under a measure approved Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council.
The council unanimously approved a regulation making it a misdemeanor to violate various rules already set by the Federal Aviation Administration.READ MORE: Pasadena's Lucky Boy Burgers Sues Postmates Alleging Unfair Business Practices
Under the new rules, drone operators are prohibited from flying within a five-mile radius of an airport, at night or at a height over 400 feet. Drones also cannot be flown closer than 25 feet from another person, except at take-off and landing.
The ordinance also limits drone use if it interferes with manned aircraft and requires that drones be flown within the operator’s line of sight.READ MORE: Lynne Thompson Announced As 2021 Los Angeles Poet Laureate
Councilman Mitchell Englander told reporters the most important rules involve endangering firefighting aircraft.
“One of these [drones] can take down and have taken down firefighting helicopters,” said Englander. “They can’t fly if these are in the air.”
The FAA already imposes civil penalties, but the city’s rules will allow local law enforcement to criminally prosecute rule violators, Deputy City Attorney Janet Karkanen said.MORE NEWS: Mayor Eric Garcetti Urges Property Owners To Sign Up For City's New Program
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