In a recent July newsletter, Belle Plaine Mayor Dave Fish addressed the growing concerns regarding drone-related issues within the city. The mayor’s statement shed light on the challenges Belle Plaine faces with local drone pilots and emphasized the need for cooperation from both citizens and relevant federal agencies to address the situation effectively.
Mayor Dave Fish began by acknowledging the existence of drone-related problems within the city. These problems, he noted, are primarily linked to the activities of local drone pilots. However, the mayor pointed out that the complexity of the issue is closely tied to federal regulations and guidelines governing drone operations, which poses limitations on what can be addressed within city code.
The mayor expressed the city’s commitment to finding a solution to these issues and disclosed ongoing efforts to work with relevant authorities. He stated, “We are actively collaborating with the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] and the BP [Belle Plaine] Airport Commission, in addition to seeking insights from other cities that are grappling with similar challenges.”
One of the key takeaways from the mayor’s address was the importance of individual citizens taking an active role in addressing drone-related concerns. Mayor Dave Fish stressed that filing a police complaint and subsequently lodging a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration are essential steps that residents can take to initiate a response from both local and federal authorities. Without citizen involvement, the city and the federal government lack the means to effectively respond to the issues at hand.
The mayor was candid in his advice, cautioning against relying solely on social media platforms like Facebook to voice concerns and expecting swift action. He emphasized the necessity of tangible actions such as reporting incidents to the proper authorities. In his words, “If your only step is to post it on Facebook, then don’t expect much to be done.”
Furthermore, Mayor Dave Fish addressed concerns about individuals making threatening statements, understanding that frustration can be a natural response to the situation. He urged residents to maintain civility and respect while expressing their grievances and concerns.
The mayor concluded his address by drawing attention to the rapid expansion of drone technology and its potential impact on the city. He cited examples of major companies like Amazon and FedEx discussing the use of drones for delivery services in the near future. This underscores the urgency of finding an effective solution to the drone-related issues faced by Belle Plaine.
In summary, Belle Plaine’s Mayor Dave Fish addressed the city’s drone problems in the July newsletter, emphasizing the need for citizen involvement, collaboration with federal agencies, and respectful dialogue to mitigate the challenges posed by local drone pilots. The city’s commitment to addressing these concerns is clear, and the mayor’s message underscores the importance of community participation in ensuring a safer and harmonious coexistence of drones within Belle Plaine. The mayor’s newsletter may be found here.
Further research into current laws and regulations such as 49 USC §40103 permits only the FAA to create laws and regulations about the use of drones in the national airspace system. The FAA in the past issued a statement stating that states and local municipalities may only regulate the takeoff, landing, and operation of a drone from property under the municipalities control. Municipalities may not regulate the use of drones above said property or jurisdiction.
Lastly, 18 USC §32 prohibits one from threatening or taking action to interfere, disable, destroy or otherwise prevent safe passage of aircraft including drones and aviation facilities within the national airspace system. Violators may be fined or imprisoned for not more than twenty years.
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