March 2nd, 2023
Des Moines, Iowa – A bill that would restrict the use of drones in Iowa has passed a committee and is now headed to the full state legislature for consideration and possible amendments.
The bill, which was proposed by State Representative Derek Wulf, would impose restrictions on the use of drones in certain areas and for certain purposes. The proposed legislation aims to protect the privacy and safety of Iowans by limiting the use of drones.
Under the bill, drones would be prohibited from flying over private property without the owner’s permission, and it would be illegal to use a drone to conduct surveillance on someone or there property without there knowledge or consent. The bill would also restrict the use of drones in certain areas, such as around airports, correctional facilities, and other sensitive locations.
The bill has received support from farmers, who have long been concerned about the use of drones for surveillance. However, some drone enthusiasts and business owners have expressed major concern that the restrictions could hinder their ability to use drones for legitimate purposes, such as aerial photography and crop monitoring. Pilots are also strongly concerned about the states authority for such law. An official statement from the FAA states, “The FAA is responsible for the safety of our National Airspace System. This includes all airspace from the ground up. While local laws or ordinances may restrict where drones can take off or land, they [property owners, local, state governments, and most federal agencies] cannot restrict a drone from flying in airspace permitted by the FAA.”
The bill will now go before the full Iowa legislature for consideration. If it is passed into law, Iowa will join several other states that have enacted similar drone restrictions in recent years. Some states failed to maintain these laws with federal court proceedings that favor the FAA’s authority to regulate.