Change is in the air for some Kansas drone users

Drone Photo - KSN File

HAYSVILLE, Kan. (KSNW) – Drone users will now be able to fly their unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) above public property in Haysville.

On Monday night, the Haysville city council voted to a approve a drone ordinance. The ordinance allows users to take-off and land their drones in all designated city parks.

“A lot of cities are truly doing this because of the drones truly being so popular,” said Haysville Mayor Bruce Armstrong. “We wanted to make sure that we were able to use them for commercial and have our residents be able to use it for recreation, also.”

Before Monday’s meeting, people were only allowed to fly their drones above private property in the City of Haysville or in areas designated by city officials.

“You can have it, but it has to be flown in a place that we say you can have it and we hadn’t designated any places,” Armstrong explained.

Drone enthusiast and Haysville resident Cathey Hurley bought her own drone in 2015.¬†However, she said she hasn’t been able to get much use out of it because the city prohibited drones from flying over public property.

“I do a lot of work with the city and a lot of people. What I wanted to do was take pictures like over the parks when our flowers are blooming, during the winter time during our village Christmas. You know, all of the activities that I take still pictures of I would have liked to have been taken a video of,” said Hurley.

Mayor Armstrong said the new ordinance will allow residents like Hurley to use their drones more frequently while following some safety guidelines.

“As long as you don’t fly it over where there are a lot of people. We don’t want to have it dropped on somebody or you are flying it where it may fall on somebody’s house or cause damage to them. We want to make sure not only the person flying the drone is safe, but we want to make sure our residents are safe from flying that drone,” Armstrong said.

The ordinance said if a person is found guilty of a reckless operation or operation out of compliance they could be punished by a fine not to exceed $500. It also explains that the ordinance does not apply to an UAS that is operated by or on behalf of the City of Haysville or any other public agency for government related purposes in compliance with all federal laws and regulations and operated in compliance with City of Haysville policies.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates air space. To see a list of FAA drone rules, click here.

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