Drone expert responds to QPS drone regulation plans - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Drone expert responds to QPS drone regulation plans

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Drone experts are responding to the news that Quincy Public School officials are trying to regulate drone use on their property.

The issue came up at Tuesday night's policy committee meeting. Superintendent Roy Webb said their attorneys say the district owns the air space up to 500-feet above its properties and the committee is now working to create a policy requiring drone pilots to get permission from administrators before they fly.

Drone expert Keith Kmieciak said he's fought similar rules across Illinois and says the district doesn't have the power to do that. Kmieciak has challenged similar local policies and rulings. 

"I've challenged six cities and won all six," said Kmieciak. 

Kmieciak said the school cannot prohibit flying a drone above their property. 

"Once the drone gets one inch off the ground the school would no longer have jurisdiction," said Kmieciak. "The FAA is the only one that can regulate air traffic."

Kmieciak said the school could prohibit people from standing on the school property while they fly, but could not prohibit people from standing across the street and flying their drone over the school. 

He said the district can ban people from launching drones from their property, but they can't control who flies over it.

Webb said despite that, district attorneys still believe that they can implement the policy for drone usage at district events.

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