State bill will not impact existing Warner Robins drone rules

Warner Robins drone rules unaffected by state

A bill currently sitting on Governor Nathan Deal's desk would impact drone rules across Georgia.

Jacob Reynolds took a closer look at how the bill could impact the skies in Central Georgia.

The City of Warner Robins got their rules in just before the deadline. Because, if this bill is signed it'll take control away from local governments.


Professional drone pilot Chris Dunn understands why the city of Warner Robins passed new drone regulations in late March.

“I do, there could be a safety issue. But again, I've always flown safely and flown within FAA regulations. You know you don't fly over people, don't fly over crowds, don't over busy intersections, or don't fly within five miles of the Air Force Base,” Dunn said.

He says the city's regulations are pretty much common sense.

The ordinance says drones cannot be flown above Watson Boulevard, Russell Parkway, Houston Lake Road, Highway 96, Moody Road and Davis Drive.

It also says drones cannot fly over public safety scenes, private property without permission, or any government property including parks.

Mayor Randy Toms said privacy was one of his concerns.


“I think probably in priorities; I think the privacy issue is a big deal to me. I don't want anybody flying a drone looking in my backyard unnecessarily or anything, or in my windows!” Toms said in his office on Thursday.

The state's bill would make it impossible for local governments to create their own regulations with a few exemptions.

Including, any ordinance on the books before April 1st of this year, which applies to Warner Robins.

That's why Mayor Toms said the regulations are here to stay.

“In discussing it with our city attorney, because we passed ours early, ours are still in effect even if the governor does sign the state law,” Toms said.

Toms told WMAZ the advantage to passing the local ordinance is that they can amend their existing ordinance to make any changes since it's already signed and passed.

If they had waited, they would have been out of luck if the state bill is signed.

The state bill was approved by the Georgia House and Senate last week, Governor Deal has until May 9th to sign it or veto it.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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