A recent proposal to ban the use of drones in New York City has some model airplane enthusiasts worried that their hobby will soon be labeled a crime. The legislation, put forth by City Councilman Daniel Garodnick recently, is one of three proposals to tackle the use of drones by civilians. If Garodnick’s plan is passed, it would make it illegal for anyone to fly a drone in NYC except for police officers who have obtained a warrant.
The Staten Island Radio Control Modelers Club is concerned that the language of the bill would also apply to their innocent activity of flying model airplanes at a designated field located in New Springville.
According to the New York Daily News:
Club members say their pastime should not be lumped in with drones, the remote-controlled objects that have triggered public-safety and privacy concerns among New York legislators.
“It’s engineering, it’s piloting, it’s artistic,” said Darren Foster, 45, a club member for six years.
“It could be devastating. I’m not one of those people that goes to the middle of Manhattan to fly drones,” said Pansini, who has said he would consider moving out of the city if his hobby is banned.
The club, which was formed almost 50 years ago and has 110 members, has begun lobbying its Republican councilmen, Steve Matteo and Vincent Ignizio, to help ensure that model airplane enthusiasts would be protected from the bill.
For his part, Garodnick has indicated that he will consider drafting an exemption for model airplanes. A spokesman for the councilman said in a statement, “We’ll look to find a way to create exemptions for plane hobbyists, and even limited uses for drones themselves.”