Los Angeles Business Journal

Drones Grounded in Manhattan Beach

By Business Journal Staff Thursday, January 21, 2016

Manhattan Beach officials are moving to crack down on the use of drones, even though the unmanned aircraft are popular among photographers capturing aerial shots of the scenic beach town. Because of the drones’ potential for collisions and invasions of privacy, members of the City Council backed a set of regulations mirroring those of the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the Daily Breeze.

Under the new regulations, it would be illegal to use drones to take photos or video or audio recordings of any person or private property under circumstances where the individual or property owner has “reasonable expectations of privacy.”

Additionally, flying drones higher than 400 feet, too close to manned aircraft or within five miles of an airport without authorization from an air traffic control tower would be a misdemeanor. Drones can only be flown during daylight hours, give right of way to manned aircraft and cannot fly within 25 feet of anyone other than operators unless it’s during takeoff or landing.

Even though drones are regulated by the FAA, writing the rules into Manhattan Beach’s Municipal Code will allow the city to enforce them, City Attorney Quinn Barrow said.

The ordinance, approved Tuesday on a unanimous vote, will return for final adoption on Feb. 2.