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Need help understanding FL Drone law.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Photocell, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. Photocell

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    I have been considering purchasing a Phantom Pro, but I do have a great concern with the new laws being passed recently in my home state of Florida. Let's say I wanted to do a small video illustrating a state park or my local marina, am I prohibited from doing this now that this new drone law has passed in FL?

    Thanks in advance for your reply's and helping me to understand this.
     
  2. msinger

    Approved Vendor

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    Got a link to the specific law that you're worried about?
     
  3. Solar Deity

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    Short answer. Yes, no problem. If your State Park allows it and you had permission from the marina owners, you can always do it recreationally. Nothing's changed, except you have to register yourself as flying an aircraft that weighs .55 to 55 lbs.
     
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  4. QuadcopterFL

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    Not sure what law you are talking about...but, the FAA has made it clear that states and cities are NOT to be making their own regulations/laws when it comes to the airspace, without prior approval.

    QUOTE: "Because Federal registration is the exclusive means for registering UAS for purposes of operating an aircraft in navigable airspace, no state or local government may impose an additional registration requirement on the operation of UAS in navigable airspace without first obtaining FAA approval. Substantial air safety issues are raised when state or local governments attempt to regulate the operation or flight of aircraft. If one or two municipalities enacted ordinances regulating UAS in the navigable airspace and a significant number of municipalities followed suit, fractionalized control of the navigable airspace could result. In turn, this ‘patchwork quilt’ of differing restrictions could severely limit the flexibility of FAA in controlling the airspace and flight patterns, and ensuring safety and an efficient air traffic flow. A navigable airspace free from inconsistent state and local restrictions is essential to the maintenance of a safe and sound air transportation system."
     
    #4 QuadcopterFL, Dec 22, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
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  5. 0000edgar0000

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    If i read it right it is not allowed to fly over a National Park. Dont know what your marina looks like or how busy it is but try to stay away from crowds of people.
     
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  6. Photocell

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    Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

    http://laws.flrules.org/2015/26

    This is the law that I am talking about.

    To me this law makes no sense as an example what about the google map car? It drives around and photographs everyone's house from the street level
    and google satellites snap pictures of everyone's backyards. And from my yard all I have to do is stand on the tip of my toes and I can see my neighbors property
    so how is this any different?
    So let's say I received the go ahead from the park ranger to use my drone within the park, well the park has folks out and about.
    And according to this law I cannot film anyone without consent, it's definitely one of those laws that is not clear enough.
    I would love to have a drone and just make videos of the marsh, the state parks etc.. I have no interest in spying on someones backyard or anything like that.
    But I would like to make a video of the drone flying above out historic downtown area for illustration purposes of course.
     
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  7. JFHughes08088

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    Regarding "persons", you can fly and record EXCEPT a person who is on their owned, real property AND if they have the reasonable expectation of privacy. Example, hanging out in the backyard and visible from off the property at ground level = not a reasonable expectation of privacy. Lying by the pool within the confines of a privacy fence = reasonable expectation of privacy, at least in Florida. It seems as though the clarification is regarding visible from ground level. Also, it does not restrict flying and observing, just recording.
     
  8. Solar Deity

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    Globally, if you are using it for recreation and not selling or making money, it should be fine with permission from the rangers at the State Park. It's a public place. You aren't concentrating on any person or groups of people. Just nature and the marshes. I look at it as if someone was taking a hand photo in the park. If you happen to be in the shot, they don't ask your permission. In this case though, and me being from NY, just give the park a call and get their thoughts. Humility, politeness and manners will go a long way in getting the necessary permissions.

    SD
     
  9. SanCap

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    This excerpt comes from F.A.C. 62D-2.014 (Activities and Recreation)
    (15) Aircraft. No person operating or responsible for any aircraft, glider, balloon, parachute, or other aerial apparatus shall cause any such apparatus to take off from or land in any park except in an emergency when human life is endangered or where a designated landing facility may exist on park property.

    Some parks may give you permission.
     
  10. Solar Deity

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    Full disclosure: Doesn't look good filming nature scenes in FL State Parks. Sorry.

    "Earlier this month you wrote to me inquiring about the Florida Park Service rules regarding the operation of model aircraft within state parks, and I answered you based on my research at that time (see email below). However, in further discussion with my supervisor, I was told that the issue of model aircraft and drones being operated in state parks was discussed at a recent division management meeting, and it was determined that these fall under the prohibitions of Chapter 62D-2 of the Florida Administrative Code, which applies to the operation of state parks. Here is the specific section of the chapter:

    F.A.C. 62D-2.014 (Activities and Recreation)

    (15) Aircraft. No person operating or responsible for any aircraft, glider, balloon, parachute, or other aerial apparatus shall cause such an apparatus to take off from or land in any park except in an emergency when human life is endangered or where a designated landing facility may exist on park property.

    In your case, the model airplanes fall under “other aerial apparatus” as described above. The reason for the prohibition of model aircraft is due to the noise disruption to park guests that such cause, and more importantly because they disturb birds and other wildlife within the state park.

    I would greatly appreciate it if you could forward this update to any online forums you may have posted my earlier reply upon; there was some uncertainty when I initially replied to you, but since that time there has been a conclusive decision on the matter that is being enforced in Florida state parks. Thank you for your help in this matter.

    Sincerely yours,

    Julie R. Kurisko
    Information Line Manager
    Bureau of Operational Services
    Department of Environmental Protection
    3800 Commonwealth Blvd., MS 535
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-3000"
     
  11. tcope

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    I did not need to read too much....

    "An act relating to surveillance by a drone... with the intent to conduct surveillance"

    This means you are free to fly around and obtain various photos and video as long as it's your intent to target one person. It also applies to law enforcement. It does nothing more then duplicates laws already in place and serves to clarify that they apply to drones.
     
  12. Oso

    Oso

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    This is what you meant to say, correct?
    This means you are free to fly around and obtain various photos and video as long as it's [not] your intent to target one person.
     
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  13. Solar Deity

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    Julie said it was due to the noise disruption......
     
  14. JFHughes08088

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    Read on.
    “Surveillance” means:
    1. With respect to an owner, tenant, occupant, invitee, or licensee of privately owned real property, the observation of such persons with sufficient visual clarity to be able to obtain information about their identity, habits, conduct, movements, or whereabouts; or
    2. With respect to privately owned real property, the observation of such property’s physical improvements with sufficient visual clarity to be able to determine unique identifying features or its occupancy by one or more persons.
     
  15. R2-D2

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    Wow even a balloon is outlawed.
     
  16. JKDSensei

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    "with the intent to conduct surveillance"

    (e)

    Surveillance

    means:
    1. With respect to an owner, tenant, occupant, invitee, or licensee of
    privately owned real property, the observation of such persons with sufficient
    visual clarity to be able to obtain information about their identity, habits,
    conduct, movements, or whereabouts; or
    2. With respect to privately owned real property, the observation of such
    property

    s physical improvements with sufficient visual clarity to be able to
    determine unique identifying features or its occupancy by one or more
    persons.


    I find this definition of "Surveillance" to be unfair to the hobby.
    Even if you casually fly over a property and couldn't care less about what's on the property or going on in the property, you could be construed to meet this requirement for prosecution. The margin is wide and includes not only visually identifying a person, but all the video needs to be able to capture is their "movements". "OR" being the wording. OR it's occupancy by one or more persons. Without intent to gather information on specific properties or specific people with the intent to use that information for legal action or financial gain or another public purpose expressly prohibited, it seems too broad.

    Notice the wording is purposely omitted that would construe the PURPOSE of the flight being to collect surveillance data. Instead, the wording is such that the mere "Observation" is sufficient to bring action. This is bad.

    This law is very vague and far reaching and gives Tallahassee a VERY wide umbrella under which to prosecute. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your POV), it also limits the use of drones by Law Enforcement.

    Since Florida has one of the highest concentrations of drones, it will be interesting to see just how many prosecutions take place.

    If you take these laws as stated, it could mean Drones are not allowed to operate in Florida except directly over private property or non owned locations and even then, with sufficient distance as to not allow the operator or camera to see anything on another's property.

    So where can you legally fly a drone in Florida?

    1). Over private property (with sufficient distance from the next property, 20+ acres?)
    2). Over the Ocean, provided no persons, vessels or structures are within short range.
    3). Where permission is granted (good luck with that)

    So, in essence, drone flights in Florida are essentially outlawed. If you abide by the law, it will be difficult to enjoy the hobby there. It seems this begs for a legal challenge.
     
    #16 JKDSensei, Dec 22, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  17. tcope

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    Yes, this means that the video/photos need to of sufficient quantity as to indicate that it's that one person being monitored. This specifically show that merely flying a UAV and happening to capture people is not sufficient to be "surveillance". That is, simply happening to capture someone in a few stills is not illegal.
     
  18. tcope

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    "(3) PROHIBITED USE OF DRONES.— (a) A law enforcement agency may not use a drone to gather evidence or other information."

    This law only serves to apply existing laws to drones.
     
  19. JFHughes08088

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    sufficient quantity? No mention of quantity. Quality and clarity are nmetnioned
     
  20. N017RW

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    Legal advice [from] here?

    Seriously???