Anyone who doesn't register their drone could face fines and penalties that include three years in prison. It's unclear whether they have attorneys.
Ponce was spotted by helicopter flying his drone over Griffith Park, which is within three miles of multiple hospital heliports.
On December 12, 2015, Chappell's drone allegedly forced a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) air unit to change its landing path when he flew it within a quarter-mile of the Hooper Heliport in downtown Los Angeles. These are the first charges under a new city ordinance restricting drones to daylight flight, under 400 feet and not within five miles of an airport.
The drone must have a label on them that meets the following criteria and placement. Although numerous current rules are expected to remain in place - no nighttime flying, having to keep the drone in sight, and a ban on flying near people - they will replace the FAA's Section 333 exemption, giving the green light to the entire drone market and ending the case-by-case process.
The ordinance closely resembles the Federal Aviation Administration's civilian drone flight regulations.
The City Attorney's office says that it's previously prosecuted drone operators under existing laws including trespassing for flying over certain areas and obstructing police activity.
In the past, the FAA has given TV and movie production companies exemptions to fly drones close to people, relaxing the 500-foot set-back rule, but these operations could only occur on a closed film set, and the people involved had to be necessary to the film's production. Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado Hills) and Assemblymember Mike Gatto (DBurbank), would have provided immunity to any emergency responder who damages a drone while fighting a fire or conducting a rescue operation.
In contrast with those failed legislative attempts to hold drone operators accountable for misdeeds, Los Angeles passed its new ordinance on a unanimous vote.
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