Has anyone created (or proposed) a database or clearinghouse of local and state codes, restrictions and prohibitions applicable to UAS?

  • $\begingroup$ Why revert the edited title? $\endgroup$ – Jimy Sep 28 '17 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ @JimyPP the proposed change was much wordier and did not substantially add to the question, in my opinion. $\endgroup$ – mongo Sep 28 '17 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ @mongo, we tend to prefer actual questions in the title, so Jimy's edit was according to our guidelines $\endgroup$ – Federico Sep 29 '17 at 7:41

So far no one has created an official database. By official I mean one that you can count on to be correct and up-to-date. There are a few people who have created databases, but they all come with the caveat that they don't guarantee the info is correct and current.

The thing is, I don't really know if you could create a reliable database with the laws the way they are. A few states have stepped in and written a preemption against local ordinances, so in those it would be fairly easy to do. But in other states there'd be no way to keep up with ordinances enacted by the the thousands of county and local governments, many of which don't maintain an easily-accessible method of publishing their laws, and most of which are written by people who know little about uas, so the laws are often very vague.

The laws are also changing quickly right now, creating an untenable situation for drone operators. The US Senate is currently considering a bill that specifically legislates against any possible fix to this situation. It's really a complete mess.

A few of the databases I have found are:

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  • $\begingroup$ One town in NY has a collection of laws, which even the town office could not assure they could identified completely. Some were published in the town code, and some were in town board meeting minutes. There is no index for that town. Complicating things, they have a stadium, which has it's own TFR and NOTAMs. Further complicating things, while there are area wide bans, there is a provision where a landowner can fly over his/her property. Sounds like things are ripe for another Singer v Newton. $\endgroup$ – mongo Sep 28 '17 at 19:35
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    $\begingroup$ @mongo Yeah, that's a mess. I don't see how people are supposed to deal with stuff like that. It's going to be everybody's knee-jerk reaction to just ban them everywhere. I understand the need for local rules. You shouldn't be allowed to fly your drone over your neighbor's house and spy on them. But there has to be clear guidelines on what they can and can't legislate locally. Much like driving. There are some differences in ordinances here and there as to what's allowed But the entire set of driving rules don't change when you go from one city to the next. $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Sep 28 '17 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ I received an email, with a news article. It seems that someone flew a UAS and got charged with trespass with an unmanned aircraft. In Sept 2017. $\endgroup$ – mongo Sep 28 '17 at 22:15

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