Local Police Can Enforce Drone Regulations Under New Cleveland Law

by Nick Castele

Anyone flying drones in Cleveland could face minor misdemeanor charges if they don’t first register the devices with the Federal Aviation Administration. 

And flying within five miles of an airport could also carry city penalties, unless drone operators clear the flight with the FAA first.

That’s under an ordinance that passed Cleveland City Council unanimously Monday night. 

Cleveland’s new laws aren’t meant to supersede the federal government, which regulates airspace. Matt Zone, the chairman of council’s safety committee, said the legislation is meant to give local police the ability to respond to potential violations of FAA rules already in effect.

“People who have drones or bought their kids drones for holidays, or Christmas gifts, the kids can still fly them,” Zone said. He said the ordinance would “create some clarity on what the rules are and what they aren’t.”

Flying a drone within five miles of Burke Lakefront or Cleveland-Hopkins airport would be a fourth-degree misdemeanor on the first

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