New York mayor unveils new guidelines to allow responsible drone usage in New York City

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that the city is issuing new rules setting forth a permitting process and guidelines for the take-off and landing of unmanned aircraft in New York City. The rules including building inspections, infrastructure inspections, and capital project planning. Additionally, the rules ensure the proper safeguards are in place to protect the safety and privacy of all New Yorkers. Mayor Eric Adams of New York City openly invited drone businesses to set up shop in the city, promising to build out the pipeline and talent needed to support the industry.
Under the new rules, individuals and entities will be required to apply for a permit to legally take-off or land a drone or any other kind of unmanned aircraft in New York City. The permitting process will be administered by the NYPD. The permits will include a site temporarily designated as a take-off or landing site by the DOT. Applicants will also be required to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations, and to have obtained authorization to operate their devices from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Further, the rules implement appropriate safeguards to protect the safety and privacy of New Yorkers. Any permittee of an unmanned aircraft must notify the NYPD of any crash or accident that takes place during takeoff, operation, or landing. They also must notify the New York City Cyber Command of any cybersecurity incidents involving devices. Further, if a permittee intends to capture video, photo, or audio, they will be required to notify the relevant community boards, and public notices within 100 feet of the take-off and landing sites in advance.

Drones are already used for several emergency services by the NYPD and the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), often in circumstances where agency personnel cannot be safely deployed. During the recent tragic garage collapse in Lower Manhattan, for example, the FDNY used drones to assess the interior conditions and conduct searches for survivors without putting firefighters’ lives at risk.

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