New drone legislation gives state power to regulate - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

New drone legislation gives state power to regulate

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Governor John Bel Edwards signed a new bill into law that drone operators say will have a positive impact for both commercial use and for those flying them just for fun.

There are many questions that arise in the conversation about drone usage since it’s a fairly new topic. There are many concerns over privacy, but also over where and when drones can be used.

Before this bill was signed, it was up to individual cities and towns, but now the state has taken back that power.

When spotting one of these flying overhead, some people feel uncomfortable.

“It's the safety of my home - I would think people were looking in my home seeing all my privacy in my room, in my bathroom, all that so I would be very concerned that it’s not very safe,” said Daphne Joseph.

Others don't usually mind.

“They're not that bad. They don't invade my privacy very much. As long as they're not videoing my house or me I'm good,” said Jaimie Miller.

Some even like them.

“They’re actually pretty cool - you actually don't recognize them half the time anyway,” said Madison Fusilier.

With new technology that's constantly changing there will always be different opinions on what should and shouldn't be regulated, and that can be a problem in a field that's quickly turned commercial.

“If you have one mayor who doesn't like drones, versus one mayor who says drones are okay, it’s kind of unfair just because its two different cities,” said Cody Porche of Porche Aerial Photography.

Porche says this new legislation takes away that confusion and is a positive step in regulation.

“I think it will reduce having to juggle so many laws from city to city, versus going to one source and understanding what you can do with them and where you can fly,” said Porche.

According to Porche, there is little regulation in the area, and operators have to comply with federal guidelines set by the FAA, like having to be able to see the drone at all times, as well as keeping it under 100 mph and under 400 feet in the air.

And keeping away from the airspace around airports.

The state also has its own rules to ease the minds of its people.

“The state’s going to have voyeurism rules. They’re going to have rules regarding flying near schools and flying near jails as well,” said Porche.

Like with anything, there are always issues to look out for.

“Generally speaking, there are going to be people that are doing things they are not supposed to do, but again you should call the local authorities if you are concerned, and then deal with it that way,” said Porche. 

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