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Orchard Park looks at repealing law restricting drones

Orchard Park, believed to be the first National Football League community to pass a local law restricting drones, should rescind its law, according to one Town Board member.

Councilman Michael Sherry plans to start the legal process at Wednesday's board meeting to do away with the law that was enacted in 2015.

That should be good news to Joseph M. Danno of Rochester, who was charged Sept. 5 with violating the law by flying a drone above a parking lot at New Era Field the day of the U2 concert.

Sherry said he also is recommending the charges be dropped and the drone returned to the man.

In a memo to fellow Town Board members, Sherry notes that Congress has given the Federal Aviation Administration the authority to govern air space.

"I find it doubtful, at best, that our ordinance (initial and/or modified) would be sustainable if legally challenged," he said in the memo.

The town enacted the law restricting the use of unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, within 1 mile of an open air event in the town, and in August the board amended the law to prevent drones from six hours before and after the event and within 3 miles of New Era Field when an event is being held.

Sherry said he researched the issue after WGRZ-Channel 2 raised questions whether the local code would stand up if challenged.

He said in the memo that the motive of the law is to protect the safety and security of the public. The town's original law predates action by the FAA restricting flights over in 2016, which do provide for temporary flight restrictions for NFL games, Sherry said.

Drone over New Era Field lot during U2 concert leads to arrest




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