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Oyster Bay considering jail time for unauthorized drone users

Oyster Bay Town Hall is shown in this

Oyster Bay Town Hall is shown in this photo taken on Sunday, March 27, 2016. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

The Oyster Bay Town Board is considering regulating the use of unmanned aircraft, known as drones, at town facilities.

A proposed local law would require private and commercial operators of drones to obtain permits from the town before flying the devices over any town-owned property, including beaches, parks and buildings.

The intent of the proposal, according to the draft legislation, is to limit the use of drones because “the flying of these drones presents a noisy and potentially dangerous condition to the public and wildlife.”

Under the proposal, people or companies seeking to fly drones over town property could apply for a permit from the town. The permit application would require payment of a $75 fee as well as information about the equipment, the date and time it would fly, and proof of insurance. The penalty for flying a drone without a permit would be $500 and/or 15 days in jail for the first offense, with punishment escalating for repeat offenders.

The town board is expected to schedule a July 25 hearing on the proposal.

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