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Southampton Town weighs drone ban for special events

Under the proposed law, only those with prior written permission from the town would be allowed to fly drones during those events.

The U.S. Open trophy sits in the fescue

The U.S. Open trophy sits in the fescue beside the third fairway at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Southampton Town officials are considering a ban on flying unmanned aircraft during special events, including the upcoming U.S. Open golf tournament at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton.

Under the proposed law, only those with prior written permission from the town would be allowed to fly drones during those events. The town police department requested the new law for safety reasons.

The original intent was for the law to be in effect only during the U.S. Open, Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said during last Tuesday’s town board meeting. The tournament is scheduled June 11-17. The proposed change as written, however, states the ban would be in effect two hours before and after all events issued a permit by the town. It would apply to a 2-mile radius surrounding the event.

The board opted to move forward with the proposed law as is, since the tournament is drawing near.

“We’re out of time,” Schneiderman said. “It would be better to hold a hearing and make amendments after.”

A public hearing is set for 6 p.m. May 22 at Town Hall.

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