May State And Local Gov'ts Control Low-Flying Drones?

Law360, New York (December 4, 2014, 11:33 AM EST) -- Most of the attention paid to drones has focused on issues of aviation and Federal Aviation Administration authority. Yet much of the impact of low-flying drones will fall, not on the national air transportation system, but on those who live and work at ground level. Accordingly, states, counties and municipalities are increasingly asserting regulatory authority over drones and citing the need to protect the health and safety, including privacy, of residents.

Historically, state and local governments protect their residents through land use and zoning restrictions, among other laws adopted under their broad police powers. For example, a community may choose to...

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