Tempe wants public's input on possible drone ordinance

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The City of Tempe wants to know what the public thinks about restricting drone use in some public parks.

Council member Joel Navarro is hosting a community meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Tempe Public Library, 3500 S. Rural Road. Those who cannot attend are encouraged to give their feedback online.

City spokeswoman Kris Baxter-Ging said the meeting is to discuss whether an ordinance is needed and how the public feels about it. She said parks north of Rio Salado Parkway are of particular interest because they either fall within restricted airspace or are very close to it.

The Federal Aviation Administration does not allow drone use within a 5-mile radius of airports. Tempe Beach Park, for example, is too close to Sky Harbor International Airport to permit drone use.

The City of Tempe has a draft ordinance online for the public to consider. A draft amendment to an ordinance relating to parks states "no person shall launch or land a model aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicle, or similar aerial device in a city park north of Rio Salado Parkway or in a preserve or desert preserve."

Baxter-Ging said discussions about a drone ordinance may or may not lead to an adopted ordinance. She said that will depend on research and public input.

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