The New York Police Department is proposing to create rules for a permitting process for members of the public to submit applications to launch or land drones within New York City.
The N.Y.P.D. will hold a public hearing on the proposed rules on Fri., July 7, at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of One Police Plaza, at Madison and Pearl Streets.
New York City, congested, with a high-density population and many skyscrapers, currently bans flying drones — including take-offs and landings — except at certain public parks, none in Manhattan.
New York City Administrative Code Section 10-126(c) states: “Take-offs and landings. It shall be unlawful for any person navigating an aircraft to take off or land, except in an emergency, at any place within the limits of the city other than places of landing designated by the department of transportation or the port of New York authority.”
City agencies like the Fire Department and Buildings Department, however, currently do use the unmanned flying devices to monitor fires and inspect fire damage and building safety, among other things.
One area where drones are being eyed for use is building facade inspections. Under Local Law 11, for safety, New York City buildings taller than six stories must have facade inspections every five years.
According to a source, the hearing’s “catalyst” is a 2021 federal lawsuit that Xizmo Media Productions LLC filed against New York City. The suit argues that the Federal Aviation Administration not New York City has jurisdiction over the city’s airspace and also that the drone ban violates the First Amendment.
Anyone who wants to comment on the proposed rules at the public hearing must sign up to speak. You can sign up before the hearing by calling 646-610-5400 and asking for Melanie Braverman or by e-mailing your name and affiliation to NYCRules@nypd.org by June 30. Attendees at the hearing will have the opportunity to indicate if they want to provide comments, but the police prefer that people sign up in advance. Speakers will have up to three minutes to comment.
People can submit comments to the N.Y.P.D. through the NYC rules Web site at rules.cityofnewyork.us, or by e-mail at NYCRules@NYPD.org. Written comments can be mailed to the N.Y.P.D. Legal Bureau at One Police Plaza, Room 1406, New York, NY 10038 c/o Agency Attorney Melanie Braverman.