Real-estate developers in New York City are hoping officials will amend a 71-year-old law which they say is preventing them from keeping up with the likes of Chicago and LA when it comes to building processes.
The law, signed off in 1948, requires that all aircraft take off and land in a location designated for flight by the Port Authority, mainly airports, meaning that drones are effectively prohibited from flying within the city’s boundaries, despite a 2016 FAA ruling that legalised commercial drone use.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, a New York City website directs anyone who spots the unmanned aerial vehicles in flight to report it to the police immediately.
This, according to people in the industry, puts local developers at a competitive disadvantage.
The WSJ went on to detail how two NYC council members, Justin Brannan and Paul Vallone, proposed legislation last year that would allow for legal drone use, though the bills have been stuck in committee for 18 months.
However, despite what seems to be a step in the right direction, an NYPD spokeswoman said that in order to legalise drones, the legislation would need to prioritise safety.
Mary Ann Rothman, executive director of the of the New York City council of cooperatives and condominiums, said: “It’s long been our feeling that it would enable buildings to save a tremendous amount of money if inspection of facades could be done with drones with cameras.”