[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Northport 5-17-2016 by L.L. No. 3-2016. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the intention of the Northport Village Board to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the community by authorizing the establishment of procedures for the recreational operation of unmanned aircraft systems (hereinafter "UAS"), commonly known as "model aircraft" or "drones," throughout the community.
This chapter applies only to recreational use of unmanned aircraft. The Village of Northport recognizes that the Federal Aviation Administration (hereinafter "FAA") currently authorizes and regulates the use of UAS by public entities and UAS used for commercial or business purposes. No person shall fly an unmanned aircraft or UAS for commercial purposes without express permission from the FAA.
Scope. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the operation of unmanned aircraft or UAS on or near all properties in the Incorporated Village of Northport in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents and visitors of the Incorporated Village of Northport.
Applicability. The provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to supplement applicable federal, state and local laws, ordinances, codes and regulations. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to abolish, impair, supersede or replace existing remedies of federal, state, county or Town laws, regulations or requirements. In case of conflict between any provisions of his chapter and any applicable law, regulation, code or requirement, the more restrictive or stringent provision or requirement shall prevail.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the indicated meanings:
- A vessel used or designed for navigation of or flight in the air.
- MANNED AIRCRAFT
- Aircraft that is carrying or being operated by one or more persons.
- A person, entity, or agency that is responsible for flying, steering or guiding an unmanned aircraft or UAS; to operate or control the course of an unmanned aircraft or UAS.
- RECREATIONAL USE
- Use of a UAS for pastime or diversion for the purpose of affording relaxation and enjoyment.
- UNMANNED AIRCRAFT (also known as "drone" or "model aircraft")
- A non-human-carrying aircraft weighing no more than 55 pounds, capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere, intended exclusively for sport, recreation, education and/or competition, and that is typically guided by remote control or onboard computers.
- UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM (UAS)
- An unmanned aircraft and associated elements, including communication links and components that control the unmanned aircraft.
- VISUAL LINE OF SIGHT (VLOS)
- The distance at which the pilot of a UAS is able to maintain visual contact with the aircraft and determine its orientation without enhancements other than corrective lenses.
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no person, business entity, or agency shall use an unmanned aircraft for recreational purposes, in the following manner:
Use imaging technology for aerial surveillance with an unmanned aircraft and/or unmanned aircraft system having the capability of obtaining high resolution photographs and/or video, or using any types of sensors at any level of resolution, for the collection, retention, or dissemination of surveillance data or information, in a raw, filtered, transformed, aggregated or analysed format on individuals, homes, businesses, or property at locations where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. Said conduct is strictly prohibited unless written express permission is obtained from the individual property owner or manager.
Pilot an unmanned aircraft on private real property without the express written consent of the property owner and/or the property manager.
Pilot an unmanned aircraft within the border of any real property owned, used or leased by the Incorporated Village of Northport without the express written consent of the Incorporated Village of Northport Board of Trustees or its designated representative.
Pilot an unmanned aircraft outside of the pilot's visual line of sight.
Pilot an unmanned aircraft higher than 400 feet from the ground.
Pilot an unmanned aircraft near or over unprotected persons or moving vehicles at a height less than 50 feet from same or over watercraft less than 50 feet above the craft's highest point or within 100 feet of any type of aircraft, balloon, kite or other airborne device.
Pilot an unmanned aircraft under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
Pilot an unmanned aircraft in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.
Pilot an unmanned aircraft near or over sensitive infrastructure or property such as power stations, sewage treatment facilities and roadways in the Incorporated Village of Northport.
Pilot an unmanned aircraft over any sporting event, ceremony, concert or any other gathering of people that is held on public property within the Incorporated Village of Northport.
Pilot any unmanned aircraft that is capable of launching, shooting or dropping or attaching a device to the unmanned aircraft that is capable of launching, shooting or dropping a projectile or object of any kind. This includes any form of laser light.
This chapter and its provisions shall be enforced by the Village of Northport Police Department or County of Suffolk Police Department and/or by employees of the Incorporated Village of Northport responsible for the enforcement of Village ordinances and codes.
Any person or entity committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a violation, punishable by a fine not exceeding $1000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The continuation of an offense against the provisions of this chapter shall constitute, for each day the offense is continued, a separate and distinct offense hereunder.