[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Chicopee 6-20-2017 by Ord. No. 17-30. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The City of Chicopee recognizes that unmanned aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems, commonly referred to as "drones," are increasingly being flown by citizens for a variety of both recreational and business purposes. United States airspace is the busiest in the world with up to 87,000 flights per day, including commercial airliners, flight haulers, air taxis and private and military aircraft. Further, the City of Chicopee is the home of the Westover Air Reserve Base, which conducts flights critical for the protection of all United States citizens. Consequently, the City of Chicopee hereby adopts this chapter to protect the privacy and property interests of the residents of the City of Chicopee as well as to comply with all federal and state laws, including the safe operation of the Westover Air Reserve Base.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any object designed or used to navigate or fly in the air.
- Any unmanned aircraft, amateur rocket, model aircraft (Section 336 of Public Law 112-95), rotorcraft (702 CMR 2.01), or similar device or aircraft.
- VISUAL LINE OF SIGHT
- An operator having constant and personal visual contact with the aircraft and/or drone at all times. This visual contact shall be natural and personal to the operator and shall not allow the operator to use visual enhancements, screens or other devices to maintain constant visual contact with the aircraft and/or drone.
This chapter shall apply to all drones and aircraft, as defined herein, to the extent allowed pursuant to state and federal law. This chapter shall be limited to those drones/aircraft that weigh less than 55 pounds and which are flown by a private citizen below 400 feet.
All aircraft and drones shall comply with all regulations as established by the Federal Aviation Administration.
A drone and/or aircraft shall only take off and land on private property owned by the operator or where written permission is granted by the landowner. Said written permission shall include the name and signature of the landowner, the address of the property and the permissible dates and hours of operation and shall be in the possession of the drone operator during operation of the drone.
All operators who use an aircraft and/or drone for nonbusiness or noncommercial purposes shall also comply with the following regulations:
Register with the Federal Aviation Administration and maintain proper documentation of the same.
As required by federal law, fly below 400 feet at all times.
Maintain at all times a visual line of sight of the aircraft and/or drone, as defined above.
No operator shall operate an aircraft and/or drone over a crowd or person(s) not directly participating in its operation.
No operator shall operate an aircraft and/or drone prior to sunrise or subsequent to sunset.
No aircraft and/or drone shall be weaponized.
No aircraft or drone shall photograph or videotape any person without the prior written permission of that person. All operators shall maintain this written permission while operating the aircraft and/or drone and for a period of seven years thereafter.
No aircraft or drone shall operate over private property without the prior written permission from the landowner, which shall be in the possession of the operator during operation.
No aircraft or drone shall operate over any property owned or controlled by the City of Chicopee unless prior written authorization is secured by the operator.
No drone shall be flown within five miles of a civilian or military airport without first contacting the control tower before flying.
No operator shall operate an aircraft and/or drone in close proximity or near another aircraft.
No operator shall operate an aircraft and/or drone in bad weather.
The City of Chicopee Police Department or their designee shall enforce this chapter.