Green Bay, Wis. bans drones from special events

In June, Action 2 News first reported about a proposed drone ban in the City of Green Bay. Earlier this week a new ordinance was passed by the city council.

Drone use is now banned at special events in the city, making Green Bay the first city in Wisconsin to enact such a rule.

Members of the Green Bay Area Drone User Group don’t agree with all the rules set in place.

“Absolutely not necessary because there’s no drone problem. Sometimes ordinances are created because there’s a problem. In this case there’s no problem to solve so it’s over-reaching, I think,” said Chris Knight, a member of the Green Bay Area Drone User Group.

According to the city’s legal department, the definition of a special event states: “An athletic event, ceremony, demonstration, exhibition, march, pageant, parade, procession, race, show or other similar display which interferes with the normal flow or regulation of traffic upon the streets, sidewalks, or rights-of-way, or the normal use of parks or other public grounds. Boundaries for the special event shall be set forth in the application and permit for said event.”

The measure passed unanimously Tuesday. Some city leaders cite safety concerns as more people start using drones as a hobby.

“It’s not a pressing matter, but if we can stay on top of it that’s always good,” said Randy Scannell, an alderman for the city’s 7th District.

Knight understands the safety concerns, but wants the ban overturned. He says ultimately the FAA has jurisdiction over the sky.

Knight agrees with one section of the ordinance which allows people to use drones at special events if they get permission from the event organizer or FAA.

Public safety officials are exempt from the ordinance.

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