From No Drones California
In a meeting Monday, September 10, the Peace and Justice Commission of Berkeley, CA, approved language for a “no drones” resolution. The resolution will now move to the full Berkeley city council for consideration, with consideration likely scheduled for November.
The approved language is provided below, followed by a list of additional articles relevant to a Berkeley No Drone Zone.
Resolution to Proclaim Berkeley a No Drone Zone and Enact an Ordinance to that Effect
From Commissioner Meola, September 10, 2012
WHEREAS, the Peace and Justice Commission advises the City Council on all matters relating to the City of Berkeley’s role in issues of peace and social justice (Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC) Chapter 3.68.070); and
WHEREAS, Berkeley has a history of standing up for peace, justice, civil liberties, and the welfare of people; and
WHEREAS, United States airspace is the busiest in the world, with up to 87,000 flights per day, including commercial airliners and freight haulers, air taxis and private and military aircraft; and
WHEREAS, “Statistics show unmanned aircraft have an accident rate seven times higher than general aviation and 353 times higher than commercial aviation;”1 and
WHEREAS, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, also known as Drones, are not now allowed in United States general airspace because of the threat they present to other aircraft and under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 the FAA is directed to create regulations that will enable drones to fly throughout United States airspace by September, 2015; and
WHEREAS, small drones, 25 pounds or under, are now permitted to fly in general airspace below 400 feet for the use of police and first responders, with FAA permission; and
WHEREAS, drones have limitations in “vision” compared to the vision of human pilots, do not have the same capability to avoid other aircraft as aircraft piloted by humans, and there has been at least one instance outside the United States of a drone collision with an aircraft with a human pilot on board and another incident, as well, of a near miss and these instances occurred in airspace much less crowded than that of the United States2; and
WHEREAS, drones have at times gotten out of human control, in at least one instance having to be shot down3, and drones are susceptible to electronic interference and having control seized electronically by unauthorized operators; and
WHEREAS, drones have the capability of carrying a variety of weapons, including 12-guage shot guns, tear gas, rubber bullet guns, bombs and missiles, but drones have significant limitations in identifying specific individuals and groups; and
WHEREAS, Unmanned Aerial vehicles (drones) have the capability to watch individuals, groups and populations on a 24-hour basis, following and recording their movements for days and weeks in an unprecedented way; and
WHEREAS, drones have the capability to continuously monitor cell-phone and text messaging of individuals, groups and populations; and
WHEREAS, drones are being developed that will use computerized facial images to target individuals and, once launched, to operate, autonomously, without further human involvement, to locate and kill those individuals; and
WHEREAS, drones would present an unreasonable and unacceptable threat to public safety in the air and to persons and property on the ground in the City of Berkeley, due to limitations in drone “vision”, capability to avoid other aircraft and adequate control; and
WHEREAS, armed drones and surveillance drones would present an unreasonable and unacceptable threat to the rights of individual privacy, freedom of association and assembly, equal protection and judicial due process in the City of Berkeley;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Berkeley, with this resolution, and by Proclamation, proclaims Berkeley a No Drone Zone, and instructs the City Attorney to perform the necessary legal tasks to transform this declaration of a No Drone Zone into an Ordinance for the City of Berkeley wherein drones are hereby banned from airspace over the City of Berkeley, including drones in transit. Under that Ordinance, flying of a drone within the airspace of the City of Berkeley shall be considered a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000. Each offense that is more than one offense of flying a drone within said airspace will be considered to be an additional misdemeanor, with jail time and fines based on the number of violations.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that drones will not be purchased, leased, borrowed, tested or otherwise used by any agency of the City of Berkeley.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that exemptions will be made for hobbyists to continue to fly remote controlled model aircraft in specified areas, away from dwellings and the urban cityscape of people and buildings as long as those devices are not equipped with any kind of camera or audio surveillance equipment.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be sent to Governor Jerry Brown, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, State Senator Loni Hancock, Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, the Alameda County Sheriff, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer, Representative Barbara Lee, President Barack Obama, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense.
1 Spies in the sky signal new age of surveillance
2 Midair Collision Between a C-130 and a UAV | Defense Tech
A Drone Near-Disaster? An airplane pilot reports a near collision with a “remotely controlled aircraft” over Denver
German Army Luna UAV vs Ariana Afghan Airlines Airbus A300B4 – YouTube
Drones Most Accident-Prone U.S. Air Force Craft: BGOV Barometer – Bloomberg
3 Out-of-control drone shot down by US jet plane before it flew into Tajikistan | World news | guardian.co.uk
4 USAF reports on drone crashes that likely would not have happened had there been a pilot on board. This is just from skimming crash reports, and there likely are more.
Executive Summary: Aircraft Accident Investigation – MQ-1B Predator, T/N 07-3182, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, 5 May 2011
Congress: Domestic drones pose potential threats – The House Homeland Security Subcommittee held a hearing Thursday about the domestic use of drones. Rep. Michael McCaul expressed concern that drones not only could be hijacked and flown against a target, but also pose other safety issues. (July 19)
KnowDrones – provide drone replicas and educational materials to support citizen action to achieve an international ban on weaponized drones and surveillance drones – war drones.