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Los Angeles UAS Ordinance (LAMC Sec 56.31)

Discussion in 'News' started by Joola, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. Joola

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    EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 2ND, 2015

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an amendment to the LA Municipal Code adding Section 56.31 governing Unmanned Aerial Systems. The intention of the ordinance was to codify the FAA advisory circular, however they've gone beyond that in certain areas.

    Failure to comply with these laws is a misdemeanor.

    Select items that will affect all operators:
    • No Person shall operate any Model Aircraft within the City of Los Angeles and within 5 miles of an airport without the prior express authorization of the airport air traffic control tower.
      • This means EVERY airport with a control tower. The FAA only requests that you provide notice to the ATC, however the ordinance requires them to give you clearance.
    • No Person shall operate any Model Aircraft within the City of Los Angeles in a manner that interferes with manned aircraft, and shall always give way to any manned aircraft.
      • Safety responsibility is entirely on the UAS operator...no longer a recommendation. It's law now.
    • No Person shall operate any Model Aircraft within the City of Los Angeles other than during daylight hours defined as between official sunrise and official sunset for local time.
      • No more twilight flying!
    • Excluding takeoff and landing, no Person shall operate any Model Aircraft within the City of Los Angeles closer than 25 feet to any individual, except the operator or the operator’s helper(s).
      • This is much less restrictive than the exemption 333 500' rule, however I'm not sure if "operator's helper(s)" includes participants.
    This ordinance only affects those operating in the City of Los Angeles. Here's a boundary map for reference.

    Link to the Ordinance
     
    #1 Joola, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  2. Steve Reid

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    LA is nothing but a organized chaos cesspool!!
     
  3. turbodronepilot

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    Seems resonable except for flying at night..
     
  4. Joola

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    The 5 mile airport rule is much more restrictive than the FAA recommends. There are A LOT of airports in Los Angeles. I don't see many of these airports giving permission to lift off. I made a quick map showing the 5 mile radius around the airports the area (prly missed a few). They just tossed a massive NFZ over the city...If you're standing outside of the City of LA boundary (Santa Monica for instance), then you're unaffected.

    upload_2015-11-16_20-52-7.png
    The only questionable bubble is the one over DTLA. I placed it there because of the LAPD heliport to the NE of Downtown. I'm not sure if that one qualifies under this ordinance.
     
  5. turbodronepilot

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    Yes getting permission from the tower will be a pain in the rear..
    Doesn't seem like they needed to make special laws for these offenses.
    From what i understand big cities have no fly zones like San Francisco and San Diego ..

     
  6. SultanGris

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    actually getting permission from the tower should be quite easy. Ive never heard of anyone who asked being denied yet. Aircraft gain height very fast when taking off and follow very specific flight paths for both landing and taking off. If your drone flight isnt in this very small area they dont give a hoot if you stay under 400 feet. They are likely to restrict you to a lower height limit if youre right next to the airport in their actual flight path. No aircraft is lower than 400ft very far from an airport anyway, 5 miles is ridiculous, at that distance they are so far above 400ft its hilarious anyone ever suggested a 5 mile no drone zone, lol!
     
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  7. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    Agreed - it makes sense to get the ATC permission and to let them know you are there.
    I have never been denied permission yet - as a courtesy I call the tower after the flight to say I am clear of the area.

    Additionally, when I speak to them as well as obviously giving Long/lat I inform them that my operating ceiling will be 400ft - never had an issue.
     
  8. Wormwood

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    So now the ATC are managing UAV traffic, yet they have no transponder, no way to ident, no two way communications, & there's no provision for UAV's in the FAA's NexGen radar system? I guess they'll have to go back to white boards & magic markers for the interim? Seriously, did the mayor even ask the ATC staff if this something they could manage?

    You know I did my part voicing my opinion about the ordinance in a single email. In return, my email was captured & now I'm getting junk mail from him. What a cesspool of a state...

    Wormwood
     
  9. Joola

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    I also don't think ATC should need to manage UAV traffic, but I do think it's important they be aware of UAV activities in their proximity. I just don't think needing to telephone the tower and obtain permission is the right way to go about it. This may work for the vast majority of airports across the country, however in densly populated areas with loads of air traffic, I don't think it's fair to place this additional burden on ATCs.

    This is why I think anyone contacting LAX will likely just be denied and hung up on when they ask. These guys are already tremendously overworked according to this LA Times article.
    LAX's air traffic controllers are exhausted; overtime's up 2,000% in last decade
     
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  10. kcobello

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    Just a question
    Now with there being penalties for these flights which I understand, does that mean the local police will have control of our us/rigs if we make a mistake or they make a mistake? Who is the referee in circumstances like this? I like our law inforcement don't get me wrong but I worry about the possible lone wolf who has a grudge against this AP, commercial or hobby and takes our rig away from us not knowing the value we have in it. I might sound paranoid but I know how things are when we cross international borders. I feel this environment that we are flying in may be equal to that type of check....:) Just throwing this out their...

    **Disclaimer-We operate our rig(s) within the current best applicable ways that are present to us. We will stay within all flight boundaries that are specified**
     
  11. ianwood

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    LAX does not authorize any UAS flights. DTLA should not have a bubble over it is there is no airport there. Helipads are handled differently.

    And while we're on the topic, according to FAA regs, you don't need authorization from the airport, you need to inform it. The new civil code says explicit authorization. It goes beyond the FAA regulation effectively creating it's own air policy.
     
  12. Joola

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    Ianwood,

    Thanks for the clarification about the LAPD heliport in DTLA. I wasn't sure how that would be handled since they have a control tower.

    Your point about ATC authorization vs notification is my point as well. The ordinance goes beyond what the FAA advises but the ordinance was represented tot he public and tot he council members voting on it as an ordinance that codifies standing FAA recommendations...
     
  13. ianwood

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    Anyone familiar with how quickly these amendments to the municipal code are disseminated to the law enforcement personnel? I am not planning to break any of the rules, I am just curious to know how quickly this could become a point of confusion when I am out collecting footage in a legal manner.

    I already have enough fun with the occasional hotel and building security telling me it is illegal to fly anywhere in Los Angeles or I am not allowed to photograph their property even from public space or some other nonsense they were told by their bosses.
     
  14. Joola

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    I feel your pain. I run into that pretty frequently. A lot of the time the security guards are really cool about it and want to know more but sometimes you get those people telling you can't do something you're legally allowed to do.

    I have no idea how this info gets disseminated to law enforcement. I'm guessing they distribute a memo about it but I have no clue when and if there is any summary or "education" to go along with it. I'm going to keep a copy of the ordinance on hand because I know the media is going to get it all wrong and misinform the public so we'll have to deal with people constantly telling us we're breaking the law...
     
  15. ianwood

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    Yes, I am now carrying full copies of pertinent regulations and ordinances when I fly.