New Mexico Drone Ban Includes Wildfires

Committee passes bill that prohibits flying

 

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal to ban drones from flying within 500 feet of power plants and refineries in New Mexico has cleared its first hurdle.

With making any recommendation, the Senate Public Affairs Committee advanced the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Greg Baca of Belen to its next committee.

Under the proposal, drones would be prohibited from flying close to critical-infrastructure facilities and from interfering with firefighters battling wildfires.

In addition to federal regulations, Baca says it’s important for the state to have rules protecting certain facilities. Other critical facilities include airports, government buildings and law enforcement and military facilities.

Opponents questioned whether such rules were outside the bounds of New Mexico’s jurisdiction.

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