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Phoenix City Councilmembers Consider Drone Ordinance

Cameo Hill/KJZZ
An operator flies a drone in Tempe.

Unmanned aircraft vehicles, or drones, have been in the news a lot lately. Now a Phoenix City Council subcommittee is working to craft an ordinance that would make it illegal to operate a drone in certain instances.

Members of the Public Safety and Veterans subcommittee heard Councilman Sal DiCiccio discuss the ordinance, which is still a work in progress. The ordinance, drafted by DiCiccio and fellow council member Michael Nowakowski, has evolved to focus more on an individual’s right to privacy.

"We should all have a reasonable expectation that our neighbor next door to us is not flying something over our homes, videotaping our families and our children," DiCiccio said. "Likewise, when it comes to privacy from government – this is where the right meets the left – neither one of us believe government should be videotaping and taking; it chills free speech is what it does."

Based on comments made at the meeting, further changes will need to be made before it can be finalized and possibly sent to the full council for a vote.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.