To The Daily Sun,
I read with amusement the passing of a special "drone policy" by the Shaker Regional School Board. They might as well passed a regulation governing the speed limit on Interstate 93 — they have equal authority to do either.
Several years ago I attended a legislative hearing in Concord regarding a "drone bill" proposed by state Rep. Neil Kirk, who wanted to restrict all aerial photography by drone. The very first person to testify was a two-star United States general, who informed the committee in no uncertain terms that all of the airspace in New Hampshire — from the ground up — belongs to the U.S. government, and the FAA is the only agency with any authority over it. Period.
Later in the hearing, the head of the New Hampshire Bureau of Aeronautics testified as well. When asked directly by one of the representatives, "Do you have any authority over any part of New Hampshire's airspace," the answer was a succinct "no."
The Shaker Board has absolutely no authority or legal standing to regulate either aircraft (which drones have been declared to be), airspace (which belongs to the FAA), nor photography from any public place (i.e, the air above a school). They need to get their heads out of the clouds, and back to earth. I suggest they spend their time and resources attempting to improve the Shaker District educational system, and leave the airspace to the FAA.
Should the board still have any questions regarding drone aircraft usage and/or airspace authority, I am sure Ms. Kelly Slusarksili, drone specialist at the FAA Burlington office, will be glad to answer them.
- Category: Letters
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