Thursday, Sep 01, 2016
Christa Bigue
  • drone

    As the use of drone aircraft draws an increasing level of interest and concern, the Board of Supervisors at its upcoming Sept. 6 meeting will hold a study session on their use and effects within San Mateo County and options for local regulation.

    The Board’s study session is not expected to answer all questions in this ever-evolving landscape but is intended to educate supervisors and the community on the background of drone use. They will learn what is happening on a state and national level regarding drone regulation, current and anticipated uses within the county and what is currently possible on a local level. The Board will also hear about ways County departments may be able to use drones to improve services, safety and other public interests.

    “The drone industry is growing exponentially and we want to be aware of the challenges and advantages drones present right here in San Mateo County. Drone technology undoubtedly has both benefits and drawbacks. This is why it’s important we educate ourselves about where we stand legally, especially as the Federal Aviation Administration becomes more involved in policy on the national level,” said Supervisor Don Horsley, District Three, who along with Supervisor Carole Groom, District Two, requested the study session.

    The presence of two smaller general aviation airports and San Francisco International Airport in San Mateo County also generate public questions and comments to the Board. SFO states that:

    ·         Since the FAA began reporting in 2014, SFO has received 11 reports of drone sightings by pilots in flight;

    ·         SFO prohibits drones from taking off or landing on airport property;

    ·         SFO prohibits the use of drones inside airport facilities and prohibits drone sales by airport retailers.

    At Tuesday’s session, presentations will be made by representatives of the San Mateo County Counsel’s Office, San Carlos Airport and San Mateo County Parks Department.

    The Study Session will be held at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, in Board Chambers, 400 County Center, Redwood City.