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Legislature discusses bill to regulate where and when drones can fly

Posted at 1:31 PM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-23 19:15:31-05

Blood said Friday the legislation is a public safety measure and 41 other states have drone legislation. She also added drones have smuggled drugs into prisons, caused cattle distress and can spy on people's homes. 

Opponents of the bill say this would inhibit the growth of the drone industry in Nebraska, which is expected to create $150 million for the state by 2025. 

Sen. Carol Blood of Bellevue proposed LB 693 to regulate unmanned aircrafts also known as drones. 

LB693 provides immunity from civil liability for damage to unmanned aircraft by emergency responders when those first responders are having to damage Drones in the course of their duties.

The bill defines and redefines terms in order to prohibit unlawful intrusion by electronic, peeping by electronic device and trespassing on real property, school grounds, over and around critical infrastructure facilities, state property and prisons using a drone.

This proposed legislation also lays out the minimum heights drones can be flown, over the specific facilities and pieces of property laid out in the bill. The bill also lays out that anyone who is licensed or privileged to do so may fly over real property, school grounds, over and around critical infrastructure facilities, state property and prisons.

LB693 also prohibits attaching certain weapons on drones and/or using them to harass livestock or interfere with lawful hunting and trapping.

Finally, LB693 makes sure that pilots are not using drones to interfere with police cordons in order to get around laws that prohibit those people from physically entering said cordon. The bill also makes it clear that law enforcement can use drones in carrying out an investigation but must first secure the prescribed warrants and releases for the situation.

However opponents argue this bill has different regulations than the FAA and would confuse drone operators. 

Sen. Blood doesn't believe this bill will make it out of committee given the short session.