Michigan Task Force Recommends Drone Regulations


A Michigan task force is pushing the state Legislature to limit the operation of drones around specific areas. The task force put out a report saying drone use should be limited near designated areas, including correctional facilities, prominent bridges, and tourist destinations.


The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force, consisting of 27 members, was created earlier this year. Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill in January which established the task force.


The task force aims to form statewide policy on the regulation of UAVs. The report was released last month and will be reviewed by Gov. Snyder and the Legislature.


In regards to key facilities, members gave the recommendation to "include no specific airspace restriction, but rather a prohibition on a certain conduct such as 'interference' or a similarly defined term."


The full report consisted of 13 recommendations, including:

  • Establish drone education programs for law enforcement and government.
  • Create and Unmanned Aerial System Joint Program Office for making public agency efforts more efficient.
  • Expand the mission of the American Center for Mobility to include drones and autonomous aerial vehicles
  • Evaluate past regulation of drone interference with police, paramedic, and fire operations to.
  • Design recommended guidelines for public agency data sharing for and record retention policies for data collected by UAVs
  • Coordinate with other federal and state agencies to discuss current and future regulatory obstacles

Snyder said in a statement, "As the use of drones becomes more popular for commercial and recreational use, it is critically important that we develop a statewide policy to ensure the safety of Michiganders while still allowing the creative freedom necessary for developing new applications for this technology."


While there are already many drone regulations in place, like requiring users to contact an airport before flying within five miles of the location, communities across the nation are evaluation drone use to fit additional needs and requirements.


However, the panel's report said it ensured to balance safety requirements when respecting the Federal Aviation Administration's authority.


The report aimed to present recommendations for creating a regulatory environment that not only respects state and federal authority, but ensures residents the state is welcome to ideas on testing, developing, and deploying drone technology.


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