DJI Mavic, Air and Mini Drones
Friendly, Helpful & Knowledgeable Community
Join Us Now

It should be legal to fly here, but should I avoid it?

There is a beautiful lakefront not far from where I live, in Evanston Illinois. In 2013 the City of Evanston passed a "no drone moritorum" until the State passed a drone law. Well, in 2018 Illinois did plass such a law...

SB 3291 // 2018
"The State of Illinois has the sole authority to pass drone laws. Cities, towns, and other municipalities may not enact regulations or restrictions on the usage of drones. A special exemption is granted for municipalities with over 1,000,000 residents.

But you know how some small towns/cities can be, and the police within them. What I don't want to run into is a policeman who may be aware of the city ordinance, but be unaware that the state nullifed it. The only other nearby issue might be Northwestern University that has a drone ban. I understand that they are quasi private property (with their own cadre of campus police that operate like city police). In that instance, I would have to assume that the same rules might apply as with public lands where I have come to believe that you cannot launch from the property is not a violation if your drone flys over- as long as you don't violate the FAA and UAV rules of flying over people, etc.

It's a beautiful area, truly.... The campus looks right across the water at the city. How would you approach the situation... or just stay away?
I am a new drone flyer in IL and saw this same IL law. Was wondering if you have tried to notify the city or park district to the IL Law and what there response is.
 
I am a new drone flyer in IL and saw this same IL law. Was wondering if you have tried to notify the city or park district to the IL Law and what there response is.
I have contacted the city. I forget the office the guy was in, but I have the guy's email somewhere. He said there really shouldn't be an issue if you stick to the rules and don't be stupid or rude. The Park District is a separate entity, so I don't plan on launching of landing on Park property though I definitely will fly over it. I missed the seasonal window for daylight flights, but I'm hoping to start doing some night projects.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CRM
I have contacted the city. I forget the office the guy was in, but I have the guy's email somewhere. He said there really shouldn't be an issue if you stick to the rules and don't be stupid or rude. The Park District is a separate entity, so I don't plan on launching of landing on Park property though I definitely will fly over it. I missed the seasonal window for daylight flights, but I'm hoping to start doing some night projects.
Thanks for the response. I have looked around my towns and it seems like a lot of park districts ban them; however, I believe Park Districts are consider local units of government. I think I might go your route and email them. It seems like a lot of these anit-drone laws were passed in 2015-2017.
 
Thanks for the response. I have looked around my towns and it seems like a lot of park districts ban them; however, I believe Park Districts are consider local units of government. I think I might go your route and email them. It seems like a lot of these anit-drone laws were passed in 2015-2017.
The laws are confusing, and a lot of municipalities created a mish-most of ordinances that just confused people. So the State of Illinois tried to end the confusion with the state law. However, sometimes in different jurisdictions you get some authority figure who puffs out his chest and bellers "The law is what I say it is". Those folks have to be handled with diplomacy, in spite of being ignorant of the prevailing law. It is always helpful to know the local ordinances, noting the dates that they were passed and carry a printout of the following ILSC section so you can politely make a case for being within the law as you understand it. Also know that ALL airspace is controlled by the FAA, much as other branches of government would like you to believe otherwise.

Here's how the state law reads [note the "carve out" for Chicago]

620 ILCS 5/42.1 eff. 8-3-18​

Sec. 42.1. Regulation of unmanned aircraft systems.

(a) As used in this Section:
“Unmanned aircraft” means a device used or intended to be used for flight in the air that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention within or on the device.
“Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft and its associated elements, including communication links and the components that control the unmanned aircraft, that are required for the safe and efficient operation of the unmanned aircraft in the national airspace system.

(b) To the extent that State-level oversight does not conflict with federal laws, rules, or regulations, the regulation of an unmanned aircraft system is an exclusive power and function of the State. No unit of local government, including home rule unit, may enact an ordinance or resolution to regulate unmanned aircraft systems. This Section is a denial and limitation of home rule powers and functions under subsection (h) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution. This Section does not apply to any local ordinance enacted by a municipality of more than 1,000,000 inhabitants.

(c) Nothing in this Section shall infringe or impede any current right or remedy available under existing State law.

(d) The Department may adopt any rules that it finds appropriate to address the safe and legal operation of unmanned aircraft systems in this State, so that those engaged in the operation of unmanned aircraft systems may so engage with the least possible restriction, consistent with their safety and with the safety and the rights of others, and in compliance with federal rules and regulations.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CRM
The laws are confusing, and a lot of municipalities created a mish-most of ordinances that just confused people. So the State of Illinois tried to end the confusion with the state law. However, sometimes in different jurisdictions you get some authority figure who puffs out his chest and bellers "The law is what I say it is". Those folks have to be handled with diplomacy, in spite of being ignorant of the prevailing law. It is always helpful to know the local ordinances, noting the dates that they were passed and carry a printout of the following ILSC section so you can politely make a case for being within the law as you understand it. Also know that ALL airspace is controlled by the FAA, much as other branches of government would like you to believe otherwise.

Here's how the state law reads [note the "carve out" for Chicago]

620 ILCS 5/42.1 eff. 8-3-18​

Sec. 42.1. Regulation of unmanned aircraft systems.

(a) As used in this Section:
“Unmanned aircraft” means a device used or intended to be used for flight in the air that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention within or on the device.
“Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft and its associated elements, including communication links and the components that control the unmanned aircraft, that are required for the safe and efficient operation of the unmanned aircraft in the national airspace system.

(b) To the extent that State-level oversight does not conflict with federal laws, rules, or regulations, the regulation of an unmanned aircraft system is an exclusive power and function of the State. No unit of local government, including home rule unit, may enact an ordinance or resolution to regulate unmanned aircraft systems. This Section is a denial and limitation of home rule powers and functions under subsection (h) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution. This Section does not apply to any local ordinance enacted by a municipality of more than 1,000,000 inhabitants.

(c) Nothing in this Section shall infringe or impede any current right or remedy available under existing State law.

(d) The Department may adopt any rules that it finds appropriate to address the safe and legal operation of unmanned aircraft systems in this State, so that those engaged in the operation of unmanned aircraft systems may so engage with the least possible restriction, consistent with their safety and with the safety and the rights of others, and in compliance with federal rules and regulations.
Do know where I can find the FAA wording that says they control the airspace above the ground. I liked your previous post about having that information printed out and kept on hand.
 
I am a new drone flyer in IL and saw this same IL law. Was wondering if you have tried to notify the city or park district to the IL Law and what there response is.
I am very familiar with your area. Even though I live in Miami since 1970 I grew up on the north side of Chicago and frequently did bike rides up Sheridan Road to Bahai Temple, Northwestern, etc. The area is beautiful. Winter is rapidly approaching too! My philosophy of flying can be summarized in one word- STEALTH. I do what I have to do. I wake up early (dawn) or go out when everyone else is still sleeping like early Sunday mornings. My eyes are constantly darting around for authorities, and nasty people. I avoid them like they were mother grizzly bears. My flights are short and quick, and usually from a hidden place (behind my car, behind a tree, in the shade, etc). I now expect to have a ton of scolding e-mails for saying this. In 3 years I have never had a problem.
 
Even though they can't legally pass drone laws it doesn't mean they won't do it and try to intimidate with them. Are you willing to pay to be the one to take it to court?

Also that has no effect on Land Use restrictions... they could say you can't fly FROM their property and it would be legal to restrict you then.
My policy is to just leave if asked by anyone with government authority. Just pack it up.
 
Lycus Tech Mavic Air 3 Case

DJI Drone Deals

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
132,550
Messages
1,574,675
Members
161,270
Latest member
jvitiel