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

Newbie question: Local ordinance in Michigan

behindust

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2017
Messages
4
Reactions
1
Age
34
I'm a newbie in drone and I just got my first drone, Mavic Pro, this year. I'm a student living in Michigan, but not a US citizen, so I need to be very careful in terms of law & regulations.

I noticed almost all cities or townships here have ordinances that prohibit model aircraft from flying in their parks, but those empty parks are probably the only place I'm comfortable to fly and practice my skills. Recently(4/4/17), Michigan passed an "unmanned aircraft systems act", in which it says:

Sec. 5.

(1) Except as expressly authorized by statute, a political subdivision shall not enact or enforce an ordinance or resolution that regulates the ownership or operation of unmanned aircraft or otherwise engage in the regulation of the ownership or operation of unmanned aircraft.

(2) This act does not prohibit a political subdivision from promulgating rules, regulations, and ordinances for the use of unmanned aircraft systems by the political subdivision within the boundaries of the political subdivision.

Michigan Legislature - Section 259.305.new

These may stupid questions:

Does this section 5-(1) mean those drone-ban ordinances from townships are invalid right now? Or the combination of 5-(1) + 5-(2) cancel each other out?

Thank you!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: flipf
I'm a newbie in drone and I just got my first drone, Mavic Pro, this year. I'm a student living in Michigan, but not a US citizen, so I need to be very careful in terms of law & regulations.

I noticed almost all cities or townships here have ordinances that prohibit model aircraft from flying in their parks, but those empty parks are probably the only place I'm comfortable to fly and practice my skills. Recently(4/4/17), Michigan passed an "unmanned aircraft systems act", in which it says:

Sec. 5.

(1) Except as expressly authorized by statute, a political subdivision shall not enact or enforce an ordinance or resolution that regulates the ownership or operation of unmanned aircraft or otherwise engage in the regulation of the ownership or operation of unmanned aircraft.

(2) This act does not prohibit a political subdivision from promulgating rules, regulations, and ordinances for the use of unmanned aircraft systems by the political subdivision within the boundaries of the political subdivision.

Michigan Legislature - Section 259.305.new

These may stupid questions:

Does this section 5-(1) mean those drone-ban ordinances from townships are invalid right now? Or the combination of 5-(1) + 5-(2) cancel each other out?

Thank you!!


Thanks for finding this! I'm a resident of Michigan and did NOT know that drone preemption exists.

I read this law to say that townships and cities, counties etc cannot regulate the use of drones, except as an example, a city may regulate city employees use of city owned drones. Which makes sense, because you would want the local police or fire department to be able to write policies governing their use of drones.
 
  • Like
Reactions: flipf
Thanks for finding this! I'm a resident of Michigan and did NOT know that drone preemption exists.

I read this law to say that townships and cities, counties etc cannot regulate the use of drones, except as an example, a city may regulate city employees use of city owned drones. Which makes sense, because you would want the local police or fire department to be able to write policies governing their use of drones.

So, does this mean those local ordinances are invalid and we can fly drones in township-owned parks (of course, following the FAA regulation and other sections in the 'act')?

Sorry for this stupid question again. I'm total ignorant about the legal system in the United States.
 
So, does this mean those local ordinances are invalid and we can fly drones in township-owned parks (of course, following the FAA regulation and other sections in the 'act')?

Sorry for this stupid question again. I'm total ignorant about the legal system in the United States.

My understanding of this law is that yes you may fly in parks that have a local ordinances prohibiting drones as the state law makes these local ordinances unenforceable.

I spent a few years forcing local units of government to remove their signs/ordinances regarding firearms, as Michigan has firearm preemption laws.

Here is the process we liked to use with guns:

Send a friendly email to the local park requesting they take down the sign and amend their unlawful ordinance.

If this doesn't work, make phone calls and send written letters

Then go to meetings

If none of this works, then invite a bunch of your friends to have a picnic in the park while possessing the item they are unlawfully trying to ban.

It's fun to see how some cities are super receptive and make changes immediately, while others require many steps and lots of pressure...and sometimes law suits.
 
Last edited:
This is a very interesting subject, the FAA has jurisdiction over the National Airspace System (NAS). Local, and State authorities do not have jurisdiction of the NAS, however they have jurisdiction of the place where you launch from. A clear example of this is the new drone law in Orlando. By reading the new ordinance means that drone operators are not allowed to launch from inside City limits, however a drone can be launched outside city limits and flown over the City as long as the drone is not within 5 NM of an airport.
 
This is a very interesting subject, the FAA has jurisdiction over the National Airspace System (NAS). Local, and State authorities do not have jurisdiction of the NAS, however they have jurisdiction of the place where you launch from. A clear example of this is the new drone law in Orlando. By reading the new ordinance means that drone operators are not allowed to launch from inside City limits, however a drone can be launched outside city limits and flown over the City as long as the drone is not within 5 NM of an airport.

This appears to be the approach most local entities use to prohibit drone use, prohibiting takeoff and landing.

It's super exciting that Michigan passed a law prohibiting cities and parks from banning drones.
 
Lycus Tech Mavic Air 3 Case

DJI Drone Deals

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
130,909
Messages
1,557,769
Members
159,911
Latest member
halvoric