Jan 24, 2016 11:26 AM

Statehouse debating restrictions on use of drones

CONCORD – Those who fly drones may face tighter regulation in New Hampshire with the state legislature considering three new bills.

State Reps. Neal Kurk, of Weare, Renny Cushing, of Hampton, and Joe Duarte, of Candia, want to place some limits on the use of drones by both government and hobbyists, according to

Kurk’s bill would permit governments to use drones for law enforcement purposes only. Law enforcement agencies would be required to get a warrant except under very limited circumstances and any video recording taken by a drone would have to be destroyed within 24 hours unless it needs to be preserved as evidence. Duarte's bill also addresses law enforcement use of drones with similar restrictions.

Others who fly drones would need consent before recording any images of another person or their property, under Kurk's bill, which also prohibits harassment and stalking of another person with a drone. And in response to concerns from airports, drones would be prohibited from flying below 400 feet within five miles of an airport.

Cushing’s bill would prohibit drones from being flown over correctional facilities - a response to concerns from the state Department of Corrections about drones dropping contraband or scoping out weaknesses in prison security.

“In some ways, this is a classic example of our technology advancing more rapidly than we have had a chance to shape public policy,” Cushing said.

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