RTDNA, NPPA oppose Louisiana drone bills

April 14, 2016 01:30

RTDNA, the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) and several other news and media organizations have written a letter to Louisiana Senator Daniel Claitor, regarding a pair of bills that would severely restrict newsgathering using drones.

Under Senate bills 124 and 141, drone operators could be charged with criminal trespass if they flew over private property without the owner's permission. The letter explains that such changes would be impossible to comply with or enforce, and would conflict with current and pending federal regulations.

The letter says in part, "...it will be daunting, if not impossible, for journalists to obtain the 'express permission' from a wide range of 'immovable property' owners, as the bill requires, especially during breaking news events." It goes on to offer assistance to the Louisiana legislature to address any concerns about the use of unmanned aircraft.

RTDNA is monitoring bills in many state legislatures that would potentially affect the use of drones for newsgathering, as would-be commercial operators await federal regulations expected to be released this summer.