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Sat, Apr 04, 2015

Austin, TX Requires PPL For UAV Flying

One Pilot Given A Warning For Non-Commercial Flight

The city of Austin, TX has gone beyond just prohibiting UAV flights around the South by Southwest festival. It has banned UAV flying by anyone who does not hold at least a private pilot certificate.

In a post on the RC Groups electronic bulletin board, user Atx_Heli recounts a story of being given a warning by Austin, TX police for flying his UAV on property belonging to a church.

According to the post, the user, who does hold a private pilot certificate, was flying his aircraft on the property as he has done many times in the past when a police car pulled up with its lights on. The officers told him that the city had made all UAV flying within the city limits illegal unless the operator holds at least a private pilot certificate ... and produced the recently-changed city ordinance to prove it. The officers said that they could confiscate his equipment, and wrote the operator a warning for "Flying a drone without a permit/license."

The ordinance that was changed ... 13-1-11 ... used to apply to full-size manned aircraft, but was recently changed to include "Drones, UAVs, UAS, and any unmanned or manned aerial system." It has not yet been published on the city's website, according to Atx_Heli.

The other exception, he said, would have been to produce written documentation that the property owner had given him permission to fly his aircraft.

(Image from file)

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