By Matt Kroschel
BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – The buzz of drone pilot Cameron Sale’s aircraft drew the attention of nearby children playing in a park on Wednesday.
His commercial business utilizes the specialized drone to help him photograph and videotape real estate and sporting events.
Sale joined with other Breckenridge area drone pilots to share concerns with the town council over a proposed ordinance adding local regulations and possible fines issued by Breckenridge police for drone pilots.
“This is my livelihood, I’ve built my living off this, very proud of what I have accomplished,” Sale told CBS4’s Matt Kroschel on Wednesday.
The proposed ordinances would ban flying over the Breckenridge Golf Club, the Breckenridge Nordic Center and Cucumber Gulch Wildlife Preserve — all Breckenridge owned properties near downtown.
For commercial drone pilots like Sale, talk of adding local regulations to the already heavily regulated drone skies isn’t welcomed.
“I just don’t want people thinking drones are bad. We have to enforce all these laws we didn’t do any research about. I think the current regulations are pretty fair for commercial and recreational pilots,” he said.
Currently it’s the Federal Aviation Administration’s responsibility to police drone flights. Breckenridge wants to give their police that power, too.
“Would Breckenridge police officer have the authority to write a drone operator a ticket?” CBS4’s Matt Kroschel asked Town of Breckenridge spokeswoman Haley Littleton.
“Ideally that’s what we’re looking at,” said Littleton.
“I think what we are looking at doing now is working with them to look at the ordinance. I think we have a good basis. We want to work with them to make sure the needs of everyone are met.”
Pilots hope the town keeps them in on those discussions.
“We are hoping we can work with the people, writing the law make it as clear and fair as possible,” Sale added.
The town council tabled the ordinance at their Tuesday night meeting after a period of public comment. They may bring it up again at their next town council meeting.