News

SEATTLE -- Seattle officials are looking for new ways to push for drone regulation to be enforced by the Federal Aviation Administration after drone video of the Space Needle went viral online last week.

Seattle City councilmember Bruce Harrell said privacy is the main concern. The FAA says it is investigating the Space Needle drone incident, but people like Harrell aren't expecting much to change in policy just yet.

"I like a nice skyline, and I don't like a lot of objects flying in a beautiful sunset," said Harrell.

Enforcing any drone regulation falls under the authority of the FAA. However, the city still has some options at its disposal. Harrell says a majority of people in Seattle want some ground rules in place for the unmanned aircraft hovering around the city.

Police say their hands are tied with drones except in certain cases. Officers can enforce a reckless endangerment state law if a drone poses a safety risk to people.

On the legislative side, Harrell said the city council is considering passing a policy directive that will send a message to the federal government, telling the FAA to get on board with an aggressive drone policy.

"The problem is ... if they are not doing their job, which is protecting the air space, then what is the city to do?" said Harrell. "I don't want to say I'm anti-drone, but I'll say they raise a lot of health and safety concerns that we are very concerned about."

A vote on a policy directive supporting drone regulation had not been scheduled as of early Tuesday.