Phil Matier: Berkeley Considers ‘No Drone Zone’ Proposal

OAKLAND (KCBS) – The City of Berkeley was on the brink of banning the small, unmanned aircraft commonly known as drones from hovering overhead.

At its meeting Tuesday, the City Council planned to consider a proposal by Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission to forbid the purchase or use of drones – or any similar unmanned aircraft system – by any law enforcement or other formally recognized agency.

From a practical standpoint, the proposal and vote were nothing more than a symbolic gesture; the Berkeley Police Department has gone on the record as saying there were no plans – immediate or otherwise – to add a drone to its crime-fighting arsenal. The Federal Aviation Administration has also pointed out that the City of Berkeley does not have jurisdiction over the airspace.