York County working on drone restrictions after Carowinds flyby


Dustin Wilson, WCNC

YORK CO., S.C. — A frightening run-in at hundreds of feet in the air is exactly why Carowinds is pushing York County lawmakers to create drone restrictions. Recently a drone weaved through a coaster at the theme park and the flight caught the attention of county council.

“A wrong button move and it crash right into you and your life is gone,” said Cory Williams of Charlotte.

Hearing that a drone flew near one of Carowind’s coasters during the offseason frightens Williams.

Carowinds reached out to York County leaders before the peak of park season seeking restrictions on drone flight over its property.

“Can you imagine a drone hitting a roller coaster full of people,” said York County Councilman, Michael Johnson.

Johnson doesn’t want to wait and find out what could happen. He’s sponsoring an ordinance to place restrictions on drone use in the county. Johnson says it would be similar to the ATV rules of the county.

“Ban the flying drones on private property without the owner’s permission,” said Johnson.

Johnson says the ordinance will likely establish designated areas for drone use in parks.

“We don’t want to stop people from using them for recreational purposes. What we want to say is let’s have some common sense and not fly them where large groups of people are,” said Johnson.

Carowinds confirmed with NBC Charlotte there have been a few drone sightings on their property during the off season and according to their policies unauthorized drones are prohibited.

Johnson said the ordinance will likely be presented at the council’s next meeting in the first week of April.


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