Senator Greg Baca New Mexico, Ban Drones Flying Near Critical Facilities

Senator Greg Baca

Santa Fe– To protect facilities that are critical to the public’s welfare,  it would be unlawful to fly an unmanned aircraft- commonly referred to as drones- within 500 feet of these installations. Drones would be banned from around facilities such as power plants, chemical storage facilities, and petroleum refineries under SB 348. The bill also makes it unlawful to fly a drone that interferes with first responders.

Senator Greg Baca (R-Belen) is sponsoring the bill.

“For the privacy and protection of these facilities  that are critical to our safety and welfare, it is critical for us to be proactive to prevent possible problems and regulate this relatively new aircraft in our state,”  Senator Baca said.  “It is important that the state be proactive, and to be prepared to address any problems with this flying craft.”

While there are some federal regulations, Senator Baca said it is important to have state regulations to make it unlawful to fly near critical infrastructure including:

airports, petroleum refineries, petroleum storage facilities, chemical storage facilities, chemical manufacturing facilities, power plants, electric generation facilities, law enforcement facilities, military facilities, rail yard facilities, drinking water treatment and storage facilities, government buildings and public safety buildings and facilities;

First-time violators would be guilty of a petty misdemeanour and a second and subsequent time would be a misdemeanour.

Drones used for law enforcement and those with written permission for the property owners would be exempt.

We wonder what NMSU think about this move have they spoken with Senator Greg Baca?