Fort Wayne’s Drone Ordinance –
Key Provisions You Should Know
City of Fort Wayne Municipal Code Section 96.30 requires that drone pilots notify the City before any flights in these specific areas:
- Above the Downtown Aerial District, a circular area over downtown with a radius of 5500 feet from the 100 block of W Main St (GPS coordinates of 41.080325, -85.140652;
- Above or within 500 yards of a city-permitted public event such as a festival, block party or parade.
To determine whether an event has been issued a city permit requiring drone flight notification, contact the city Right-of-Way Department at 260-427-6155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the ordinance requires prior notification of drone flights is these circumstances, it is not an approval process. Drone pilots are encouraged to know the laws and regulations for legal and safe commercial or non-commercial flight operations, as the ordinance also prohibits any drone flights that are conducted in an unsafe manner.
The Fort Wayne Police Department is responsible for enforcing the ordinance, and violations can range from a warning, citation and/or the impoundment of drone equipment for up to three (3) business days.
Notification is satisfied with a simple online form completed from your mobile phone or tablet here:
Special note –
- (Windows computer users can download free Formatta forms software to complete the notification form here – http://www2.formatta.com/download/download.asp?itype=F ).
- (Repeat flyers can use the check boxes to avoid having to re-enter the same pilot certificate or drone registration numbers previously submitted.)
Please direct any ordinance-related questions to LT Jonathan Bowers at 260-427-2248 or email@example.com.
UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS
- 96.30 REGULATION OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS.
(A) Purpose. The regulations set forth in this section seek to promote the ability of noncommercial and commercial users to operate Unmanned Aircraft Systems safely within the City of Fort Wayne while recognizing the need to protect citizens and public safety personnel in designated areas and circumstances where heightened safety concerns are present.
COMMERCIAL USE. The flying of an unmanned aircraft system for work, business or commercial purposes.
DOWNTOWN AERIAL DISTRICT. A circular area with a radius of 5,500 feet out from a center point with the GPS coordinates of 41.080325, -85.140652, commonly known as the 100 block of W. Main St., Fort Wayne, Indiana.
PRIVATE SPACE. Any indoor or outdoor property owned or controlled by a private individual or entity.
PUBLIC EVENT. Any event, game, practice, contest, parade, rally, celebration or other gathering in either private space or public space, to which the public is invited or attends and for which a permit has been issued by the city.
PUBLIC SPACE. Any indoor or outdoor property (including streets and sidewalks) owned or controlled by federal, state or local government, or an instrumentality of federal, state or local government.
NONCOMMERCIAL USE. The flying of an Unmanned Aircraft System for enjoyment, recreation, hobby and not work, business purposes, or for compensation of hire.
UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM (“UAS”). An aircraft without a human pilot onboard which is controlled from an operator on the ground, often referred to as a “drone.”
(C) Applicability. This subchapter shall not interfere with the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”). All UAS operators within the city must obey FAA and Indiana laws, rules and regulations as may be amended from time to time.
(D) Prohibited unmanned aircraft system activities.
(1) For UAS takeoff and landing within the city, it shall be unlawful without prior notification to the city for a person to use or operate an UAS within five hundred (500) yard horizontal radius of, or anywhere above, a public event.
(2) For UAS takeoff and landing within the city, it shall be unlawful without prior notification to the city for a person to use or operate an UAS anywhere above the Downtown Aerial District.
(3) For UAS takeoff and landing within the city, it shall be unlawful for a person to operate an UAS in an unsafe manner. If law enforcement has reasonable suspicion to believe there is unsafe UAS operation occurring, the city may immediately prohibit any UAS use. Within twenty-four (24) hours of prohibiting such use, law enforcement shall document the basis for the reasonable suspicion and actions taken.
(E) Non-applicability. Subsections (D)(l) and (D)(2) do not apply to:
(1) Employees of the city operating an UAS in the regular course of their duties.
(2) Individuals under contract with the city operating an UAS for the purposes of promotion, resource management, development, mapping or utility management and repair.
(3) Any local, state or federal government agency lawfully operating UAS for a government purpose or function.
(F) Notification process. Persons wishing to operate an UAS above the Downtown Aerial District and/or within a five-hundred (500) yard radius of, or anywhere above, a public event shall provide the following information to the city before the operation:
(1) Name, address and telephone number of UAS the operator, any assisting persons during the flight, and any affiliated company name, if applicable;
(2) Purpose of the UAS operation as either noncommercial recreational or commercial use;
(3) FAA-issued Registration Certificate Number(s) of any UAS to be operated;
(4) UAS operator’s FAA-issued Remote Pilot Certificate Number(s) and date(s) of issue authorized under 14 CFR 5107, if applicable;
(5) Document numbers and dates of issue and expiration for FAA-issued certificate(s), waiver(s), or authorization, or Section 333 Exemption, applicable to the operation of the UAS;
(6) Policy information with dates of issue and expiry of any certificate(s) of liability insurance, if applicable;
(7) Proposed area and time of UAS operation;
(8) Location where the UAS will be operated from; and
(9) Name, address and telephone number of any owner(s) granting permission for UAS operation over any private space.
(Ord. G-10-19, passed 5-14-19) Penalty, see § 96.99
- 96.31 ENFORCEMENT.
The Fort Wayne Police Department shall be charged with enforcing all provisions of this chapter.
(Ord. G-15-07, passed 6-12-07; Am. Ord. G-15-08, passed 12-9-08; Am. Ord. G-4-17, passed 3-14-17; Am. Ord. G-10-19, passed 5-14-19)
- 96.99 PENALTY.
(A) Whoever violates any provisions of this chapter, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $150 or more than $500 for each offense. Each day any violation shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.
(B) Any person who violates any of the provisions of § 96.30 of this chapter may be subject to a fine that shall not exceed $500 for each such violation.
(C) In addition to the penalty specified above for violation of § 96.30, any UAS and control box operated in violation of § 96.30 may be impounded for a period of time not to exceed three business days in the interests of public safety.
(Ord. G-21-93, passed 6-8-93; Am. Ord. G-4-17, passed 3-14-17; Am. Ord. G-10-19, passed 5-14-19)