The City Council on Monday approved an ordinance restricting drones in the city.
Much of the city is already under restrictions on drones due to Robins Air Force Base, but Councilman Tim Thomas said there are areas where drones can still be flown.
The city became concerned after reports of drones being flown over busy roads, including over Watson Boulevard across from the Houston County Galleria. Thomas said he was also concerned about invasion of privacy, with drones being flown over private property and recording video.
The ordinance comes as the city itself is discussing whether to buy drones for the Police and Fire departments. The ordinance exempts public safety operations from the restrictions.
It forbids the flying of drones over Watson Boulevard, Russell Parkway, Houston Lake Road, Moody Road and Davis Drive. Drones also cannot be flown over any incident in which public safety personnel are present, or over any government property, including parks.
Drones can be flown over private property, but the owner must give permission.
The council would ordinarily have held a first reading of the ordinance and voted at the next meeting, but Thomas asked that the first reading be waived. He said the General Assembly is considering a bill that would prohibit cities from restricting drones, and if the council did not approve an ordinance by April 1, it would not be able to do so under the state law.