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City News & Announcements

Posted on: June 3, 2020

New rules for drones on June 17

City of Del Mar mini drone

New rules on the flying of drones in Del Mar are set to take effect June 17.

First introduced in May, an Ordinance Regulating the Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the City of Del Mar prohibits:

  • Reckless flying and racing;
  • Flying above an altitude of 400 feet;
  • Commercial flying without City and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) permits;
  • Flying recreational drones over beaches (but not the ocean), the San Dieguito Lagoon, City buildings, Seagrove Park, Powerhouse Park, Crest Ridge Park and the Scripps Bluff Preserve;
  • Stalking people or violating their reasonable expectations of privacy;
  • Attaching weapons to drones; and
  • Flying drones within 400 feet of active law enforcement or fire response scenes.

Other prohibitions apply.

Introduced to protect public health and welfare, the regulations align with those of nearby jurisdictions and add to guidelines set by the FAA. Flying drones above the Del Mar Fairgrounds requires their permission.

City, public safety and other government drone operators are exempt from the regulations.

Under FAA guidelines, recreational and commercial drone operators must register and mark their aircraft. Commercial operators are required to obtain a remote pilot certificate and an FAA tracking number.

Beyond their use by hobbyists and commercial film makers, drones have become an important tool for City personnel to assess environmental conditions and infrastructure, monitor traffic and support emergency responses. Lifeguards have used drones to support cliff rescues and monitor rip currents and shark movements.

Open the City of Del Mar’s Drones webpage

Open the staff report and Ordinance Regulating the Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the City of Del Mar (PDF)

Drone photography

The City of Del Mar’s drone is an important tool for documenting environmental conditions and infrastructure projects.

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streetscape 400X300

Lagoon mouth 400x300

Empty Beach 400x300

Crest Canyon sinkhole 400x300

Civic Center 400x300

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