Testimony heard on Mackinac Bridge drone bill

Testimony heard on Mackinac Bridge drone bill

LANSING — A bill making its way through the Michigan Senate could have an impact on how drones are used in a unique Michigan location.

Testimony on the proposed Senate Bill 432, introduced in July by Senator Tom Casperson, was heard last week by the Senate Transportation Committee. The bill would prohibit the operation of a drone within 1,000 feet of the Mackinac Bridge. Exceptions to the rule would include the use of drones for engineering inspections, security, or marketing by the Mackinac Bridge Authority.

Michigan Association of Broadcasters official Elena Palombo testified in opposition to the bill. She requested that it be amended to include a news gathering exemption for FCC licensed television and radio stations.

The current language of the bill would make violation of the thousand-foot radius a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail.