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chicago & chicago park district rules for drone flight
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RoccoT31
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I've been flying a drone now for over a year, and never have had any people exercise their concern of me flying the Drone anywhere in the city or in the Chicago Park District. until this morning when I was outside of Northerly Island by the Old Meigs Field  when Chicago Police officers approached me and told me that it was illegal to fly the drone on the Chicago Park District property and that I could be ticketed up to$500 and my drone could be confiscated.  I complied with the request and told them I would not fly there today.  the problem I'm having is the fact that no one seems to know for sure what the rules or regulations are some people and media outlets have told me that it is permitted on Chicago Park District property so long as you are not putting anybody at risk or over large groups of people. This was reported by wgn tv in February of 2016 here is the video   http://wgntv.com/2016/02/09/dron ... e-can-you-fly-them/    .   this was told to me in may 2016  by a sergeant of the Chicago Police Department in Bridgeport outside of a park I was flying at when i asked about the city laws for drone flight,  he said there was no rules or regulations by the city as of yet but they are coming and that you should use common sense when flying it, dont go flying over lollapalooza or anything like that.  neither the Chicago Park District or the city Chicago web sites have anything regarding drone rules or regulations. I wasnt fly over private property because the Chicago parks are public parks,  I wasnt flying higher than 100ft  and well in my sight.  I just wanto know the rules and regulations of the city and Park District so I can comply with them and not get a ticket or Worse have my drone taken from me which I don't think they could actually do but I don't want to test that and find out

●What problems has anyone here faced with the Chicago PD or Park District with flying their drones?

●And does anybody know how I can go about finding the actual rules and regulations of the city and Park District I did try calling the park district this morning and speaking with permit department and they said they're not sure of the rules or regulations themselves but will look into it and email me. so I'm not going to hold my breath on that



●and as stated their web site were no help

2016-8-5
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DJI-H.C
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I would contact the Chicago's Office of Mayor,City Department of Aviation,  Department of Law, Department of Police(ask the officer's name next time so you can inquiry or even file a complaint) to find out.
I suspect the officer was threatening to give you a ticket because he didn't like it, he might cite clauses like "obstruction of peace".
2016-8-6
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OscarD
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I apologize for reviving an old thread but this came up during a search for City of Chicago drone regulations including those at the Chicago Park District. I have not had any success finding updated information for Chicago. Has anyone else had any luck? Thanks!
2017-1-31
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hallmark007
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OscarD Posted at 2017-1-31 10:06
I apologize for reviving an old thread but this came up during a search for City of Chicago drone regulations including those at the Chicago Park District. I have not had any success finding updated information for Chicago. Has anyone else had any luck? Thanks!

I think regarding police, they don't seem to be aware of the laws of flying drones, and are just using there own judgements as they see fit.
Regarding flying in public places, there are certain rules that apply minimum height for flying over groups of people, what constitutes a group, maximum height, who is responsible for the airspace you are flying over.
I would contact FAA and see what they say.
2017-1-31
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Palladous
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Just an additional note about confiscation.  Way back in the early '80's when the first radar detectors were all the rage, I had to get one.  They were new to most people and to the police as well.  There were laws on the books about using them. The police did not then and don't now like people using them.  Needless to say, I got pulled over for speeding. When he saw my detector, he demanded I hand it over to him as it was "against the law".  I complied and did not pursue it any further as they not very expensive.  I do respect the police very much but an officer having a bad day can do almost whatever he wants on the spot.  Today, a confiscated Phantom might be a different story ....
2017-1-31
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iFlyMyDrone.com
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I cannot speak to Chicago parks but I can speak to parks in general. Though they are public spaces whether you can use them to launch may depend on local ordinances. If there is an ordinance prohibiting you from taking off in the park you still may be able to fly over the park if you take off outside of the park. If an officer ask you nicely to land your drone I would definitely comply. But after you are on the ground you might want to ask for the specific law to be cited so that you can read it for yourself.
2017-1-31
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iFlyMyDrone.com
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I cannot speak to Chicago parks but I can speak to parks in general. Though they are public spaces whether you can use them to launch may depend on local ordinances. If there is an ordinance prohibiting you from taking off in the park you still may be able to fly over the park if you take off outside of the park. If an officer ask you nicely to land your drone I would definitely comply. But after you are on the ground you might want to ask for the specific law to be cited so that you can read it for yourself. BTW, in my area drone flights are prohibited in all county parks except for two. Two county parks have designated space for flying RC planes and sUAS. I guess we are luckier than some other municipalities.
2017-1-31
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ChiGuy85
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I'm from Chicago and had the same question. It's a super gray area... The city supports the FFA rules, but added a few restrictions about flying over personal property, hospitals, schools, etc. The parks department supports the FAA rules but said via email that you can't take off or land in the parks. Also, if you want to film or take pictures in the parks, you technically need a photography permit ($35 for 1 hour and one location). Maggie Daley Park flat out says no drones.

So if you want to legally fly in the park, you need to take off from the public sidewalk or alley next to the park, fly into the park, but don't film or photograph anything, unless you have a Parks Department permit. All while maintaining line of sight, staying under 400 feet, avoiding people, and staying at least 25 feet away from power and electric lines during takeoff and landing.

Here are a few resources I found.

1) City of Chicago Code (Nov. '15) regulating small UAVs. - It supports alot of the FAA rules and says you can't fly over personal property, schools, hospitals, police stations, etc.
2) Maggie Daley Park Rules - Specifically stating no drones.
3) Chicago Park District rules on photography and permits for filming and photography.
4) Reddit Thread with an email from the parks department
2017-2-2
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fans78d80386
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This is what I found out from Chicago Park District
Screenshot_20170612-125704_01_01.png
2017-6-12
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JonEFive
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wwwDOTchicagoparkdistrictDOTcom/assets/1/23/CPD_Code_Chpt_7.pdf  (can't post URLs, but this is the relevant document based on previous post)

C.3 Permit Requirement
C.3.a No person shall, without a permit:
C.3.a.(11) bring, land or cause to ascend or descend or alight within the Park District,
any airplane, helicopter, flying machine, balloon, parachute or other
apparatus for aviation;

and

C. 7. Fines
The violation by a permittee of the terms of his/her permit or the laws and regulations of
the Park District shall subject the permittee to a civil fine of up to $500. Each day that a
violation continues shall be deemed a separate violation. Such fines may be assessed
against any security deposit held by the Park District on behalf of the permittee, pursuant
to this chapter, Section C.4.d., above. Any assessment of fines in excess of any security
deposit shall be subject to the procedures contained in Section B.18., above.

It looks like what the officer said was correct from my interpretation, which is somewhat disappointing.  There aren't a ton of open spaces in the city that aren't under the control of the Park District

2017-7-1
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djiuser_unPYZpE
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So I just bought my drone (gets here tomorrow!) and was excited to shoot in Chicago especially after I saw all the awesome YouTube videos of the Chicago cityscape. However I am now quite concerned.

I also came across this: httpsDOT//wwwDOTcityofchicagoDOTorg/city/en/depts/oem/provdrs/emerg_mang/news/2016/october/oemc-announces-updated-safety-plans-for-chicago-cubs-world-serieDOThtml

This states "The City reminds fans and residents that using drones in public spaces in Chicago is illegal, and anyone caught using one will be arrested."

How is that possible / legal? Can I really not use a drone anywhere in public?

Makes my drone purchase pretty worthless if I can't use it to film anywhere cool. I'm curious if other people have had run-ins with cops and if they confiscated the drones, and what else happened.
2017-7-25
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chitown
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Here is a quote from an article (slate.com) stating some specific regulations. Below that are two links; One to the article and another link to the FAA Drone Guidelines. The FAA refers to drones as "unmanned aircraft".  Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, Fran Spielman notes that the city’s new regulations are an effort “to strike the appropriate balance between protecting public safety and encouraging innovation and technology,” which seems like the right approach to take. Under the terms of the ordinance, a drone cannot fly higher than 400 feet, beyond the operator’s line of sight, or between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. The rules prohibit drones from flying within five miles of the city’s airports, or over schools, hospitals, churches, police stations, outdoor stadiums, and “property the operator does not own.” The ordinance basically codifies on the local level many of the common-sense rules that the FAA recommends for drone operators—and, in so doing, gives local authorities the power to punish transgressors. That's important, because the federal drone guidelines in their current form are basically toothless.     https://chicago.suntimes.com/chi ... -with-city-council/   https://www.faa.gov/uas/
2018-1-23
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chitown
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Here is a quote from an article (slate.com) stating some specific regulations. Below that are two links; One to the article and another link to the FAA Drone Guidelines. The FAA refers to drones as "unmanned aircraft".

                        
Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, Fran Spielman notes that the city’s new regulations are an effort “to strike the appropriate balance between protecting public safety and encouraging innovation and technology,” which seems like the right approach to take. Under the terms of the ordinance, a drone cannot fly higher than 400 feet, beyond the operator’s line of sight, or between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. The rules prohibit drones from flying within five miles of the city’s airports, or over schools, hospitals, churches, police stations, outdoor stadiums, and “property the operator does not own.” The ordinance basically codifies on the local level many of the common-sense rules that the FAA recommends for drone operators—and, in so doing, gives local authorities the power to punish transgressors. That's important, because the federal drone guidelines in their current form are basically toothless.
  
  


Chicago Sun-Times
https://chicago.suntimes.com/chi ... -with-city-council/

FAA
https://www.faov/uas/

2018-1-23
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fansf7d6187b
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fans78d80386 Posted at 2017-6-12 10:02
This is what I found out from Chicago Park District

I just read this on chicago parks web site. Seesm to suggest I don;t need a permit

https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/permits-rentals/filming-photography

A permit is required for the following types of filming and photography

Commercial, such as:
Advertising
Catalog photos
Publications
Documentary
Web-based media
Non-commercial use, such as:
Engagement photos
Wedding photos
Cotillion photos
Student projects
Applicants must be currently enrolled in an accredited school working on a class project to qualify for a student rate.
View fees and get started now.
2018-1-31
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