Town of North Reading, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of North Reading 6-5-2017 by Art. 25, approved 11-21-2017.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor’s Note: This article was determined compatible with MGL c. 90 per the MassDOT Aeronautics Division 3-28-2018.
For this bylaw, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
CIVIL UAS
An unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system operated by any person for any purposes other than strictly hobby or recreational purposes, including, but not limited to, commercial purposes or in furtherance of, or incidental to, any business or media service or agency.
MODEL AIRCRAFT
An unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system operated by any person strictly for hobby or recreational purposes.
PERSON
An individual, partnership, corporation, association or other legal entity.
PUBLIC UAS
An unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system operated by any public agency for government related purposes.
UNMANNED AIRCRAFT
An aircraft, including, but not limited to, an aircraft commonly known as a "drone," that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.
UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM
An unmanned aircraft and associated elements, including, but not limited to, any communication links and components that control the unmanned aircraft.
Subject to the provisions of this bylaw, a person that is authorized by federal law to operate unmanned aircraft systems may operate an unmanned aircraft system in the Town of North Reading for any lawful purpose if the unmanned aircraft system is operated in a manner consistent with federal law.
A person shall not operate an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that knowingly and intentionally interferes with any of the following while performing their official duties:
A. 
A law enforcement officer;
B. 
A firefighter;
C. 
Emergency medical personnel; or
D. 
Search and rescue personnel.
A. 
No person shall operate any model aircraft or civil UAS within the Town of North Reading in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another. The standard of what constitutes careless and reckless operation shall be the same as the standard set forth in any federal statutes or regulations governing aeronautics, including, but not limited to, Federal Aviation Rule 91.13.
B. 
No person shall knowingly and intentionally operate an unmanned aircraft within a distance that, if the person were to be present personally rather than through remote operation of an unmanned aircraft, would be a violation of a restraining order or other judicial order.
C. 
No person shall knowingly and intentionally operate an unmanned aircraft system to capture photographs, video or audio recordings of an individual in a manner that invades an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy.
D. 
No person shall operate any model aircraft within the Town of North Reading beyond the visual line of sight of the person operating the model aircraft. The operator must use his or her own natural vision to observe the model aircraft. People other than the operator may not be used in lieu of the operator for maintaining visual line of sight of the model aircraft. "Visual line of sight" means that the operator has an unobstructed view of the model aircraft. The use of vision-enhancing devices, such as binoculars, night vision goggles, powered vision magnifying devices, and goggles or other devices designed to provide a first-person view from the model aircraft, do not constitute a visual line of sight of the person operating the model aircraft.
E. 
Excluding takeoff and landing, no person shall operate any model aircraft or civil UAS within the Town of North Reading closer than 25 feet to any individual, except the operator or person(s) assisting the operator.
F. 
No person shall operate any model aircraft or civil UAS within the Town of North Reading in a manner that is prohibited by any federal statute or regulation governing aeronautics.
This bylaw shall not apply to any public UAS operated pursuant to, and in compliance with, the terms and conditions of any current and enforceable authorization granted by the Federal Aviation Administration.
A. 
Whoever violates any provision of this bylaw shall be subject to a fine of $300 for each violation. Each violation shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
Enforcement of this bylaw shall be by the Chief of Police and/or his designee and may be enforced by noncriminal disposition in accordance with the provisions of § 1-5 of the Town's Bylaws and MGL c. 40, § 21D, or through any other lawful process. Nothing in this bylaw shall preclude the Police Department from enforcing any applicable state law.