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Northampton drone resolution is a first of its kind in New England

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NORTHAMPTON, MA (WSHM) -

Northampton city councilors have unanimously approved a drone aircraft resolution that is a first of its kind in New England and one of the first in the country.

"This isn't, pardon the pun, on the radar of a lot of communities, and actually there's no votes that we're conscious of. It's essentially a policy decision that takes away air space that we more or less presumed for over a century that is ours," said Northampton City Council President William Dwight.

Dwight is one of the sponsors behind the resolution, which is calling on the federal government to change its policies on drone usage and to reject the FAA's proposal to change airspace regulations, something he says is a local issue.

"So that means my backyard, anything an inch above that, is subject to review by the FAA, which on one hand takes away my rights and then at the same time also increases their ability to for whatever reason send in drone or any other devices capable of hovering that 1 inch above the ground," said Dwight.

The two-part resolution was passed by the council last week. Before it moves any further, it must first pass a second vote by the council July 11.

"If it passes the second reading, it is sent on to the federal authorities, to the president, our senators," said Dwight.

Dwight admits this resolution spreads a lot further than Northampton. And, while he says the city might not be able to make an impact on national and international policy decisions, he wants to make sure the government is aware of people's opinions regarding the policies.

"I've always accepted the argument that silence is complicity. If I don't say anything, then it's reasonable for someone to believe that I think it is OK," said Dwight.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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