Noisy model airplanes cause discussion

The Citizens Advisory Committee meets to discuss possible ordinances regarding model aircraft. / Cody Long

A complaint about a noisy model airplane has prompted the Citizens Advisory Committee to meet for discussion to talk about proposing a new ordinance to the city commission.

Police received a complaint after Randall Belt flew his model airplane at Hilsman Park.

"If people complain, well, you moved to a park...expect noise," Belt said.

The city ordinance currently only has noise restrictions but the Committee says that remote controlled aircraft wouldn't even come close to that limit.

"The flying of the model aircraft is well below the current acceptable limits in the noise ordinance and so that doesn't seem to be an issue." said Mary Ligon, chairperson of the Citizens Advisory Committee. "In fact, traffic is a louder noise."

Yvette Aehle, Southwest Georgia Regional Airport Director, was at the committee meeting and says there are no FAA regulation on using model airplanes.

"There's only an advisory circular issued by FAA which is basically just advisory in nature," Aehle said. "It has should in the document rather than must."

Another issue they discussed was the flying of ultralights. Aehle says the FAA does regulate those small, manned aircraft.

"They should not operate over congested areas and should not operate within the class airspace around an airport."

Recently, there was an ultralight flight out of Hilsman Park which does fall within the city's airspace for the airport.

The Committee just discussed possible ordinances today.

Members will meet to discuss further later this month.

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