Fair revises drone policy


GREENVILLE — During its July 6 meeting, the Darke County Agricultural Society Board of Governors approved additions to its policy regarding the use of drone vehicles on the fair’s property.

In its May meeting, the fairboard instituted regulations keeping the airspace above the Great Darke County Fair off limits to drone vehicles, except when given prior authorization by the board and law enforcement. The new regulations also prohibit the use of any remotely controlled device, including remote-control cars without permission.

The added stipulations on drone operation at the fair regard the size of the drone, where it can be flown and who may operate it.

The added provisions state: “Drones must be less than 55 pounds, must be operated by a pilot who has passed a written test and is at least 16 years old; can only be flown below 400 feet, during the day, and at least 5 miles away from airports.”

As well, “Individuals given approval to operate drones by the Darke County Agricultural Society must provide a picture of the drone; current physical address/phone number; [and] a copy of their drivers license.”

Fair Manager Daryl Riffle said the policy additions were made after consultation with the Darke County Sheriff’s Office.

The rest of the board’s policy remains intact, and states: “No remotely controlled aircraft or ground vehicle devices are authorized to operate on, above or below Darke County Agricultural Society property at any time without the express written consent of the Darke County Agricultural Society and also the proper law enforcement authority.”

“This procedure includes, but is not limited to unmanned aircraft systems, radio controlled model aircraft, other devices that can be operated in airspace and remote controlled cars/ground vehicles.”

“Possession or operation of such remotely controlled aircraft or ground vehicle devices without prior written consent will result in the confiscation of all related materials, removal from Darke County Agricultural Society property, and/or a response from law enforcement authority.”

“Events requiring the use of any such prohibited items listed above must receive a prior written notification of approval from the Darke County Agricultural Society or the proper law enforcement authority. Any and all entities requesting to utilize a remotely controlled device must sign the appropriate documentation prior to bringing any such equipment on to, above or below Darke County Agricultural Society property.”

Further, the board will “notify the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), and/ or any other law enforcement authority deemed necessary of any incidents involving airborne aircraft or any other unauthorized remote controlled ground based vehicles.”

For further information on the Great Darke County Fair, visit the fair’s website at www.darkecountyfair.com, contact the fairgrounds by phone at 937-548-5044, or email [email protected].

Sets size limits, age of operators

By Erik Martin

[email protected]

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.

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