New state law overturns Orlando drone regulations, may pave way for unmanned package delivery

ORLANDO, Fla. — A recently enacted state law has taken the ability to regulate unmanned drones away from individual municipalities, effectively nullifying an Orlando drone ordinance passed in January.

Drone enthusiasts say one part of the new Florida law may help pave the way for companies like Amazon to use unmanned drones to deliver packages.

Under the new law, commercial drones are allowed to fly over things like power substations, oil or gas pipelines, and wireless communication towers.

Griff Aviation North America CEO Mark Boyd said his company, which makes and tests drones capable of lifting heavy loads, picked its Lakeland location because of the drone-friendly regulations.

As the use of drones continues to expand, Florida’s new law makes it easier to fly them in Florida, Boyd said.

“This is a very young industry and it’s just going to explode over the next coming years,” he said.

Amazon is building a large warehouse in south Orlando, but company representatives told Channel 9 that there are currently no plans to deliver packages via drones in the city.