Drone Flying Near South Loop High-Rise Raises Concerns for Residents

Police have yet to issue citations or make any arrests.

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The management of a South Loop high-rise condominium building stressed heightened awareness to residents after drones reportedly crashed into the building and hovered outside units last week.

In one instance, Chicago police officers were called to 1720 S. Michigan Ave. on Monday, April 19 for the report of a drone flying approximately 11 stories up. A drone was also reported hovering outside the building the next day.

According to a email from building management, the drones "at high speeds, crashed into the side of the building, and hovered outside units, most likely looking in via camera.”

"This represents an extreme safety hazard as well as a violation of privacy," management said in an email to residents.

NBC 5 talked to some Chicagoans who voiced concerns upon learning of the incidents.

"Not that I have anything to hide, but I don’t want drones in my window," said resident Chiara Nease. "I’m not that private either. But if a drone was in my window, my first thought would be to shut all the blinds."

The Chicago Police Department said drone operators must comply with Federal Aviation Administration rules, state laws and regulations established by the city of Chicago.

Under the city's municipal code, no person shall operate any small unmanned aircraft in city airspace in any of the following situations:

  • directly over any person who is not involved in the operation, without consent
  • at an altitude higher than 400 feet
  • outside the visual line of sight
  • between dusk and dawn
  • over any school, hospital, place of worship, prison or police station

Police have yet to issue citations or make any arrests.

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