Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to get a report from the city’s corporation counsel that recommends letting Evanston’s two year moratorium on commercial use of drones expire at the end of this month.

Since the local moratorium was adopted, Corporation Counsel Grant Farrar says in his memo, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued extensive rules and procedures to regulate unmanned aircraft systems and issue certifications to those seeking to use drones for commercial, private and governmental purposes.

The federal agency has started issuing certifications under those rules, including one recently to a Chicago photographer who plans to use drones for news gathering.

The drone ban had been pushed by anti-war activists, among others, who voiced fears about weaponized drones being used by police. Aldermen adopted it on a 5-4 vote, with opponents suggesting that drones could have positive uses and that they didn’t want to discourage new technologies.

The state legislature has also imposed a variety of restrictions on the use of drones by police. 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. “weaponized drones” were not the concern

    The concerns raised by the peace and justice community, which initiated the two year moratorium on the purchase and use of drones in Evanston,  was NOT that our EPD would purchaes weaponize drones.  It was specifically to ensure that state and federal regulations and protections were in place prior to the city making the decision to purchase commercial drones of any kind.  Thanks to Sen Daniel Biss those safeguards are now well established in the state.  This was always an issue of protecting our civil liberties and privacy.

    1. Sounds like a political

      Sounds like a political notification that lets people know that Biss is doing something. Is Biss is trying to position himself to run for higher office?

      1. Biss for higher office

        Biss has shown himself as an able guy who is willing to get his hands dirty. Witness the work that he has done on pensions. If he does run for higher office, I will certainly support him.

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *