The recreational use of drones is negatively affecting the public’s use and enjoyment of public parks, including Fort Williams and the Portland Head Light.

Last Sunday, on a beautiful day, a drone was flown in circles around the lighthouse for a long time. This is a public nuisance, a public safety issue and a privacy issue.

 First, the nuisance: The sound was annoying. Imagine how the peace and serenity of Fort Williams will be affected when multiple hobbyists are flying drones. The drone is aptly named, as it “droned” for our entire visit!

It was flown continuously in the immediate neighborhood of the lighthouse. Thus, those who came to see and enjoy the lighthouse could not do so without the drone flying around. It was impossible to take a photograph without the drone in the picture.

 Then there are the public property and safety issues.

First, it is a hazard if the drone malfunctions and crashes. Someone on the ground below could be injured or killed.

And there is the risk to property. Imagine the cost to repair the lighthouse. Cars and other personal property could also be damaged by a malfunctioning drone.

 The Maine Legislature has addressed privacy issues in the context of law enforcement drones. But what about the private use of drones to photograph and videotape people in public places? This is at least as intrusive and is probably an invasion of privacy.

I suggest that local officials look at this issue and determine whether an ordinance is necessary to protect the peace and beauty of Fort Williams.

Mary Ann Lynch

Cape Elizabeth