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New Mexico panel to hear bill aimed at regulating drones

SANTA FE, N.M. — A proposal to ban drones from flying within 500 feet of power plants and refineries in New Mexico is scheduled to face its first hurdle.

The Senate Public Affairs Committee is slated Friday to hear the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Greg Baca of Belen.

Under the proposed bill, drones would be banned within 500 feet of critical-infrastructure facilities and from interfering with firefighters battling wild fires.

Baca says it’s important for the state to have regulations protecting critical facilities in addition to federal regulations.

Other such critical facilities include airports, government buildings and law enforcement and military facilities.