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Filmmaker Arvel Chappell III Challenges New Anti-Drone City Ordinance

A press release was sent out yesterday involving my case. Now that it's out there I am releasing it here for you all to see. I'm fighting these charges because they are patently against the spirit of everything I am, everything I believe in and also against the very theme of what I'm communicating in my film. More to come... #Takeflight


Alison Webster (714) 345-6975

Filmmaker Arvel Chappell III Challenges New Anti-Drone City Ordinance

Chappell’s Attorney States Anti-Drone Ordinance Is Unconstitutional Under Federal Law

Los Angeles, CA (March 16, 2016) -- Filmmaker Arvel Chappell III, represented by Terrence Jones at Ballard Spahr LLP, filed a constitutional challenge to the City of Los Angeles’ new anti-drone ordinance in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, March 10.

According to Chappell’s attorney, Chappell represents every constituency interested in the safe and reasonable regulation of drone use.

“My entire life's work throughout my career as a filmmaker, aerospace engineer and pilot has been in promotion and support of aviation and aviators,” said Chappell. “The pilots flying in the skies above us are not only my peers but also my friends.”

Given the rapidly emerging drone technologies and their increasing popularity, Chappell’s challenge to the ordinance has gained significant support from groups, including film, retail and shipping industries, that want to continue to safely incorporate these technologies into people’s day-to-day existence.

During Chappell’s hearing on March 10, Jones challenged that the City’s ordinance is pre-empted by federal law which has the sole governing authority to regulate aviation, including unmanned drone aviation. At the time, the City Attorney’s Office stated it was not prepared to defend the ordinance, and therefore sought and received a continuance of the hearing until March 28.

Chappell is the first person to be charged in a three-count criminal complaint by the City Attorney’s Office for violating the City’s municipal ordinance (enacted in December 2015), which attempts to impose flight restrictions on individuals operating “unmanned aircraft” within City limits.

Chappell is a film director who has been using his registered drone since 2014, and more recently for his current project, “Compton: The Antwon Ross Story,” which ironically, tells the story of a young African American male who turns to aviation as an escape from the harsh reality of his daily life in Compton. For more information about Arvel Chappell III and the film, visit For any legal questions contact Terrence Jones (424) 204-4386