Its has been nearly a year now that Newport Beach city council has been deliberating the regulation of hydroflight watercraft in the harbor. On Tuesday February 24th city council neared a final decision. They motioned to have an ordinance drafted allowing only a limited number of commercial hydroflight facilities to operate in the harbor.
Numerous residents, business owners, representatives of the Harbor Commission and Coast Guard were all present to voice their opinions on the topic. Those who were against the use of jetpacks in the Harbor stated it was too loud and too dangerous to be operated in such a tight area. They also said it violated the 5mph speed restriction A map of the harbor displayed at the meeting showed the space constraints on the waterway. The largest area available which does not interfere with the navigable channels, moorings, or other hazards is 400 feet.
Those who were for the use of jetpacks stated it was a good tourist attraction which brought a large amount of revenue to the area. Local residents and business owners said they enjoyed seeing the Jetpacks on the water. A representative for Jetpack America said their long standing history of safety should be taken into account. They have been established in the area for three years and have had only one minor incident and zero citations.
After all parties were done speaking, city council concluded that they would like to see the jetpacks stay in the harbor but they needed to be regulated. City council motioned to ban the operation of personal use jetpacks in the harbor strictly due to space constrictions on the waterway, They are also seeking to limit the number of commercial businesses allowed to operate. They feel having these regulations in place will drastically reduce congestion on the waterway and allow safe passageway for boaters.