HELENA, Mont. - The Montana House has killed a proposal to regulate drones after removing a major provision calling for drone licensing.

Representatives voted 49-48 Saturday to fail House Bill 593, the largest of multiple proposals this session to rein in drone use.

In its original form, the measure would have enacted a licensing procedure for unmanned aerial vehicles. The House Judiciary Committee deleted that section on Thursday.

Before defeating the measure, representatives also removed a provision requiring written consent before a drone could fly within five miles of an airport.

The amended bill would have prohibited flying drones after dark or within 25 feet of an nonconsenting person, and allowed local government regulations on the issue.

Republican Rep. Jeff Essmann of Billings says his proposal aimed to prevent surreptitious use of drones.

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