Panama City Beach adopts new paragliding rules

PANAMA CITY BEACH  -- A newly adopted ordinance now gives Panama City Beach officials some control over paragliding and power paragliding events.

The city council approved guidelines Thursday giving the city authority to shut down a paragliding event if officials believe it's out of control.

Powered paragliders are restricted from flying lower than 500 feet within the city. The exception is over the Gulf of Mexico, where the restriction is no less than 200 feet above the water within 300 feet of the coastline.

The News Herald of Panama City reports the organizer of "Beach Blast," an annual paragliding demonstration at Edgewater Beach Resort, has decided to cancel this year's event because of the ordinance.

Event organizer John Black calls the rules "restrictive and ridiculous."

The city says it's designed to ensure safety.

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