*CA Mandatory UAS Insurance - SB347, as introduced, Jackson. State Remote Piloted Aircraft Act. *
Published on February 19, 2017
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An act to amendSection 21012 of, and to add Part 1.5 (commencing with Section 21750) toDivision 9 of, the Public Utilities Code, relating to aviation.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
SB 347, asintroduced, Jackson. State Remote Piloted Aircraft Act.
(1) Existingfederal law, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, provides for theintegration of civil unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, intothe National Airspace System. Existing federal law generally requires anaircraft to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA),prohibits a person from operating a United States registered aircraft unlessthat aircraft displays specified nationality and registration marks, and,unless authorized by the FAA, prohibits a person from placing on any aircraft adesign, mark, or symbol that modifies or confuses those nationality and registrationmarks.
The StateAeronautics Act governs various matters relative to aviation in the state,including, among other things, fostering and promoting safety in aeronauticsand establishing only those regulations that are essential and clearly within thescope of the authority granted to the Department of Transportation by theLegislature, in order that persons may engage in every phase of aeronauticswith the least possible restriction consistent with the safety and the rightsof others. A violation of the act is a crime punishable by a fine of not morethan $1,000 or by imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both.
This bill wouldenact the State Remote Piloted Aircraft Act. The bill would prohibit a personfrom operating a remote piloted aircraft in any number of specified manners andwould require any person using, operating, or renting a remote piloted aircraftand every commercial operator of a remote piloted aircraft to maintain adequateliability insurance or proof of financial responsibility, as specified. Thebill would authorize the department to adopt rules and regulations governingthe conditions under which remote piloted aircraft may be operated for thepurpose of protecting and ensuring the general public interest and safety andthe safety of persons operating remote piloted aircraft. The bill wouldauthorize the department to make and amend general or special rules, orders,and procedures, and establish minimum standards consistent with the act as itdeems necessary, to administer the provisions of the act, as specified. Thebill would provide that remedies provided by the act are cumulative with anyother remedies available under law. The bill would provide that the provisionsof the act are severable. The bill would make a violation of any provision ofthe act or any rule or order issued pursuant to the act punishable as aninfraction with a fine not exceeding $250, or as a misdemeanor punishable byimprisonment in a county jail not exceeding 6 months, or by a fine notexceeding $1,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
Because thebill would create new crimes, the bill would impose a state-mandated localprogram.
(2) TheCalifornia Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies andschool districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisionsestablish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill wouldprovide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote:MAJORITY Appropriation: NO Fiscal Committee: YES Local Program: YES
The people of the State of California do enact asfollows:
SECTION1. Section 21012 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:
21012. “Aircraft”means any manned contrivance used or designed for navigation of, or flight in,the air requiring certification and registration as prescribed by federalstatute or regulation. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of thissection, manned lighter-than-air balloons and ultralight vehicles as defined inthe regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration (14 C.F.R. Part 103),whether or not certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration, shall notbe considered to be aircraft for purposes of this part.* “Aircraft” does notinclude remote piloted aircraft, as defined in Section 21753.*
SEC.2. Part 1.5 (commencing with Section 21750) is added to Division 9 of thePublic Utilities Code, to read:
PART 1.5. State Remote Piloted Aircraft Act
21750. Thispart may be cited as the State Remote Piloted Aircraft Act.
21751. Thepurpose of this part is to further and protect the public interest in remotepiloted aircraft by all of the following means:
(a) Encouragingthe development and general use of remote piloted aircraft.
(b) Fosteringand promoting safety in remote piloted aeronautics.
(c) Preservingthe fundamental right to privacy.
(d) Protectingthe security of critical infrastructure.
(e) ProtectingCalifornia’s natural resources.
(f) Encouragingthe use of remote piloted aircraft for newsgathering in a manner consistent withthe fundamental right to privacy.
(g) Effecting,where feasible and consistent with the policies of this state, uniformity withfederal aeronautics laws and regulations.
(h) Establishingonly those regulations that are essential and clearly within the scope of theauthority granted by the Legislature, in order that persons may engage in everyphase of remote piloted aeronautics with the least possible restrictionconsistent with the safety and the rights of others.
21752. (a) Unlessthe context otherwise requires, the definitions and general provisions setforth in this part govern the construction of this part.
(b) Thispart shall not be construed to do either of the following:
(1) Limitany power of the state or a political subdivision to regulate the operation ofremote piloted aircraft if the regulations do not conflict with the provisionsof this part.
(2) Preemptany local ordinance that regulates remotely piloted aircraft or unmannedaircraft systems if the ordinance is consistent with this part.
(c) Exceptas specified, this part shall not be construed as prohibiting, restricting, orpermitting the prohibition of the takeoff, operation, or landing of remotepiloted aircraft.
21753. (a) “Aircraft”means any contrivance used or designed for navigation of, or flight in, theair.
(b) “Criticalinfrastructure” means systems and assets so vital to the state that theincapacity or destruction of those systems or assets would have a debilitatingimpact on security, economic security, public health and safety, or anycombination of those matters.
(c) “Operationof remote piloted aircraft” or “operate remote piloted aircraft” means the use,navigation, or piloting of remote piloted aircraft in the airspace over theland or waters of this state.
(d) “Person”means any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, limited liabilitycompany, company, association, joint stock association, or body politic; andincludes any trustee, receiver, assignee, or other similar representative.
(e) “Pilot”means the person in command of a remote piloted aircraft while underway.
(f) “Politicalsubdivision” means any county, city, whether general law or chartered, city andcounty, public corporation, district, or other political entity or publiccorporation of this state.
(g) “Remotepiloted aircraft” means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility ofdirect human intervention from within or on the aircraft, and includes theremote piloted aircraft system.
(h) “Remotepiloted aircraft system” means a remote piloted aircraft and its associatedelements, including communication links, that are required for the pilot tocontrol the remote piloted aircraft.
21754. Aperson shall not weaponize a remote piloted aircraft or operate a weaponizedremote piloted aircraft.
21755. (a) Aperson shall not operate a remote piloted aircraft in any of the followingmanners:
(1) In amanner that interferes with manned aircraft.
(2) In amanner that is prohibited by any federal statute or regulation governingaeronautics.
(3) In acareless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.
(4) In amanner that constitutes a nuisance under Section 3479 of the Civil Code.
(5) In amanner that violates an individual’s right to privacy under Section 1 ofArticle I of the California Constitution.
(6) In amanner that constitutes trespass under California law.
(b) Aremotely piloted aircraft shall always give way to manned aircraft.
21756. Aperson shall not operate a remote piloted aircraft in this state without firstcomplying with all licensing, registration, and marking requirements requiredby the Federal Aviation Administration.
- (a) Everycommercial operator of a remote piloted aircraft shall maintain, so long as thecommercial operator continues to offer services for compensation, adequateprotection against liability imposed by law upon operators of remote pilotedaircraft. (b) Anyperson using, operating, or renting a remote piloted aircraft with the permission,expressed or implied, of a commercial operator shall also maintain adequateprotection against liability imposed by law for the payment of damages forpersonal bodily injuries, including death resulting therefrom, and propertydamage as a result of an accident involving the remote piloted aircraft. (c) Thedepartment shall, after a public hearing, establish the amount of liabilityinsurance or proof of financial responsibility, required by this section, thatis reasonably necessary to provide adequate compensation for damages incurredthrough an accident involving a commercial operator of a remote pilotedaircraft.
- (a) Consistentwith the provisions of this part, the department may adopt rules andregulations governing the conditions under which remote piloted aircraft may beoperated for the purpose of protecting and ensuring the general public interestand safety and the safety of persons operating remote piloted aircraft. (b) Thedepartment may make and amend general or special rules, orders, and procedures,and establish minimum standards consistent with this part as it deems necessaryto administer this part. (c) Inexercising authority under this part, the department shall cooperate with andassist the federal government, political subdivisions of this state, and othersin the development of remote piloted aeronautics, and shall seek to coordinateactivities whenever feasible. (d) Thedepartment shall keep on file with the Secretary of State, and at its principaloffice, a copy of all its rules and regulations, adopted pursuant to this part,for public inspection. (e) Thedepartment shall provide for the publication and general distribution of allits orders, rules, regulations, and procedures having general effect that areapplicable to remote piloted aircraft.
Aviolation of any provision of this part or any rule or order issued pursuant tothis part shall be punishable as an infraction with a fine not to exceed twohundred fifty dollars ($250), or as a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment ina county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousanddollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
Anystate or peace officer charged with the enforcement of state and local laws orordinances may enforce and assist in the enforcement of this part, any rule ororder issued under this part, and all other laws of the state applicable toremote piloted aircraft or unmanned aircraft systems.
Nothingin this part shall be construed to impair or impede any other rights, causes ofaction, claims, or defenses available under other laws. The remedies providedin this part are cumulative with any other remedies available under other laws.
Theprovisions of this part are severable. If any provision of this part or itsapplication is held to be invalid, that invalidity shall not affect otherprovisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalidprovision or application.
SEC. 3. Noreimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII Bof the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by alocal agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a newcrime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penaltyfor a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of theGovernment Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning ofSection 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.