State Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) | 2015 Legislation

9/30/2016

Introduction

In 2015, 45 states considered 168 bills related to drones: 

  • Twenty states–Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia–passed 26 pieces of legislation. 
  • Five other states–AlaskaGeorgia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island–adopted resolutions related to drones. 
  • Georgia’s resolution established a House study committee on the use of drones.
  • New Mexico adopted memorials in the House and Senate requiring a study on protecting wildlife from drones. 
  • Pennsylvania's resolution directs the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on the use of UAS by state and local agencies. 
  • Rhode Island's resolution created a legislative commission to study and review regulation of UAS. 
  • Virginia's governor signed an executive order establishing a commission on unmanned systems.

States with UAS Legislation 2015.

 

2015 UAS Legislation
State  Bill Summary
Arkansas HB 1349  Prohibits the use of UAS to commit voyeurism. 
Arkansas HB 1770 Prohibits the use of UAS to collect information about or photographically or electronically record information about critical infrastructure without consent.
California AB 856 Prohibits entering the airspace of an individual in order to capture an image or recording of that individual engaging in a private, personal or familial activity without permission. This legislation is a response to the use of UAS by the paparazzi. 
Florida SB 766 Prohibits the use of a drone to capture an image of privately owned property or the owner, tenant, or occupant of such property without consent if a reasonable expectation of privacy exists.
Hawaii SB 661  Creates a chief operating officer position for the Hawaii unmanned aerial systems test site. It also establishes an unmanned aerial systems test site advisory board to plan and oversee test site development and appropriates funds to establish the test site.
Illinois SB 44 Creates a UAS Oversight Task Force which is tasked with considering commercial and private use of UAS, landowner and privacy rights and general rules and regulations for the safe operation of UAS. The task force will prepare recommendations for the use of UAS in the state. 
Louisiana SB 183  Regulates the use of UAS in agricultural commercial operations.
Maine LD 25 Requires law enforcement agencies receive approval before acquiring UAS. The bill also specifies that the use of UAS by law enforcement comply with all FAA requirements and guidelines. Requires a warrant to use UAS for criminal investigations except in certain circumstances and sets out standards for the operation of UAS by law enforcement. 
Maryland SB 370 Specifies that only the state can enact laws to prohibit, restrict, or regulate the testing or operation of unmanned aircraft systems. This preempts county and municipal authority. The bill also requires a study on specified benefits. 
Michigan SB 54 Prohibits using UAS to interfere with or harass an individual who is hunting.  
Michigan SB 55  Prohibits using UAS to take game.
Mississippi SB 2022 Specifies that using a drone to commit "peeping tom" activities is a felony.
Nevada AB 239 Includes UAS in the definition of aircraft and regulates the operators of UAS. It also prohibits the weaponization of UAS and prohibits the use of UAS within a certain distance of critical facilities and airports without permission. The bill specifies certain restrictions on the use of UAS by law enforcement and public agencies and requires the creation of a registry of all UAS operated by public agencies in the state.
New Hampshire SB 222 Prohibits the use of UAS for hunting, fishing or trapping.
North Carolina SB 446 Expands the authority of the state's Chief Information Officer to approve the purchase and operation of UAS by the state and modifies the state regulation of UAS to conform to FAA guidelines.
North Dakota HB 1328 Provides limitations for the use of UAS for surveillance. Prohibits arming a UAS with lethal weapons.
Oregon HB 2534 Requires the development of rules prohibiting the use of UAS for angling, hunting, trapping, or interfering with a person who is lawfully angling, trapping, or hunting. 
Oregon HB 2354 Changes the term "drone" to "unmanned aircraft system" in statute.
Tennessee HB 153 Prohibits using a drone to capture an image over certain open-air events and fireworks displays. It also prohibits the use of UAS over the grounds of a correctional facility.
Texas HB 3628  Permits the creation of rules governing the use of UAS in the Capitol Complex and provides that a violation of those rules is a Class B misdemeanor.
Texas HB 2167 Permits individuals in certain professions to capture images used in those professions using UAS as long as no individual is identifiable in the image.
Texas HB 1481 Makes it a Class B misdemeanor to operate UAS over a critical infrastructure facility if the UAS is not more than 400 feet off the ground.
Utah HB 296 Allows a law enforcement agency to use an unmanned aircraft system to collect data at a testing site and to locate a lost or missing person in an area in which a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy. It also institutes testing requirements for a law enforcement agency's use of an unmanned aircraft system.
Virginia HB 2125 and SB 1301 Require that a law enforcement agency obtain a warrant before using a drone for any purpose, except in limited circumstances. 
West Virginia HB 2515 Prohibits hunting with UAS.

 

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