REGULATION OF AIRCRAFT, PILOTS, AND AIRPORTS
330.04 Possession of pilot’s license; inspection on demand.
330.27 Definitions, when used in ss. 330.29-330.36, 330.38, 330.39.
330.29 Administration and enforcement; rules; requirements for airport sites and airports.
330.30 Approval of airport sites; registration and licensure of airports.
330.31 Federal-state joint hearings, reciprocal services.
330.325 Injunctive relief.
330.35 Airport zoning protection.
330.36 Prohibition against county or municipal licensing of airports; regulation of seaplane landings.
330.38 Construction of this law.
330.39 Short title.
330.40 Aircraft fuel tanks.
330.41 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act.
330.411 Prohibited possession or operation of unmanned aircraft.
330.04 Possession of pilot’s license; inspection on demand.—The pilot’s license required shall be kept in the personal possession of the licensee when he or she is operating aircraft within this state, and must be presented for inspection upon the demand of any passenger, any peace officer of this state, or any official, manager, or person in charge of any airport or landing field in this state upon which the licensee shall land.
History.—s. 4, ch. 14642, 1931; CGL 1936 Supp. 4109(4); s. 474, ch. 95-148.
330.27 Definitions, when used in ss. 330.29-330.36, 330.38, 330.39.—
(1) “Aircraft” means a powered or unpowered machine or device capable of atmospheric flight, except a parachute or other such device used primarily as safety equipment.
(2) “Airport” means an area of land or water used for, or intended to be used for, landing and takeoff of aircraft, including appurtenant areas, buildings, facilities, or rights-of-way necessary to facilitate such use or intended use.
(3) “Department” means the Department of Transportation.
(4) “Limited airport” means any airport limited exclusively to the specific conditions stated on the site approval order or license.
(5) “Private airport” means an airport, publicly or privately owned, which is not open or available for use by the public, but may be made available to others by invitation of the owner or manager.
(6) “Public airport” means an airport, publicly or privately owned, which is open for use by the public.
(7) “Temporary airport” means any airport that will be used for a period of less than 30 days with no more than 10 operations per day.
(8) “Ultralight aircraft” means any aircraft meeting the criteria established by part 103 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
History.—s. 1, ch. 24046, 1947; s. 24, ch. 57-1; s. 2, ch. 65-178; ss. 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 103, ch. 71-377; s. 2, ch. 73-326; s. 1, ch. 75-16; s. 1, ch. 77-273; s. 1, ch. 84-205; s. 12, ch. 95-146; s. 475, ch. 95-148; s. 22, ch. 2003-286.
330.29 Administration and enforcement; rules; requirements for airport sites and airports.—It is the duty of the department to:
(1) Administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
(2) Establish requirements for airport site approval, licensure, and registration.
(3) Establish and maintain a state aviation facility data system to facilitate licensing and registration of all airports.
(4) Adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this chapter.
History.—s. 3, ch. 24046, 1947; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 2, ch. 65-178; ss. 10, 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 56, ch. 78-95; s. 2, ch. 84-205; s. 68, ch. 98-200; s. 23, ch. 2003-286.
330.30 Approval of airport sites; registration and licensure of airports.— (1) SITE APPROVALS; REQUIREMENTS, EFFECTIVE PERIOD, REVOCATION.— (a) Except as provided in subsection (3), the owner or lessee of any proposed airport shall, prior to site acquisition or construction or establishment of the proposed airport, obtain approval of the airport site from the department. Applications for approval of a site shall be made in a form and manner prescribed by the department. The department shall grant the site approval if it is satisfied:
1. That the site has adequate area allocated for the airport as proposed.
2. That the proposed airport will conform to licensing or registration requirements and will comply with the applicable local government land development regulations or zoning requirements.
3. That all affected airports, local governments, and property owners have been notified and any comments submitted by them have been given adequate consideration.
4. That safe air-traffic patterns can be established for the proposed airport with all existing airports and approved airport sites in its vicinity.
(b) Site approval shall be granted for public airports only after a favorable department inspection of the proposed site.
(c) Site approval shall be granted for private airports only after receipt of documentation in a form and manner the department deems necessary to satisfy the conditions in paragraph (a).
(d) Site approval may be granted subject to any reasonable conditions the department deems necessary to protect the public health, safety, or welfare.
(e) Approval shall remain valid for 2 years after the date of issue, unless revoked by the department or a public airport license is issued or private airport registration completed pursuant to subsection (2) prior to the expiration date.
(f) The department may extend a site approval for subsequent periods of 2 years per extension for good cause.
(g) The department may revoke a site approval if it determines:
1. That the site has been abandoned as an airport site;
2. That the site has not been developed as an airport within a reasonable time period or development does not comply with the conditions of the site approval;
3. That, except as required for in-flight emergencies, aircraft have operated on the site; or
4. That the site is no longer usable for aviation purposes due to physical or legal changes in conditions that were the subject of the approval granted.
(2) LICENSES AND REGISTRATIONS; REQUIREMENTS, RENEWAL, REVOCATION.— (a) Except as provided in subsection (3), the owner or lessee of any airport in this state shall have either a public airport license or private airport registration prior to the operation of aircraft to or from the facility. Application for a license or registration shall be made in a form and manner prescribed by the department. Upon granting site approval:
1. For a public airport, the department shall issue a license after a final airport inspection finds the facility to be in compliance with all requirements for the license. The license may be subject to any reasonable conditions that the department may deem necessary to protect the public health, safety, or welfare.
2. For a private airport, the department shall provide controlled electronic access to the state aviation facility data system to permit the applicant to complete the registration process. Registration shall be completed upon self-certification by the registrant of operational and configuration data deemed necessary by the department.
(b) The department may license a public airport that does not meet standards only if it determines that such exception is justified by unusual circumstances or is in the interest of public convenience and does not endanger the public health, safety, or welfare. Such a license shall bear the designation “special” and shall state the conditions subject to which the license is granted.
(c) The department may license a public airport or a private airport may register as a temporary airport provided that the airport will not endanger the public health, safety, or welfare and the airport meets the temporary airport requirements established by the department. A temporary airport license or registration shall be valid for less than 30 days and is not renewable.
(d)1. Each public airport license shall expire no later than 1 year after the effective date of the license, except that the expiration date of a license may be adjusted to provide a maximum license period of 18 months to facilitate airport inspections, recognize seasonal airport operations, or improve administrative efficiency.
2. Registration for private airports shall remain valid provided specific elements of airport data, established by the department, are periodically recertified by the airport registrant. The ability to recertify private airport registration data shall be available at all times by electronic submittal. A private airport registration that has not been recertified in the 24-month period following the last certification shall expire, unless the registration period has been adjusted by the department for purposes of informing private airport owners of their registration responsibilities or promoting administrative efficiency. The expiration date of the current registration period will be clearly identifiable from the state aviation facility data system.
3. The effective date and expiration date shall be shown on public airport licenses. Upon receiving an application for renewal of an airport license in a form and manner prescribed by the department and receiving a favorable inspection report indicating compliance with all applicable requirements and conditions, the department shall renew the license, subject to any conditions deemed necessary to protect the public health, safety, or welfare.
4. The department may require a new site approval for any airport if the license or registration has expired.
5. If the renewal application for a public airport license has not been received by the department or no private airport registration recertification has been accomplished within 15 days after the date of expiration, the department may revoke the airport license or registration.
(e) The department may revoke, or refuse to allow or issue, any airport registration or recertification, or any license or license renewal, if it determines:
1. That the site has been abandoned as an airport;
2. That the airport does not comply with the conditions of the license, license renewal, or site approval;
3. That the airport has become either unsafe or unusable for flight operation due to physical or legal changes in conditions that were the subject of approval; or
4. That an airport required to file or update a security plan pursuant to paragraph (f) has failed to do so.
(f)1. After initial licensure, a license of a publicly or privately owned general aviation airport that is open to the public, that has at least one runway greater than 4,999 feet in length, and that does not host scheduled passenger-carrying commercial service operations regulated under 14 C.F.R. part 139 shall not be renewed or reissued unless an approved security plan has been filed with the department, except when the department determines that the airport is working in good faith toward completion and filing of the plan.
2. Security plans required by this paragraph must be developed in accordance with the 2004 Security Planning for General Aviation Airports guidelines published by the Florida Airports Council. Certain administrative data from the approved security plan shall be submitted to the Department of Law Enforcement, in a format prescribed by the Department of Law Enforcement, for use in protecting critical infrastructure of the state.
3. The department shall not approve a security plan for filing unless it is consistent with Florida Airports Council guidelines.
4. An airport required to file a security plan pursuant to this paragraph shall update its plan at least once every 2 years after the initial filing date and file the updated plan with the department. The department shall review the updated plan prior to approving it for filing to determine whether it is consistent with Florida Airports Council guidelines. No renewal license shall be issued to the airport unless the department approves the updated security plan or determines that the airport is working in good faith to update it.
(3) EXEMPTIONS.—The provisions of this section do not apply to:
(a) An airport owned or operated by the United States.
(b) An ultralight aircraft landing area located more than 5 nautical miles from a public or military airport, except any ultralight landing area with more than 10 ultralight aircraft operating at the site.
(c) A helistop used solely in conjunction with a construction project undertaken pursuant to the performance of a state contract if the purpose of the helicopter operations at the site is to expedite construction.
(d) A helistop used by mosquito control or emergency services, not to include areas where permanent facilities are installed, such as hospital landing sites.
(e) An airport which meets the criteria of s. 330.27(7) used exclusively for aerial application or spraying of crops on a seasonal basis, not to include any licensed airport where permanent crop aerial application or spraying facilities are installed, if the period of operation does not exceed 30 days per calendar year. Such proposed airports, which will be located within 3 miles of existing airports or approved airport sites, shall establish safe air-traffic patterns with such existing airports or approved airport sites, by memorandums of understanding, or by letters of agreement between the parties representing the airports or sites.
(f) Any body of water used for the takeoff and landing of aircraft, including any land, building, structure, or any other contrivance that facilitates private use or intended private use.
(4) EXCEPTIONS.—Private airports with 10 or more based aircraft may request to be inspected and licensed by the department. Private airports licensed according to this subsection shall be considered private airports as defined in s. 330.27(5) in all other respects.
History.—s. 4, ch. 24046, 1947; s. 1, ch. 61-215; s. 2, ch. 65-178; ss. 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 56, ch. 78-95; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 3, 9, 10, ch. 84-205; s. 24, ch. 86-243; s. 14, ch. 87-225; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 19, ch. 94-237; s. 15, ch. 95-257; s. 1, ch. 95-412; s. 1, ch. 98-17; s. 1, ch. 99-256; s. 9, ch. 2002-183; s. 24, ch. 2003-286; s. 1, ch. 2005-145.
330.31 Federal-state joint hearings, reciprocal services.—
(1) JOINT HEARINGS.—The department is authorized to confer with or to hold joint hearings with any agency of the United States in connection with any matter arising under ss. 330.27-330.36, 330.38, and 330.39 or relating to the safe development of airports.
(2) RECIPROCAL SERVICES.—The department is authorized to avail itself of the cooperation, services, records, and facilities of the agencies of the United States as fully as may be practicable in the administration and enforcement of ss. 330.27-330.36, 330.38, and 330.39. The department shall furnish to the agencies of the United States its cooperation, services, records, and facilities, insofar as may be practicable.
History.—s. 5, ch. 24046, 1947; s. 2, ch. 65-178; s. 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 84-205.
330.325 Injunctive relief.—The department may institute a civil action for injunctive relief in the appropriate circuit court to prevent the violation of any provision of this chapter.
History.—s. 5, ch. 84-205.
330.33 Penalties.—Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or any of the rules or orders issued pursuant thereto is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.—s. 7, ch. 24046, 1947; s. 230, ch. 71-136; s. 5, ch. 84-205.
330.35 Airport zoning protection.—
(1) Nothing in ss. 330.29-330.36, 330.38, and 330.39 shall be construed to limit any right, power, or authority of the state or a political subdivision to regulate airport hazards by zoning.
(2) Airports licensed for public use under the provisions of s. 330.30 are eligible for airport zoning protection, as prescribed in chapter 333.
(3) The department is granted all powers conferred upon political subdivisions of this state by chapter 333 to regulate airport hazards at state-owned public airports. The procedure shall be to form a joint zoning board with the political subdivision of the state in which the state-owned public airport is located as prescribed in chapter 333.
History.—s. 9, ch. 24046, 1947; s. 2, ch. 65-178; ss. 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 6, ch. 84-205; s. 14, ch. 85-81; s. 25, ch. 2003-286.
330.36 Prohibition against county or municipal licensing of airports; regulation of seaplane landings.—
(1) No county or municipality of this state shall license airports or control their location except by zoning requirements. The determination of suitable sites and standards of safety for airports shall be in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted as prohibiting a county or municipality from issuing occupational licenses to operators of airports.
(2) Upon adoption of zoning requirements in compliance with subsection (1), a municipality may prohibit or otherwise regulate, for specified public health and safety purposes, the landing of seaplanes in and upon any public waters of the state which are located within the limits or jurisdiction of, or bordering on, the municipality.
History.—s. 10, ch. 24046, 1947; s. 7, ch. 84-205; s. 10, ch. 87-392; s. 16, ch. 95-257; s. 2, ch. 95-412; s. 26, ch. 2003-286.
330.38 Construction of this law.—Nothing in this chapter shall apply to, or confer on the department, jurisdiction or control over any county or municipal aviation authority or county or municipal port authority or any airport under the control of such an authority.
History.—s. 11a, ch. 24046, 1947; s. 2, ch. 65-178; ss. 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 8, ch. 84-205; s. 15, ch. 87-225.
330.39 Short title.—Sections 330.27-330.36, 330.38, and 330.39 may be cited as the “State Airport Licensing Law.”
History.—s. 13, ch. 24046, 1947.
330.40 Aircraft fuel tanks.—In the interests of the public welfare, it is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, or association to install, maintain, or possess any aircraft which has been equipped with, or had installed in its wings or fuselage, fuel tanks, bladders, drums, or other containers which will hold fuel if such fuel tanks, bladders, drums, or other containers do not conform to federal aviation regulations or have not been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration by inspection or special permit. This provision also includes any pipes, hoses, or auxiliary pumps which when present in the aircraft could be used to introduce fuel into the primary fuel system of the aircraft from such tanks, bladders, drums, or containers. Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.—s. 4, ch. 83-272; s. 15, ch. 85-81; s. 22, ch. 87-243; s. 1, ch. 93-258.
330.41 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act.—
(1) SHORT TITLE.—This act may be cited as the “Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act.”
(2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this act, the term: (a) “Critical infrastructure facility” means any of the following, if completely enclosed by a fence or other physical barrier that is obviously designed to exclude intruders, or if clearly marked with a sign or signs which indicate that entry is forbidden and which are posted on the property in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders:
1. An electrical power generation or transmission facility, substation, switching station, or electrical control center.
2. A chemical or rubber manufacturing or storage facility.
3. A mining facility.
4. A natural gas or compressed gas compressor station, storage facility, or natural gas or compressed gas pipeline.
5. A liquid natural gas or propane gas terminal or storage facility with a capacity of 4,000 gallons or more.
6. Any portion of an aboveground oil or gas pipeline.
7. A wireless communications facility, including the tower, antennae, support structures, and all associated ground-based equipment.
(b) “Drone” has the same meaning as s. 934.50(2).
(c) “Unmanned aircraft system” means a drone and its associated elements, including communication links and the components used to control the drone which are required for the pilot in command to operate the drone safely and efficiently.
(a) The authority to regulate the operation of unmanned aircraft systems is vested in the state except as provided in federal regulations, authorizations, or exemptions.
(b) Except as otherwise expressly provided, a political subdivision may not enact or enforce an ordinance or resolution relating to the design, manufacture, testing, maintenance, licensing, registration, certification, or operation of an unmanned aircraft system, including airspace, altitude, flight paths, equipment or technology requirements; the purpose of operations; and pilot, operator, or observer qualifications, training, and certification.
(c) This subsection does not limit the authority of a local government to enact or enforce local ordinances relating to nuisances, voyeurism, harassment, reckless endangerment, property damage, or other illegal acts arising from the use of unmanned aircraft systems if such laws or ordinances are not specifically related to the use of an unmanned aircraft system for those illegal acts.
(d) A person or governmental entity seeking to restrict or limit the operation of drones in close proximity to infrastructure or facilities that the person or governmental entity owns or operates must apply to the Federal Aviation Administration for such designation pursuant to s. 2209 of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016.
(4) PROTECTION OF CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITIES.— (a) A person may not knowingly or willfully:
1. Operate a drone over a critical infrastructure facility;
2. Allow a drone to make contact with a critical infrastructure facility, including any person or object on the premises of or within the facility; or
3. Allow a drone to come within a distance of a critical infrastructure facility that is close enough to interfere with the operations of or cause a disturbance to the facility.
(b) A person who violates paragraph (a) commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. A person who commits a second or subsequent violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(c) This subsection does not apply to actions identified in paragraph (a) which are committed by:
1. A federal, state, or other governmental entity, or a person under contract or otherwise acting under the direction of a federal, state, or other governmental entity.
2. A law enforcement agency that is in compliance with s. 934.50, or a person under contract with or otherwise acting under the direction of such law enforcement agency.
3. An owner, operator, or occupant of the critical infrastructure facility, or a person who has prior written consent of such owner, operator, or occupant.
(d) Subparagraph (a)1. does not apply to a drone operating in transit for commercial purposes in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, authorizations, or exemptions.
(e) This subsection shall sunset 60 days after the date that a process pursuant to s. 2209 of the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016 becomes effective.
(5) CONSTRUCTION.—This section shall be construed in accordance with standards imposed by federal statutes, regulations, and Federal Aviation Administration guidance on unmanned aircraft systems.
History.—s. 8, ch. 2017-150.
330.411 Prohibited possession or operation of unmanned aircraft.—A person may not possess or operate an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system as defined in s. 330.41 with an attached weapon, firearm, explosive, destructive device, or ammunition as defined in s. 790.001.
History.—s. 9, ch. 2017-150.