Florida Senate - 2017 SB 832 By Senator Young 18-00671C-17 2017832__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to drones; creating s. 330.41, F.S.; 3 providing a short title; defining terms; providing 4 that the authority to regulate the ownership or 5 operation of unmanned aircraft systems is vested in 6 the state; prohibiting a political subdivision from 7 enacting or enforcing certain ordinances or 8 resolutions relating to unmanned aircraft systems; 9 providing that this act does not limit local 10 government authority to enact or enforce local 11 ordinances relating to nuisances, voyeurism, 12 harassment, reckless endangerment, property damage, or 13 other illegal acts arising from the use of unmanned 14 aircraft systems, subject to certain requirements; 15 providing construction; requiring persons seeking to 16 restrict or limit the operation of drones in close 17 proximity to certain infrastructure or facilities to 18 apply to the Federal Aviation Administration; 19 prohibiting a person from knowingly and willfully 20 operating a drone over or allowing a drone to make 21 contact with or come within a certain distance of 22 certain critical infrastructure facilities; providing 23 that such a violation is a misdemeanor punishable 24 under specified provisions of ch. 775; providing an 25 exemption from specified prohibited acts; amending s. 26 934.50, F.S.; providing that the use of a drone by a 27 communications service provider or contractor is not 28 prohibited under certain provisions of ch. 934; 29 providing an effective date. 30 31 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 32 33 Section 1. Section 330.41, Florida Statutes, is created to 34 read: 35 330.41 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act.— 36 (1) SHORT TITLE.—This act may be cited as the “Unmanned 37 Aircraft Systems Act.” 38 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this act, the term: 39 (a) “Critical infrastructure facility” means any of the 40 following, if completely enclosed by a fence or other physical 41 barrier that is obviously designed to exclude intruders, or if 42 clearly marked with a sign or signs which indicate that entry is 43 forbidden and which are posted on the property in a manner 44 reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders: 45 1. An electrical power generation or transmission facility, 46 substation, switching station, or electrical control center. 47 2. A natural gas compressor station, storage facility, or 48 natural gas pipeline. 49 3. A liquid natural gas terminal or storage facility. 50 4. Any portion of an aboveground oil or gas pipeline. 51 5. A wireless communications facility, including tower, 52 antennae, support structures, and all associated ground-based 53 equipment. 54 (b) “Drone” has the same meaning as s. 934.50(2). 55 (c) “Person” means an individual, a partnership, a 56 corporation, an association, a governmental entity, or other 57 legal entity. 58 (d) “Unmanned aircraft system” means a drone and its 59 associated elements, including communication links and the 60 components used to control the drone which are required for the 61 pilot in command to operate the drone safely and efficiently. 62 (3) REGULATION.— 63 (a) The authority to regulate the ownership or operation of 64 unmanned aircraft systems is vested in the state. 65 (b) Except as otherwise expressly provided, a political 66 subdivision may not enact or enforce an ordinance or resolution 67 relating to the design, manufacture, testing, maintenance, 68 licensing, registration, certification, or operation of an 69 unmanned aircraft system, including airspace, altitude, flight 70 paths, equipment or technology requirements; the purpose of 71 operations; and pilot, operator, or observer qualifications, 72 training, and certification. 73 (c) This section does not limit local government authority 74 to enact or enforce local ordinances relating to nuisances, 75 voyeurism, harassment, reckless endangerment, property damage, 76 or other illegal acts arising from the use of unmanned aircraft 77 systems if such laws or ordinances are not specifically related 78 to the use of an unmanned aircraft system for those illegal 79 acts. 80 (d) This section shall be construed in accordance with 81 standards described by federal statutes, regulations, and 82 Federal Aviation Administration guidance on unmanned aircraft 83 systems. 84 (4) PROTECTION OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND FACILITIES.— 85 (a) A person seeking to restrict or limit the operation of 86 drones in close proximity to infrastructure or facilities the 87 person owns or operates must apply to the Federal Aviation 88 Administration for such designation pursuant to section 2209 of 89 the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016. 90 (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a person may not 91 knowingly or willfully: 92 1. Operate a drone over a critical infrastructure facility; 93 2. Allow a drone to make contact with a critical 94 infrastructure facility, including any person or object on the 95 premises of or within the facility; or 96 3. Allow a drone to come within a distance of a critical 97 infrastructure facility that is close enough to interfere with 98 the operations of or cause a disturbance to the facility. 99 100 A person who violates this paragraph commits a misdemeanor of 101 the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 102 775.083. A person who commits a second or subsequent violation 103 commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as 104 provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. 105 (c) This section does not apply to actions described in 106 paragraph (b) that are committed by: 107 1. A federal, state, or other governmental entity, or a 108 person under contract or otherwise acting under the direction of 109 a federal, state, or other governmental entity. 110 2. A law enforcement agency that is in compliance with s. 111 934.50, or a person under contract with or otherwise acting 112 under the direction of such law enforcement agency. 113 3. An owner, operator, or occupant of the critical 114 infrastructure facility, or a person who has prior written 115 consent of such owner, operator, or occupant. 116 Section 2. Paragraph (j) is added to subsection (4) of 117 section 934.50, Florida Statutes, to read: 118 934.50 Searches and seizure using a drone.— 119 (4) EXCEPTIONS.—This section does not prohibit the use of a 120 drone: 121 (j) By a communications service provider or a contractor 122 for a communications service provider for routing, siting, 123 installation, maintenance, or inspection of facilities used to 124 provide communications services. 125 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.