2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act.
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.
8. A state correctional institution as defined in s. 944.02 or a private correctional facility authorized under chapter 957.
9. A secure detention center or facility, as defined in s. 985.03, or a nonsecure residential facility, a high-risk residential facility, or a maximum-risk residential facility, as those terms are described in s. 985.03(44).
10. A county detention facility, as defined in s. 951.23.
(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; s. 1, ch. 2019-113; s. 2, ch. 2021-165.