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AB-1190 Unmanned aircraft: state and local regulation: limitations.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/01/2019 09:00 PM
AB1190:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 01, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 25, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 12, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1190


Introduced by Assembly Member Irwin

February 21, 2019


An act to amend Sections 831.7 and Section 853.5 of, to add Section 831.7.2 to, and to add Chapter 12.97 (commencing with Section 7105) to Division 7 of Title 1 of, the Government Code, relating to unmanned aircraft.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1190, as amended, Irwin. Unmanned aircraft: state and local regulation: limitations.
Existing law prohibits a person from knowingly and intentionally operating an unmanned aircraft system on or above the grounds of a state prison, a jail, or a juvenile hall, camp, or ranch. Existing law provides a state or local public entity or employee with immunity as to any person engaging in hazardous recreational activity, as defined, and for damage to an unmanned aircraft while the local entity or employee is providing emergency services. Existing law defines “unmanned aircraft” and other terms for purposes of these provisions.
Existing federal regulations, adopted and administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), regulate the operation of unmanned aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems. Existing federal regulations generally preclude enforcement of these regulations by state or local entities, except in certain areas such as police use, and prohibiting use for voyeurism, following consultation with the FAA.
This bill would, among other things, prohibit a state or local agency from adopting any law or regulation that bans the operation of an unmanned aircraft system. The bill would also authorize a local agency to adopt regulations to enforce FAA regulations regarding the operation of unmanned aircraft systems and would authorize local agencies to regulate the operation of unmanned aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems within their jurisdictions, as specified. The bill would also authorize a local agency to require an unmanned aircraft operator to provide proof of federal, state, or local registration to licensing or enforcement officials. The bill would include the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems within the definition of hazardous recreational activity for purposes of public entity liability, and would authorize a local entity to designate a recreational operating area for unmanned aircraft operation. The bill would immunize a local entity that designates such a recreational are from liability for injury or damage associated with unmanned aircraft operation, if specified signage is posted. The bill would define terms for purposes of these provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares that the intent of this act is to accomplish the following goals:
(a) To foster and promote public safety in the use of unmanned aircraft systems.
(b) To explore the development of a balanced approach to a consistent state regulatory framework for unmanned aircraft systems that can work for industry, recreational users, local government, and law enforcement.
(c) To facilitate the use of drones for recreational and hobby, commercial, and governmental purposes.
(d) To protect persons and entities from invasion of their privacy and to prevent harassment of persons and entities in their public activities.
(e) To protect sensitive governmental and private facilities and operations from interference or unauthorized surveillance, including facilities and operations addressing emergency events, such as earthquakes, fires, and flooding.
SEC. 2.Section 831.7 of the Government Code is amended to read:
831.7.

(a)Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable to any person who participates in a hazardous recreational activity, including any person who assists the participant, or to any spectator who knew or reasonably should have known that the hazardous recreational activity created a substantial risk of injury to themselves and was voluntarily in the place of risk, or having the ability to do so failed to leave, for any damage or injury to property or persons arising out of that hazardous recreational activity.

(b)As used in this section, “hazardous recreational activity” means a recreational activity conducted on property of a public entity that creates a substantial, as distinguished from a minor, trivial, or insignificant, risk of injury to a participant or a spectator.

“Hazardous recreational activity” also means:

(1)Water contact activities, except diving, in places where, or at a time when, lifeguards are not provided and reasonable warning thereof has been given, or the injured party should reasonably have known that there was no lifeguard provided at the time.

(2)Any form of diving into water from other than a diving board or diving platform, or at any place or from any structure where diving is prohibited and reasonable warning thereof has been given.

(3)Animal riding, including equestrian competition, archery, bicycle racing or jumping, bicycle motocross, mountain bicycling, boating, cross-country and downhill skiing, hang gliding, kayaking, motorized vehicle racing, off-road motorcycling or four-wheel driving of any kind, orienteering, pistol and rifle shooting, rock climbing, rocketeering, rodeo, self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) diving, spelunking, skydiving, sport parachuting, paragliding, body contact sports, surfing, trampolining, tree climbing, tree rope swinging, waterskiing, white water rafting, and windsurfing. For the purposes of this subdivision, “mountain bicycling” does not include riding a bicycle on paved pathways, roadways, or sidewalks. For the purpose of this paragraph, “body contact sports” means sports in which it is reasonably foreseeable that there will be rough bodily contact with one or more participants.

(4)Operation of small unmanned aircraft systems within an recreational area designated by a state or local agency for the operation of small unmanned aircraft pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 7105.

(c)(1)Notwithstanding subdivision (a), this section does not limit liability that would otherwise exist for any of the following:

(A)Failure of the public entity or employee to guard or warn of a known dangerous condition or of another hazardous recreational activity known to the public entity or employee that is not reasonably assumed by the participant as inherently a part of the hazardous recreational activity out of which the damage or injury arose.

(B)Damage or injury suffered in any case where permission to participate in the hazardous recreational activity was granted for a specific fee. For the purpose of this subparagraph, “specific fee” does not include a fee or consideration charged for a general purpose such as a general park admission charge, a vehicle entry or parking fee, or an administrative or group use application or permit fee, as distinguished from a specific fee charged for participation in the specific hazardous recreational activity out of which the damage or injury arose.

(C)Injury suffered to the extent proximately caused by the negligent failure of the public entity or public employee to properly construct or maintain in good repair any structure, recreational equipment or machinery, or substantial work of improvement utilized in the hazardous recreational activity out of which the damage or injury arose.

(D)Damage or injury suffered in any case where the public entity or employee recklessly or with gross negligence promoted the participation in or observance of a hazardous recreational activity. For purposes of this subparagraph, promotional literature or a public announcement or advertisement that merely describes the available facilities and services on the property does not in itself constitute a reckless or grossly negligent promotion.

(E)An act of gross negligence by a public entity or a public employee that is the proximate cause of the injury.

(2)Nothing in this subdivision creates a duty of care or basis of liability for personal injury or damage to personal property.

(d)Nothing in this section limits the liability of an independent concessionaire, or any person or organization other than the public entity, whether or not the person or organization has a contractual relationship with the public entity to use the public property, for injuries or damages suffered in any case as a result of the operation of a hazardous recreational activity on public property by the concessionaire, person, or organization.

SEC. 3. SEC. 2.

 Section 831.7.2 is added to the Government Code, immediately following Section 831.7, to read:

831.7.2.
 (a) A public entity that owns or operates a small unmanned aircraft systems recreational area shall not be held liable for injury or death of any person or property damage resulting solely from the actions of an operator of a small unmanned aircraft system in that recreational area, if the public entity posts signs at each entrance to the recreational area notifying the public that unmanned aircraft may be operating in the area.
(b) “Public entity” has the same meaning as in Section 811.2, and includes, but is not limited to, cities, counties, cities and counties, and special districts.

SEC. 4. SEC. 3.

 Section 853.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

853.5.
 The following definitions shall apply to this chapter:
(a) ”Public unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft system that is owned or operated by a local or state government entity.
(b) “Small unmanned aircraft” means an unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds.
(c) “Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.
(d) “Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft and associated elements, including, but not limited to, communication links and the components that control the unmanned aircraft that are required for the pilot in command to operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.

SEC. 5. SEC. 4.

 Chapter 12.97 (commencing with Section 7105) is added to Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, to read:
CHAPTER  12.97. Unmanned Aircraft Regulation

7105.
 (a) No state or local agency shall adopt any law or regulation that bans the operation of an unmanned aircraft system.
(b) An operator of a small unmanned aircraft system shall register pursuant to federal regulations and an operator shall not operate an unmanned aircraft system required to be registered by federal law or federal regulations without valid paper or electronic evidence of registration and proof of passage of the Federal Aviation Administration’s aeronautical and safety test, if required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
(c) A local agency, or its legislative body may adopt regulations to enforce a requirement that a small unmanned aircraft system be properly registered pursuant to federal law and regulations.
(d) Any peace officer authorized to enforce local laws is authorized to demand evidence of registration from a person operating an unmanned aircraft system.
(e) Failure to show proof of Federal Aviation Administration mandated registration will be a correctable violation for first-time offenders.
(f) If an operator fails to correct the violation within the applicable time period, the state or local agency may take additional enforcement actions as provided by law.
(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a local agency may require an unmanned aircraft operator to provide proof of federal, state, or local registration to licensing or enforcement officials. An operator who fails to show proof of registration shall correct the violation within the time period as provided by law. If an operator fails to correct the violation within the applicable time period, the local agency may take additional enforcement actions as provided by law.
(h) A local agency may designate recreational areas for the operation of small unmanned aircraft. The local agency shall cause signage to be posted at each entrance to the recreational area notifying the public that unmanned aircraft may be operating in the area. If a public entity has designated a recreational area, then the public entity may restrict or prohibit recreational use of small unmanned aircraft system in other recreational areas within its jurisdiction.
(i) Every unmanned aircraft shall be operated in strict compliance with federal law and regulations.
(j) (1) A local agency or its legislative body may do both of the following:
(A) Adopt an ordinance that enforces federal law and regulations.
(B) Adopt an ordinance that prohibits the willful launch or landing of an unmanned aircraft system from or on public property that the local agency has deemed off limits for other activities, such as sports and kite flying, for reasonable and demonstrable public safety concerns.
(2) Nothing in this section preempts a local public entity from enacting local ordinances pursuant to its police power that relate to the use of unmanned aircraft systems so long as those laws or ordinances are not specifically written to ban the all operation of unmanned aircraft systems in the jurisdiction.

(k)A local agency may require the operator of a small unmanned aircraft system for commercial purposes to maintain insurance coverage, as specified by the agency.

(l)

(k) An operator’s compliance with the provisions of this section shall not be a defense to liability for a violation of Section 1708.8 of the Civil Code.

(m)

(l) It is unlawful for any person to operate an Unmanned Aircraft System in the air, on the ground, or on the water in any of the following ways:
(1) In a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another. In any proceeding charging operation of an Unmanned Aircraft System in violation of this paragraph, the court in determining whether the operation was careless or reckless may consider the standards for safe operation of aircraft prescribed by federal statutes or regulations governing Unmanned Aircraft Systems, including a community-based organization’s safety guidelines, as defined in subsection (h) of Section 44809 of Title 49 of the United States Code.
(2) In violation of any flight restriction, temporary or permanent, issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.
(3) In violation of any restriction issued by the Federal Aviation Administration applicable to the unmanned aircraft systems.
(4) Knowingly or recklessly interfering with law enforcement, firefighting, or any government emergency operations.

(5)Overflight by an aircraft of any lands for the purpose of injuring any property or property rights or with the intention of interfering with, obstructing, or injuring any lawful business or occupation carried on by the owner of the land, the owner’s agent, or the person in lawful possession.

(6)

(5) Weaponizing a drone or operating a weaponized drone.

(n)

(m) For purposes of this section, the terms “public unmanned aircraft system,” “small unmanned aircraft,” “unmanned aircraft,” and “unmanned aircraft system,” have the same meanings as those terms are defined in Section 853.5.