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SB-648 Unmanned aircraft systems: accident notification.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 06/27/2019 09:00 PM
SB648:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  June 27, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  April 23, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 648


Introduced by Senator Chang

February 22, 2019


An act to add Part 7 (commencing with Section 24455) to Division 9 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to aviation.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 648, as amended, Chang. Unmanned aircraft systems: accident notification.
Existing federal law, the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, provides for the integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, into the national airspace system. Existing federal regulations require the operator of an unmanned aircraft system to immediately, and by the most expeditious means available, notify the nearest National Transportation Safety Board office when, among other things, an aircraft accident, as defined, or certain serious incidents, occur. Those notifications are required to include, among other things, the name of the owner of the unmanned aircraft system, the name of the operator of the unmanned aircraft system, the date and time of the accident, and the nature of the accident.
This bill would require, except as specified, the operator of an unmanned aircraft system involved in an accident resulting in injury to an individual or damage to property to immediately land the unmanned aircraft at the nearest location that will not jeopardize the safety of others and to provide certain information to the injured individual or the owner or person in charge of the damaged property, or place that information in a conspicuous place on the damaged property. The bill would make a person who knowingly fails to comply with these provisions guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $250. By creating a new infraction, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Part 7 (commencing with Section 24455) is added to Division 9 of the Public Utilities Code, to read:

PART 7. Unmanned Aircraft Systems

24455.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.
(2) “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.
(3) “Valid identification” includes, but is not limited to, a driver’s license, a state-issued identification card, or a passport.
(b) The operator of an unmanned aircraft system involved in an accident resulting in injury to an individual or damage to property shall immediately land the unmanned aircraft at the nearest location that will not jeopardize the safety of others. Moving the unmanned aircraft in accordance with this subdivision does not affect the question of fault. The operator shall also immediately do one of the following:
(1) Present their valid identification, if the operator has that identification, and their name, current residence address, phone number, and email address to the injured individual.
(2) Locate and notify the owner or person in charge of that property of the name and address of the operator of the unmanned aircraft system involved and, upon locating the owner or person in charge of the damaged property and being requested to do so, present their valid identification, if the operator has that identification, and their name, current residence address, phone number, and email address to the owner or person in charge of the damaged property.
(3) Leave in a conspicuous place on the damaged property a written notice giving the name, current residence address, phone number, and email address of the operator of the unmanned aircraft system involved.
(c) The operator shall also provide the name and address of their employer or their place of business if the operator is the commercial operator of the unmanned aircraft system in the same manner as specified in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (b).
(d) A person who knowingly fails to comply with the requirements of this section is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250).
(e) This section does not apply to either of the following:
(1) A person operating an unmanned aircraft system pursuant to and in conformance with Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) regulations (14 C.F.R. Part 107) or an FAA-issued waiver thereof, a current exemption, certificate of waiver, or authorization issued pursuant to 49 U.S.C. Section 44807 or Section 333 or 334 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-95 (Feb. 14, 2012) 126 Stat. 11), or any equivalent or successor provision.
(2) A person operating an unmanned aircraft system for commercial purposes pursuant to any other FAA regulation or FAA authorization.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.