Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC

DIVISION 9. AVIATION [21001 - 24451]

  ( Division 9 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 151. )

PART 1. STATE AERONAUTICS ACT [21001 - 21709]

  ( Heading of Part 1 amended by Stats. 1961, Ch. 2071. )

CHAPTER 3. Regulation of Aeronautics [21401 - 21416]
  ( Chapter 3 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 151. )

21401.
  

Sovereignty in the space above the land and waters of this state rests in the state, except where granted to and assumed by the United States pursuant to a constitutional grant from the people of the state.

The operation of aircraft in such space is a privilege subject to the laws of this state.

(Amended by Stats. 1968, Ch. 1452.)

21402.
  

The ownership of the space above the land and waters of this State is vested in the several owners of the surface beneath, subject to the right of flight described in Section 21403. No use shall be made of such airspace which would interfere with such right of flight; provided, that any use of property in conformity with an original zone of approach of an airport shall not be rendered unlawful by reason of a change in such zone of approach.

(Amended by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1651.)

21403.
  

(a) Flight in aircraft over the land and waters of this state is lawful, unless at altitudes below those prescribed by federal authority, or unless conducted so as to be imminently dangerous to persons or property lawfully on the land or water beneath. The landing of an aircraft on the land or waters of another, without his or her consent, is unlawful except in the case of a forced landing or pursuant to Section 21662.1. The owner, lessee, or operator of the aircraft is liable, as provided by law, for damages caused by a forced landing.

(b) The landing, takeoff, or taxiing of an aircraft on a public freeway, highway, road, or street is unlawful except in the following cases:

(1) A forced landing.

(2) A landing during a natural disaster or other public emergency if the landing has received prior approval from the public agency having primary jurisdiction over traffic upon the freeway, highway, road, or street.

(3) When the landing, takeoff, or taxiing has received prior approval from the public agency having primary jurisdiction over traffic upon the freeway, highway, road or street.

The prosecution bears the burden of proving that none of the exceptions apply to the act which is alleged to be unlawful.

(c) The right of flight in aircraft includes the right of safe access to public airports, which includes the right of flight within the zone of approach of any public airport without restriction or hazard. The zone of approach of an airport shall conform to the specifications of Part 77 of the Federal Aviation Regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation.

(Amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1215, Sec. 3.)

21404.
  

Liability of the owner or pilot of an aircraft carrying passengers for injury or death to the passengers is determined by the rules of law applicable to torts on the land or waters of this state, arising out of similar relationships. Every owner of an aircraft is liable and responsible for death or injury to person or property resulting from a negligent or wrongful act or omission in the operation of the aircraft, in the business of the owner or otherwise, by any person using or operating the same with the permission, express or implied, of the owner.

(Amended by Stats. 1973, Ch. 803.)

21404.1.
  

(a) The liability of an owner, bailee of an owner, or personal representative of a decedent imposed by Section 21404 and not arising through the relationship of principal and agent or master and servant is limited to the amount of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for the death of or injury to one person in any one accident and, subject to the limit as to one person, is limited to the amount of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) for the death of or injury to more than one person in any one accident and is limited to the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for damage to property of others in any one accident.

(b) An owner, bailee of an owner, or personal representative of a decedent is not liable under this section for damages imposed for the sake of example and by way of punishing the operator of the aircraft. Nothing in this subdivision makes an owner, bailee of an owner, or personal representative immune from liability for damages imposed for the sake of example and by way of punishing him for his own wrongful conduct.

(Added by Stats. 1968, Ch. 1458.)

21405.
  

The liability of the owner of one aircraft to the owner of another aircraft, or to operators or passengers on either aircraft, for damage caused by collision on land or in the air, is determined by the rules of law applicable to torts on land.

(Amended by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1052.)

21407.
  

It is unlawful for any person to operate an aircraft in the air, or on the ground or water in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another. In any proceeding charging operation of aircraft in violation of this section, the court in determining whether the operation was careless or reckless shall consider the standards for safe operation of aircraft prescribed by federal statutes or regulations governing aeronautics.

(Amended by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1094.)

21407.1.
  

(a) It is unlawful for any person, who is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug, to operate an aircraft in the air, or on the ground or water, or to engage in parachuting for sport.

(b) No person shall operate an aircraft in the air or on the ground or water who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood.

(Added by renumbering Section 21407.5 by Stats. 1987, Ch. 526, Sec. 1.)

21407.2.
  

(a) (1) (A) Any person who operates an aircraft in the air or on the ground or water is deemed to have given his or her consent to chemical testing of his or her blood or breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood, if lawfully arrested for any offense allegedly committed in violation of Section 21407.1 or if the officer requests chemical testing as part of any investigation of a suspected violation of state or local law. If a blood or breath test, or both, are unavailable, then paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) applies.

(B) Any person who operates an aircraft in the air or on the ground or water is deemed to have given his or her consent to chemical testing of his or her blood or urine for the purpose of determining the drug content of his or her blood, if lawfully arrested for any offense allegedly committed in violation of Section 21407.1 or if the officer requests chemical testing as part of an investigation of a suspected violation of state or local law.

(C) The testing shall be administered at the direction of a peace officer having reasonable cause to believe the person was operating an aircraft in violation of Section 21407.1 under either of the following conditions:

(i) The person is lawfully arrested.

(ii) The officer requests the person to submit to chemical testing as part of an investigation of a suspected violation of state or local law.

(D) The person shall be told that his or her failure to submit to, or the failure to complete, the required chemical testing may result in prohibition from operating an aircraft for not more than one year and, if the person is convicted of a violation of Section 21407.1, a fine, imprisonment, prohibition from operating an aircraft for not more than one year, or any combination thereof.

(2) (A) If the person is lawfully arrested for operating an aircraft under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, the person has the choice of whether the test shall be of his or her blood or breath, and the officer shall advise the person that he or she has that choice. If the person arrested either is incapable, or states that he or she is incapable, of completing the chosen test, the person shall submit to the remaining test. If a blood or breath test, or both, are unavailable, then paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) applies.

(B) If the person is lawfully arrested for operating an aircraft under the influence of any drug or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug, the person has the choice of whether the test shall be of his or her blood, breath, or urine, and the officer shall advise the person that he or she has that choice.

(C) A person who chooses to submit to a breath test may also be requested to submit to a blood or urine test if the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person was operating an aircraft under the influence of any drug or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug and if the officer has a clear indication that a blood or urine test will reveal evidence of the person being under the influence. The officer shall state in his or her report the facts upon which that belief and that clear indication are based. If the person who is arrested is either incapable or states that he or she is incapable of completing a blood test, that person shall submit to and complete a urine test. If the person arrested either is incapable, or states that he or she is incapable, of completing either chosen test, the person shall submit to and complete the other remaining test.

(3) If the person is lawfully arrested for an offense allegedly committed in violation of Section 21407.1 and, because of the need for medical treatment, the person is first transported to a medical facility where it is not feasible to administer a particular test of, or to obtain a particular sample of, the person’s blood, breath, or urine, the person has the choice of those tests which are available at the facility to which that person has been transported. In that event, the officer shall advise the person of those tests which are available at the medical facility and that the person’s choice is limited to those tests which are available.

(4) The officer shall also advise the person that he or she does not have the right to have an attorney present before stating whether he or she will submit to a test or tests, before deciding which test or tests to take, or during administration of the test or tests chosen, and that, in the event of refusal to submit to a test or tests, the refusal may be used against him or her in a court of law.

(5) Any person who is unconscious or otherwise in a condition rendering him or her incapable of refusal is deemed not to have withdrawn his or her consent and a test or tests may be administered whether or not the person is told that his or her failure to submit to, or the noncompletion of, the test or tests may result in a fine, imprisonment, and prohibition from operating an aircraft for not more than one year. Any person who is dead is deemed not to have withdrawn his or her consent and a test or tests may be administered at the direction of a peace officer.

(b) Any person who is afflicted with hemophilia is exempt from the blood test required by this section.

(c) Any person who is afflicted with a heart condition and is using an anticoagulant under the direction of a licensed physician and surgeon is exempt from the blood test required by this section.

(d) (1) A person lawfully arrested for any offense allegedly committed while the person was operating an aircraft in violation of Section 21407.1 may request the arresting officer to have a chemical test made of the arrested person’s blood or breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of that person’s blood, and, if so requested, the arresting officer shall have the test performed.

(2) If a blood or breath test is not available under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), or under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), or under paragraph (1) of this subdivision, the person shall submit to the remaining test in order to determine the percent, by weight, of alcohol in the person’s blood. If both the blood and breath tests are unavailable, the person shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to chemical testing of his or her urine and shall submit to a urine test.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 740, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1999.)

21407.6.
  

(a) Any person convicted under Section 21407.1 shall be punished upon a first conviction by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than six months or by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by both that fine and imprisonment.

Any person convicted under Section 21407.1 shall be punished upon a second or any subsequent conviction by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than five days nor more than one year and by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), without being granted probation by the court and without having the court suspend the execution of the sentence.

(b) Any person convicted under Section 21407.1 and who, when so operating an aircraft, has done any act forbidden by law or neglects any duty imposed by law in the operation of the aircraft, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the operator shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code, or in the county jail for not less than 90 days nor more than one year and by fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 564. (AB 109) Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

21408.
  

For any violation of Section 21407 or 21407.1, in addition to the penalties provided by Section 21019 or 21407.6, the court may prohibit the violator from operating an aircraft within the state for a period not exceeding one year. Violation of the prohibition of the court may be treated as a separate offense under this section or as a contempt of court. Upon a plea of guilty or conviction under Section 21407 or 21407.1, the department shall cause a record of the plea or conviction and of the sentence imposed to be maintained. This section does not authorize the court or any other agency or person to take away, impound, hold, or mark any federal certificate, permit, rating, or license. The peace officer requesting that a person submit to a chemical test of the blood, breath, or urine pursuant to Section 21407.2 shall report anyone refusing to submit to the chemical test to the Federal Aviation Administration for appropriate administrative action.

(Amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 526, Sec. 4.)

21409.
  

It is unlawful for any person to engage in aeronautics as an airman in the State unless he has an appropriate effective airman certificate, permit, rating, or license issued by the United States authorizing him to engage in the particular class of aeronautics in which he is engaged, if the certificate, permit, rating, or license is required by the United States.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 151.)

21410.
  

Every airman shall keep any certificate, permit, rating, or license required for him by the United States in his personal possession when he is operating within the state. He shall present it for inspection upon the demand of any peace officer, any other officer of the state or of a political subdivision, or member, official, or employee of the department, authorized by Section 21252 to enforce the aeronautics laws, or any official, manager, or person in charge of any airport upon which the airman lands, or upon the reasonable request of any other person.

(Amended by Stats. 1969, Ch. 138.)

21411.
  

It is unlawful for any person to operate, or cause or authorize to be operated, any civil aircraft within this State unless the aircraft has an appropriate effective certificate, permit, or license issued by the United States if required by the United States.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 151.)

21412.
  

Any certificate, permit, or license required by the United States for an aircraft shall be carried in the aircraft at all times while the aircraft is operating in the state, shall be conspicuously posted in the aircraft where it may be readily seen by passengers or inspectors, and shall be presented for inspection upon the demand of any peace officer, any other officer of the state or of a political subdivision, or member, official, or employee of the department, authorized by Section 21252 to enforce the aeronautics laws, or any official, manager, or person in charge of any airport upon which the aircraft lands, or upon the reasonable request of any person.

(Amended by Stats. 1969, Ch. 138.)

21413.
  

The department shall report to the appropriate federal agency all accidents in aeronautics in this state of which it is informed, and shall, insofar as is practicable, preserve, protect, and prevent the removal of the component parts of any aircraft involved in an accident being investigated by it until the federal agency institutes an investigation.

(Amended by Stats. 1969, Ch. 138.)

21415.
  

No person shall be in, or perform any act in connection with the maintenance or operation of, any aircraft when under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

This section does not apply to a person who is in an aircraft merely as a passenger, but this section shall not be construed to relieve any such person of criminal liability imposed by any other law for being intoxicated while in an aircraft.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1639.)

21416.
  

On all commercial aircraft which transport passengers for compensation or hire the door which separates the pilot compartment from the passenger compartment shall be kept locked at all times the aircraft is in a flight over this state during which passengers are being transported except:

(a) During takeoff and landing of the airplane when such door is the means of access to a required passenger emergency exit.

(b) At such times as it may be necessary to provide access to the flight crew or passenger compartments for the crew members in the performance of their duties, or to provide access for other persons authorized admission to the flight crew compartment.

The pilot of the aircraft shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if the door is not so locked.

It shall be unlawful for any person, except a member of the crew, to have in his possession in the passenger compartment at any time the aircraft is in a flight over this state during which passengers are being transported a key or other device for opening such door from the passenger side of the door.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 341.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC