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Fri, Mar 31, 2017

Kentucky Proposes Legislation To Restrict Drones Near Airports

Would Allow The Creation Of 'Unmanned Aircraft Facility' Maps That Could Limit Drone Use

The Kentucky legislature is considering legislation that would allow the creation of "unmanned aircraft facility maps" at any airport that is authorized under Part 139 of the FARs.

The map is defined in the legislation as "a map that may be developed by a commercial airport to display the airport facility's airspace overlaid with latitude and longitude rectangular grid lines, or any other commercially available system, that reflects the areas where it is unsafe to operate an unmanned aircraft without authorization by the commercial airport operator on property owned by a commercial airport and in specific areas consistent with obstructions to navigation."

The legislation adds a new chapter to its existing airport regulations that says any commercial airport may prepare an unmanned aircraft facility map. In preparing the map, a commercial airport shall consult with the Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control tower at the airport.

Any unmanned aircraft facility map developed by a commercial airport shall be filed with the secretary of the airport board and shall be prominently displayed on the airport’s Web site.

An unmanned aircraft facility map shall not extend beyond the approach surface areas specifically described in 14 C.F.R. sec. 77.19(d), and as published in the official airport master plan record.

If the Federal Aviation Administration creates and makes available a map for the commercial airport that restricts the areas where it is unsafe to operate an unmanned aircraft in the areas described in 14 C.F.R. sec. 77.19(d), that map shall be the unmanned aircraft facility map of the commercial airport.

The law states that An operator of an unmanned aircraft or a direct supervisor of an operator of an unmanned aircraft, if that direct supervisor holds a remote pilot certificate under 14 C.F.R. Part 107, shall not operate or allow an unmanned aircraft to operate:

  • In a manner that allows an incursion of an unmanned aircraft into areas prohibited for the operation, taking off, and landing of an unmanned aircraft as designated by a commercial airport’s unmanned aircraft facility map, except with the approval of the commercial airport operator; or
  • In a reckless manner so as to create a risk of serious physical injury to  another or a risk of damage to property.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to an operator of an unmanned aircraft for a commercial purpose in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, authorizations, or exemptions.

Violators would be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, or a Class D felony "if the violation causes a significant change of course or a serious disruption to the safe travel of the aircraft that threatens the physical safety of the passengers and crew of the aircraft."

(Image from file)

FMI:, Bill Text



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