OLR Bill Analysis

SB 975

AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPALITIES AND UNMANNED AIRCRAFT.

SUMMARY

This bill prohibits municipalities, except as state or federal law provides, from enacting or enforcing ordinances or resolutions regulating the ownership, possession, purchase, sale, use, transportation, or operation of unmanned aircraft (i.e., drones). Under the bill, an unmanned aircraft is one flown remotely by a pilot using a ground control system or autonomously using an onboard computer or additional equipment necessary for its safe operation.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

BACKGROUND

Federal Regulation of Drones

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations establish specific requirements for drones depending on whether they are used for commercial or recreational purposes. Commercial drone use is subject to the Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rule which establishes operational limits (e.g., maximum speed and altitude) and certification requirements and responsibilities for remote pilots (14 C.F.R. 107.1 et seq.). Recreational use is subject to the Special Rule for Model Aircraft which requires operators to register their drones with the FAA and follow certain operating rules (14 C.F.R. 101.41).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Planning and Development Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

17

Nay

5

(03/17/2017)