Summary: S.2626 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.2626. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (03/03/2016)

Higher Education Unmanned Aircraft Systems Modernization Act

This bill amends the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to authorize an institution of higher education to operate an unmanned aircraft system within the United States without the specific approval of, and without registering the system with, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) if:

  • the institution has adopted a policy to ensure safe operation of such systems, which shall include the designation of a point of contact at the institution for review and approval of such operation and the requirement that such operation be conducted under the supervision of an operator in command;
  • the point of contact has confirmed that the proposed operation is for educational or research purposes, is in accordance with applicable policies of the institution regarding safety, training or supervision requirements, privacy, and prior notice and permission, and will occur under the supervision of an operator in command;
  • the system is operated not higher than 400 feet above ground level and in a manner that will not create a hazard to persons or property, is marked with the identification and contact information of the owner, does not survey, create a nuisance on, or overfly private property without the permission of the property owner, gives right of way to, and avoids flying in the proximity of, full-scale aircraft, and is operated at a site that is of sufficient distance from populated areas to protect the safety of persons and property; and
  • the institution notifies and obtains permission, at least annually, from air traffic control or the airport manager (for small facilities) when the system will be operated within five statute miles of an airport around which the airspace is designated as class B or class C airspace, within two statute miles of any other airport or heliport, or within airspace designated as restricted or prohibited.

If an unmanned aircraft system operated by an institution of higher education is involved in any incident resulting in personal injury or property damage (other than to the system, to property of the institution, or to individuals directly involved in the system's operation), the point of contact shall report the incident to the FAA within 10 days.