Text: H.R.2930 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/16/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 2930 Introduced in House (IH)]

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115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2930

To develop a civil unmanned aircraft policy framework, a pilot program, 
                        and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             June 16, 2017

 Mr. Lewis of Minnesota (for himself, Ms. Brownley of California, Mr. 
  Rokita, and Mr. Garamendi) introduced the following bill; which was 
     referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To develop a civil unmanned aircraft policy framework, a pilot program, 
                        and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Drone Innovation Act of 2017''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act the following definitions apply:
            (1) Civil aircraft.--The term ``civil aircraft'', with 
        respect to an unmanned aircraft system, means that the unmanned 
        aircraft is not a public aircraft as defined in section 40102 
        of title 49, United States Code.
            (2) Local government.--The term ``local government'' means 
        a unit of government that is a subdivision of a State, such as 
        city, county, or parish.
            (3) Local operation.--The terms ``local operation'' and 
        ``local in nature'' refer to flights or portions of civil 
        unmanned aircraft that occur in airspace--
                    (A) up to 200 feet above ground level; and
                    (B) the lateral boundaries of a State, local, or 
                Tribal government's jurisdiction.
            (4) Small unmanned aircraft.--The term ``small unmanned 
        aircraft'' has the same meaning as such term is defined in 
        section 331(6) of the FAA Reform and Modernization Act of 2012.
            (5) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the several 
        States, the District of Columbia, and the territories and 
        possessions of the United States.
            (6) Tribal government.--The term ``Tribal Government'' 
        means the governing body of an Indian Tribe (as defined in 
        section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education 
        Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304)).

SEC. 3. CIVIL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT POLICY FRAMEWORK.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 6 months after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall, after 
consultation with State, local, and Tribal officials, and other 
appropriate stakeholders, publish a civil unmanned aircraft local 
operation policy framework in the Federal Register.
    (b) Contents.--The policy framework required pursuant to subsection 
(a) shall--
            (1) provide guidelines to aid States, local, and Tribal 
        governments in harmonizing and, to the degree possible, 
        standardizing reasonable time, manner, and place limitations 
        and other restrictions on operations of civil and small 
        unmanned aircraft that are local in nature;
            (2) take into account the economic and non-economic 
        benefits, such as civic or educational uses, of small or civil 
        unmanned aircraft operations;
            (3) provide guidelines to aid States, local, and Tribal 
        governments in creating an environment that is hospitable to 
        innovation and fosters the rapid integration of unmanned 
        aircraft into the national airspace system; and
            (4) aid States, local, and Tribal governments in adopting 
        technologies, such as unmanned traffic management systems, that 
        will enable notification to operators regarding reasonable 
        time, manner, and place limitations on operations of civil and 
        small unmanned aircraft that are local in nature.
    (c) Analysis.--In crafting the policy framework and in prescribing 
any future regulations or standards related to civil unmanned aircraft 
systems, the Secretary of Transportation shall define the scope of the 
preemptive effect of any civil unmanned aircraft regulations or 
standards pursuant to section 40103 or 41713 of title 49, United States 
Code. Such regulations or standards shall be limited to the extent 
necessary to ensure the safety and efficiency of the national airspace 
system for interstate commerce, and shall preserve the legitimate 
interests of State, local, and Tribal governments, including--
            (1) protecting public safety;
            (2) protecting personal privacy;
            (3) protecting property rights;
            (4) managing land use; and
            (5) restricting nuisances and noise pollution.
    (d) Limitations.--In formulating and implementing the policy 
framework required pursuant to subsection (a) and any future 
regulations, policies or standards related to civil unmanned aircraft 
systems, the Secretary shall abide by and be guided by the following 
fundamental principles:
            (1) Any limitation on small or civil unmanned aircraft 
        should be consistent with maintaining the safe use of the 
        navigable airspace and the legitimate interests of State, 
        local, and Tribal governments.
            (2) Innovation and competition are best served by a diverse 
        and competitive small and civil unmanned aircraft systems 
        industry.
            (3) Any limitation on small or civil unmanned aircraft 
        should not create an unreasonable burden on interstate or 
        foreign commerce.
            (4) The operation of small and civil unmanned aircraft 
        systems that are local in nature have more in common with 
        terrestrial transportation than traditional aviation.
            (5) As it relates to the time, manner, and place of 
        unmanned aircraft local operations, and the need to foster 
        innovation, States, local, and Tribal governments uniquely 
        possess the constitutional authority, the resources, and the 
        competence to discern the sentiments of the people and to 
        govern accordingly.
            (6) Relying upon technology solutions, such as unmanned 
        traffic management, provided by private industry, will 
        effectively solve policy challenges.
            (7) State, local and Tribal officials are best positioned 
        to make judgments and issue dynamic limitations around events, 
        including, fires, accidents and other first responder activity, 
        public gatherings, community events, pedestrian thoroughfares, 
        recreational activities, cultural activities, heritage sites, 
        schools, parks and other inherently local events and locations, 
        which may justify limiting unmanned aircraft activity that is 
        local in nature while balancing the activities or events 
        against the need for innovation.
            (8) The economic and non-economic benefits, of small and 
        civil unmanned aircraft operations may be best achieved by 
        empowering the State, local, and Tribal governments to create a 
        hospitable environment to welcome innovation.
            (9) Innovation and competition in the unmanned aircraft 
        industry are best served enabling State, local, and Tribal 
        governments to experiment with a variety of approaches to 
        policies related to unmanned aircraft.
            (10) The Department of Transportation shall, when making 
        policy related to small or civil unmanned aircraft systems, 
        recognize that problems that are merely common to the State, 
        local, and Tribal governments will not justify Federal action 
        because individual State, local, and Tribal governments, acting 
        individually or together, can effectively deal with such 
        problems and may find and implement more innovation friendly 
        policies than Federal agencies.
            (11) The Department shall, when making policy related to 
        small or civil unmanned aircraft systems, provide timely 
        information and assistance to State, local, and Tribal 
        governments that will ensure collaboration.

SEC. 4. PILOT PROGRAM ON FEDERAL PARTNERSHIPS.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 9 months after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall enter into 
agreements with not less than 20 and not more than 30 State, local, or 
Tribal governments to establish pilot programs under which the 
Secretary shall provide technical assistance to such governments in 
regulating the operation of small and civil unmanned aircraft systems, 
including through the use of the latest available technologies for 
unmanned traffic management, notice, authorization, and situational 
awareness with respect to reasonable time, manner, and place 
limitations and restrictions pursuant to section 3.
    (b) Selection.--In selecting among State, local and Tribal 
governments for purposes of establishing pilot programs under 
subsection (a), the Secretary shall seek to enter into agreements 
with--
            (1) governments that vary their size and intended approach 
        to regulation of small and civil unmanned aircraft systems;
            (2) governments that demonstrate a willingness to partner 
        with technology providers and small and civil unmanned aircraft 
        operators; and
            (3) at least two of each of the following: State 
        governments, county governments, city governments, and Tribal 
        Governments.
    (c) Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management System.--The 
Secretary shall coordinate with the Administrator of the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration to ensure that participants in 
pilot programs established under subsection (a) are consulted in the 
development of the unmanned aircraft systems traffic management system 
under section 2208 of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 
2016 (Public Law 114-190, 49 U.S.C. 40101 note) and the pilot program 
under section (b) of such section.
    (d) Report Required.--Not later than 18 months after establishment 
of the pilot programs required by subsection (a), the Secretary shall 
coordinate with pilot program participants to submit to Congress, and 
make available to the public, a report identifying best practices for 
State, local, and Tribal governments to regulate the operation of small 
and civil unmanned aircraft systems and to collaborate with the Federal 
Aviation Administration with respect to the regulation of such systems.

SEC. 5. PRESERVATION.

    (a) Rights to Privacy.--In prescribing regulations or standards 
related to civil or small unmanned aircraft systems, the Secretary 
shall not authorize the operation of a small or civil unmanned aircraft 
in airspace local in nature above property where there is a reasonable 
expectation of privacy without permission of the property owner.
    (b) Causes of Action, Claims, and Remedies.--
            (1) In general.--Nothing in this section shall be construed 
        to preempt, displace, or supplant any Federal, State, or Tribal 
        common law rights or any Federal, State, or Tribal statute or 
        common law right creating a remedy for civil relief, including 
        those for civil damages, or a penalty for a criminal law.
            (2) Cause of actions upheld.--Nothing in this section shall 
        preempt or preclude any cause of action for personal injury, 
        wrongful death, property damage, inverse condemnation, 
        trespass, nuisance or other injury based on negligence, strict 
        liability, products liability, failure to warn, or any other 
        legal theory of liability under any maritime law, or any 
        Federal, State, or Tribal common law or statutory theory, 
        except that no cause of action, claim or remedy may be made 
        solely because of the transit of an unmanned aircraft through 
        airspace local in nature over private property in the absence 
        of proof that such transit substantially interfered with the 
        owner or lessee's use or enjoyment of the property or 
        repeatedly transited the airspace local in nature above the 
        owner's property.
    (c) Private Airspace.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
the Secretary shall not issue any rule or regulation that impedes or 
operates contrary to the authority of a State, local, or Tribal 
government to define private property rights as it applies to unmanned 
aircraft in the airspace above property that is local in nature.
    (d) Rights to Operate.--A State or local government may not 
unreasonably or substantially impede the ability of a civil unmanned 
aircraft, from reaching the navigable airspace. Unreasonable or 
substantial impeding of a civil unmanned aircraft from reaching the 
navigable airspace includes--
            (1) outright bans on overflights of the entirety of the 
        lateral boundaries of a State or local government's 
        jurisdiction;
            (2) excessively large prohibitions on overflights of areas 
        of local significance such that access to airspace is so 
        impeded as to make flight within the lateral boundaries of a 
        State or local government's jurisdiction nearly impossible; and
            (3) a combination of restrictions intended to unreasonably 
        impede or having the practical effect of unreasonably impeding 
        the ability of a civil unmanned aircraft from reaching the 
        navigable airspace.
    (e) Right-of-Way.--Nothing in this section shall be construed to 
prevent an operator or pilot from operating a small or civil unmanned 
aircraft over their own property, right of way, easement, lands, or 
waters.

SEC. 6. STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION.

    (a) Judicial Review.--An action taken by the Secretary of 
Transportation under any of sections 4XXXW-4XXXY is subject to judicial 
review as provided under section 46110 of title 49, United States Code.
    (b) Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction.--Nothing in this Act 
(including the amendments made by this Act) may be construed to 
diminish or expand the civil or criminal jurisdiction of--
            (1) any Tribal Government relative to any State or local 
        government; or
            (2) any State or local government relative to any Tribal 
        Government.
    (c) Limitation.--Nothing in this Act (including the amendments made 
by this Act) may be construed to--
            (1) affect manned aircraft operations or the authority of 
        the Federal Aviation Authority (in this section referred to as 
        ``FAA'') with respect to manned aviation;
            (2) affect the right of the FAA to take emergency action, 
        including the right to issue temporary flight restrictions;
            (3) affect the right of the FAA to pursue enforcement 
        action against unsafe unmanned aircraft operators; and
            (4) affect the right of first responders to access airspace 
        in the event of an emergency.
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