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Georgia's proposed anti-drone legislation revised

Discussion in 'News' started by Dave Emanuel, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. Dave Emanuel

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    The revised version of HB 779 is much more friendly that the first one- and it may be dead for this year. Click the link for more details.

    This article was originally posted on Examiner.com, which has been shut down.
    The complete original article is below.


    Legislators in the Georgia State House, have been gussying up HB 779, (for details see The Latest On AXS ) in an attempt to make it fly. Unfortunately, their early attempts are analogous to patching holes in the wings of an aircraft that doesn’t have an engine; although the patched wings may make the aircraft capable of flying, without an engine it will never get off the ground.

    The latest substitute bill demonstrates that the authors have begun to address the missing engine; virtually all of the drone-killing language of the initial bill is gone. Whereas it appeared the authors and proponents of the original HB 779 either didn’t understand the killing effect of the legislation, or didn’t care, the substitute bill takes a different tack. Rather than over-reaching in all directions, the substitute bill addresses specific areas of concern; it delineates the manner in which law enforcement can and cannot use data collected by a drone; declares as illegal use of a drone to interfere with hunting, to interfere with or obstruct a police officer, fire fighter or park ranger or emergency medical personnel and establishes penalties.

    Unfortunately, the substitute bill still declares it illegal for a drone to take off or be recovered from private property without authorization from the owner or lawful occupier. Oddly enough, this section of the bill doesn’t apply to packages being retrieved or delivered by commercial operators. So although it would be unlawful for an individual to retrieve his or her drone from private property, (without prior authorization) it would be legal for the operator of a commercial drone to perform the retrieval.

    Juxtaposed with HB 779 and its various substitute bills is Senate Bill (SB) 325, which calls for a measured, sensible approach to evaluating potential “unmanned aircraft system” legislation. SB 325’s stated purpose is, “To amend Chapter 2 of Title 6 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to regulation of aeronautics, aircraft, and airports generally, so as to provide legislative findings; to provide definitions; to provide for preemption of prohibitions, restrictions, and regulation of the testing or operation of unmanned aircraft systems in the State of Georgia; to provide for the establishment of the Georgia Unmanned Aircraft Systems Commission and its composition, duties, and activities; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes”.

    Rather than an overzealous push for rules and regulations, SB 325 calls for the establishment of a 15-member commission to evaluate the benefits that the unmanned aircraft industry will bring to the state. and to identify policies that address concerns about privacy and public safety. The commission is also charged with providing an annual report to the General Assembly.

    Assuming SB 325 passes in the Senate, it all but assures that HB 779 will either die in the House, or undergo yet another dramatic rewrite. The only thing the House and Senate bills have in common is their focus on unmanned aircraft. SB 325 seeks to evaluate before legislating, HB 779 seeks to legislate before evaluating.
     
    #1 Dave Emanuel, Mar 7, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  2. Crawdaddyjc

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    Thanks for the info.
    But this sentence: "Unfortunately, the substitute bill still declares it illegal for a drone to take off or be recovered from private property without authorization from the owner or lawful occupier. ". So i cant take off from my neighbors yard without telling him- or i cant land in his yard if i have an emergency?- How will they enforce that? If i crash i cant hop someones fence to retrieve my quad if they arent home?

    Plus- i fly most of my flights from a vacant subdivision (has been cleared and road/electric ran) but it is closed off and no houses. Most likely will stay this way for at least 1 more year. I have the combination to the gate at the only entrance (im buddies with the project manager) and i have his permission to fly there. Is his approval good enough if questioned by local pd?

    Anyway- im glad that it seems they are evaluating before legislating. I will continue to watch these closely.
     
  3. Dave Emanuel

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    Enforcement is always a problem when unenforceable laws are passed. It will be interesting to see what changes the senate makes, or it it just lets the bill die
    If the law does pass in its present form, you should be okay, providing local law enforcement is properly informed.
     
  4. daverich4

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    I'm not sure I understand. You think you should be able to come over and fly out of my yard without my permission? Expect a little blowback on that idea, law or no law.
     
  5. Dave Emanuel

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    There are already trespassing and private property laws on the books that cover this. The provision in 779 is unnecessary and unclear.as it does not define whether permission can be granted verbally or has to be in writing. It also does not state whether permission can be granted by the property occupant or only by the property owner. Nobody is proposing that drone owners can go wherever they like.
     
  6. Crawdaddyjc

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    No i dont think i can fly from wherever i want (daverich4) Im just asking how they will enforce their bill. Illegal to takeoff or be recovered should fall under normal trespassing laws but why attach it to a drone bill? But if i crash/ land on your property i will knock on your door first before i attempt to retrieve it. I am basing this off me living in a neighborhood and not considering farmland, businesses or anything like that.

    I just think that lawmakers try to use such a wide brush to get ahead of any potential issues that it just makes them look foolish. I know right from wrong and will follow the rules but there are some who wont and laws are needed.
     
    daverich4 likes this.
  7. JasmineJasmine

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    I'd rather send a chill through the unmanned aircraft research world, and create built-in mechanisms for law revision, than open the door to all use and see large corporations embrace the technologies without a strong framework for privacy protection. If we don't, we'll be reading blogs on ES in two years about how we are forced into a position of fighting for better privacy protections against deeply entrenched and funded corporate interests.
     
  8. dewaynet

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    I live in Georgia and fly my quad copter but i agree with the revised bill.. however, current laws should already take care of this. If you crash your drone in my back yard, you should ask me for permission before you tromp through my grass to go get it. If you ask, I would be more than happy to walk back there with you, but I dont want to look out of my window and see some yahoo go after his drone in my yard... that is simple common sense that allows them to make it seem like they are addressing the problem without doing much damage..