Senate Transportation Committee Passes Drone Legislation

capitol3The State of Michigan Senate Transportation Committee unanimously passed Senate Bill 992 last week. The legislation allows a person authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate unmanned aerial systems (aka drones) for commercial purposes in a manner consistent with the authorization. The legislation also bars local municipalities from enacting ordinances that regulate drone ownership or operation. The bill leaves some flexibility for the local government entities to regulate how the drones may be operated within their own municipality.

The MAB, along with the Michigan State Police, Michigan Telecommunication and Cable Association and Michigan Association of Realtors supported this legislation. The MAB believes that this legislation is a balanced approach to regulating drone use. The bills recognize the growing economic and commercial use of the unmanned aerial vehicles across a wide variety of industries including, in our case, broadcasting. The legislation also balances the need for privacy and other considerations by prohibiting knowing and intentional harassment-type practices that interfere with the official duties of the first responders.

SB 992 recognizes the Federal Aviation Administration as the governing agency when it comes to regulating the use of the nation’s airspace.

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