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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Aug 3, 2017.
Drone Operator Safety Act of 2017
This bill amends the federal criminal code to make it a crime to knowingly or recklessly operate an unmanned aircraft that interferes with or disrupts an aircraft or airborne vehicle carrying at least one occupant in U.S. airspace.
It imposes criminal penalties—a fine, a prison term, or both—on a violator.
The prohibition includes the unauthorized operation of an unmanned aircraft within an airport's runway exclusion zone (i.e., defined area of controlled airspace around an active runway) unless the operation is the result of an unforeseeable circumstance (e.g., a malfunction).