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S. 1755 (115th): Drone Operator Safety Act of 2017


The text of the bill below is as of Aug 3, 2017 (Introduced).


II

115th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1755

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

August 3, 2017

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit unsafe operation of unmanned aircraft, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Drone Operator Safety Act of 2017.

2.

Unsafe operation of unmanned aircraft

(a)

In general

Chapter 2 of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in section 31—

(A)

in subsection (a)—

(i)

by redesignating paragraph (10) as paragraph (11); and

(ii)

by inserting after paragraph (9) the following:

(10)

Unmanned aircraft

The term unmanned aircraft has the meaning given that term in section 331 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–95; 49 U.S.C. 40101 note).

; and

(B)

in subsection (b), by inserting airport, before appliance,; and

(2)

by inserting after section 39A the following:

39B.

Unsafe operation of unmanned aircraft

(a)

Offense

It shall be unlawful to operate an unmanned aircraft and, in so doing, knowingly or recklessly interfering with, or disrupting the operation of, an aircraft or other airborne vehicle carrying 1 or more occupants operating in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, in a manner that poses an imminent safety hazard to such occupants.

(b)

Penalty

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), a person who violates subsection (a) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.

(2)

Serious bodily injury or death

Any person who attempts to cause, or knowingly or recklessly causes, serious bodily injury or death while violating subsection (a) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both.

(c)

Operation of unmanned aircraft in close proximity to airports

(1)

In general

The operation of an unmanned aircraft, including an operation covered by section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–95; 49 U.S.C. 40101 note), within a runway exclusion zone shall be considered a violation of subsection (a) unless—

(A)

the operator of the unmanned aircraft received prior authorization for the operation from the air traffic control tower at the airport; or

(B)

the operation is the result of a circumstance, such as a malfunction, that could not have been reasonably foreseen or prevented by the operator.

(2)

Runway exclusion zone defined

In this subsection, the term runway exclusion zone means a rectangular area—

(A)

centered on the centerline of a runway of an airport; and

(B)

the length of which extends parallel to the runway’s centerline to points that are 1 statute mile from each end of the runway and the width of which is ½ statute mile.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections for chapter 2 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 39A the following:

39B. Unsafe operation of unmanned aircraft.

.