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Thread: More WA Drone Legislation? Really?

  1. #1
    Co-Pilot Pushjerk's Avatar
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    More WA Drone Legislation? Really?

    AMA members out there likely got this Notice. WA legislators are at it again.

    Read it. Linked inside is the Lej itself, as well as a canned response to help you in contacting your elected rep or the Author of the bill himself.

    Use your freedoms. Don't sit idle. Let these A holes know how you feel about this shit and how warped their ideas are.

    http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51579/...tion_KEY=20570
    "That aircraft is nothing but a bunch of spare parts flying in close formation!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pushjerk View Post
    Use your freedoms. Don't sit idle. Let these A holes know how you feel about this shit and how warped their ideas are.
    What is so bad about the proposed law?

    All it requires is the operators name and address on the drone and forbids flying over property where the operator lacks permission to fly.

    Wayne
    Everybody loves a bunny.

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    Co-Pilot Pushjerk's Avatar
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    I know you love this stuff, Wayne. So let's do this.

    Info pulled from various pubs and the FAA State and Local Regulation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Fact Sheet.


    We'll start with the big one - Who has the specific and exclusive authority to regulate the NAS? Answer: The Federal Government; specifically, the FAA.

    Congress has vested the FAA with authority to regulate the areas of airspace use, management and efficiency, air traffic control, safety, navigational facilities, and aircraft noise at its source. 49 U.S.C. §§ 40103, 44502, and 44701-44735.

    Congress has further directed the FAA to “prescribe air traffic regulations on the flight of aircraft (including regulations on safe altitudes)” for navigating, protecting, and identifying aircraft; protecting individuals and property on the ground; using the navigable airspace efficiently; and preventing collision between aircraft, between aircraft and land or water vehicles, and between aircraft and airborne objects. 49 U.S.C. § 40103(b)(2).

    It is clear the based simply on the above excerpts that the State of WA is wandering out of it’s field of view (FPV Pun) with it’s authority - It simply does not have any with regard to the NAS.


    So What is the NAS? Where does it start? Can the states regulate traditionally non-navigable airspace, say below 500ft?

    Again, the federal government has exclusive sovereignty of U.S. airspace. Congress delegated to the FAA the ability to define “navigable airspace” and the authority to regulate “navigable airspace” of aircraft by regulation or order. 49 U.S.C. § 40103(b)(1).

    According to Federal Aviation Regulations, “navigable airspace” is defined as “airspace at and above the minimum flight altitudes prescribed by or under this chapter, including airspace needed for safe takeoff and landing.” 14 C.F.R. § 1.1.

    With “Aircraft” now able to navigate from the surface to 400 ft, and consistently doing so, this is the “Navigable Airspace,” for which all regulation shall be the responsibility of the FAA.

    So from the ground up (another pun, pardon me), if this is their argument (though nothing in HB1049 states such), it is mute.


    What you got, Wayne?
    Last edited by Pushjerk; 7th February 2017 at 11:27 AM.
    "That aircraft is nothing but a bunch of spare parts flying in close formation!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pushjerk View Post
    It is clear the based simply on the above excerpts that the State of WA is wandering out of it’s field of view (FPV Pun) with it’s authority - It simply does not have any with regard to the NAS.



    Two problems with that theory, first the bill does not address the NAS and second states are allowed to add local laws on top of federal laws, as long as the local laws do not attempt to override the federal laws.

    A perfect example is FS 877.27 which prohibits the unlicensed operation of radio transmitters.

    Now the FCC has jurisdiction over the operation of transmitters and prohibits unlicensed operations, however the FCC's enforcement bureau is severely understaffed, so the Florida legislature working with the Florida Association of broadcasters and the Society of Broadcast Engineers, passed FS 877.27 giving state law enforcement the authority to arrest violators for a felony charge and to confiscate the illegal transmitters they operate.

    This law does not infringe on the FCC's regulator authority so it is enforceable.

    As such the bill proposed in Washington, if passed is just as legal and enforceable as the federal parallel here in Florida.

    None the less my question, which you avoided answering was, what in the proposed law is so bad?

    Wayne
    Everybody loves a bunny.

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    Co-Pilot Pushjerk's Avatar
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    No avoidance intended, Wayne. Simply time constraints. Given that, I felt it necessary to bring up the biggest issue first.

    Before moving on I should express a personal note. As a hobbyist and soon-to-be professional (107 test scheduled) residing in the state of Washington, I do not desire poorly constructed regulation on the operation of sUAS. Furthermore, I do not wish a precedent to be set that State and Local governments can go meddling in Federal affairs, and in contraction of them, thus complicating the legal framework for everyone.

    Back on topic. You stated there was a problem – that the bill did not address the NAS. This is a huge problem! (I know this was not your meaning Wayne, but I'm gonna roll this). This tells me one of two things: with the failure to mention airspace and the NAS, the Author's level of ignorance with regard to UAS Operations is on full display, or that any mention of The NAS was cleverly omitted so that this principle alone (which nullifies his whole argument) would not have a spotlight on it.

    Moreover, a broad interpretation of the federal laws regarding aviation states that the FAA has the sole authority to regulate the operation of aircraft flying in the NAS. This nullifies, again, the whole bill.


    Now, to your first question: What is so bad about the proposed law?

    First, aside from it being a direct contradiction to federal regulation directing measures for which the State has no authority, this law will considerably inhibit UAS industry applications that go far beyond recreational use.

    “It is unlawful for an operator of an unmanned aircraft to, without specific federal authorization, operate the unmanned aircraft over real property lawfully owned or occupied by a person, other than
    a public agency, without the consent of a lawful owner or occupant of the real property.

    Let’s talk how this measure would affect commercial applications.

    First application that comes to mind is a site scanning, 3D modeling, and protect progression monitoring by UAS for construction (gonna go into detail here for the uninformed). Intervals of the above operation are on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, depending on the size of the project under construction, and can include the capturing of hundreds of geo-referenced images of the site from all angles (including oblique angles from an orbit around the structure with roughly a 100 foot radius away from the site or structure, at an elevation of 100-400 ft AGL). Such flights almost always require passing over property that is not part of the construction project. These images are then processed to create a 2D and 3D model of the site to allow for inspections of hazardous areas that would previously require human risk to access.

    Must a sUAS operator request permission of all property owners adjacent to the work site prior to commensing operations? To rephrase the question, must the aircraft operator request permission to fly his/her aircraft over private property? Did the Captain of your last domestic flight or the Airline request permission from all of the property owners who's properties were overflown? Should the Helo Pilot or touring company request permission from the residents of Molokai who's properties get overflown close to the ground from aircraft that take off from Maui? Should the Tower at NAS Pensacola or the Pilots of the Blue Angels themselves have requested my permission before overflying my house in formation by hundreds of feet while my daughter slept (true story, quite disruptive)? You can see where I’m going with this…Where does it end?

    Another point here - I am a commercial operator and I am being contracted by a construction company to monitor their worksite of a major project and do some site scanning/volumetric measuring on a periodic basis. Per the proposed law, I have requested permission to fly over the property of the five property owners who’s property is adjacent to the worksite. Three have denied permission, likely based on drone-fear instilled in the general public by the media, or simply do to ignorance and fear, despite my attempt at education. I have lost access to 30% of the airspace needed to complete the necessary flights.
    Do I lose a client? Does the Construction company miss out on all the advantages of using this technology, to include improved worker safety, significant money savings on construction waste reduction, improved stakeholder relations, and promotional media?

    The answer is yes to the questions above. I foresee a version of this scenario playing out all over WA. A sUAS Operator hired by a realtor to promote a listing cannot complete the job because of denial of entry to a neighbor’s “personal private section of the NAS.” The commercial UAS operator loses the client, and the realtor does not get the fancy media to push his/her listing, and the house remains on the market.


    Next, measure, “The unmanned aircraft is clearly and prominently labeled with the name and phone number of the unmanned aircraft's owner and operator.”

    Don’t we have FAA Registration numbers for that? An undue burden is simply being placed on the hobby/commercial operator. What about the Scale Modelers out there? Duder’s badass Scale P-47 is now marred by his name and phone number.

    Why is this necessary? One can only infer so that there is accountability, to trace the aircraft back to the operator in the case of an accident, because after all, these are aircraft and there is risk involved to people and property on the ground. Again, isn’t that why we have FAA Registration numbers on our birds?

    This might be a stretch, but I believe it to be a good point - Motor vehicles and Boats also pose a risk to people and property on the ground, and if there is an incident and the operator can not be found, the license plate/registration number can be used to trace it back to the owner and probably the operator. We don’t see names and phone number of drivers and boat captains on these vehicles in the State of Washington, so why should we see them on unmanned aircraft?


    I hope I have reached a good starting point to answer your question "What is so bad about the proposed law?"

    Last edited by Pushjerk; 7th February 2017 at 02:32 PM.
    "That aircraft is nothing but a bunch of spare parts flying in close formation!"

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    Interesting points about FS 877.27. Though I must admit I am not up to speed with the appropriate FCC and State regulations, It seems that the steps being taken are not contradictory to Federal Law that's already in place. May I ask, did the Florida Legislature and other state organizations coordinate with the FCC in the creation of these bits of legislation?


    My Impression, but it is only that, that there was no input from the Federal Authorities in the creation of HB1049.


    This is straight from the FAA State and Local Regulation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Fact Sheet, that should absolutely be followed by any State or Local law making body that wants to further regulate sUAS.


    EXAMPLES OF STATE AND LOCAL LAWS FOR WHICH CONSULTATION WITH THE FAA IS RECOMMENDED

    • Operational UAS restrictions on flight altitude, flight paths; operational bans; any regulation of the navigable airspace. For example – a city ordinance banning anyone from operating UAS within the city limits, within the airspace of the city, or within certain distances of landmarks. Federal courts strictly scrutinize state and local regulation of overflight. City of Burbank v. Lockheed Air Terminal, 411 U.S. 624 (1973); Skysign International, Inc. v. City and County of Honolulu, 276 F.3d 1109, 1117 (9th Cir. 2002); American Airlines v. Town of Hempstead, 398 F.2d 369 (2d Cir. 1968); American Airlines v. City of Audubon Park, 407 F.2d 1306 (6th Cir. 1969).






    "That aircraft is nothing but a bunch of spare parts flying in close formation!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pushjerk View Post
    Back on topic. You stated there was a problem – that the bill did not address the NAS. This is a huge problem! (I know this was not your meaning Wayne, but I'm gonna roll this). This tells me one of two things: with the failure to mention airspace and the NAS, the Author's level of ignorance with regard to UAS Operations is on full display, or that any mention of The NAS was cleverly omitted so that this principle alone (which nullifies his whole argument) would not have a spotlight on it.


    I believe the NAS was left out as the bill seeks to regulate the operation of a drone not the airspace it operates within.

    Moreover, a broad interpretation of the federal laws regarding aviation states that the FAA has the sole authority to regulate the operation of aircraft flying in the NAS. This nullifies, again, the whole bill.


    The FAA tried to claim that for a while, but backed off and modified their guidance suggesting states and local regulators consult with the FAA to ensure proposed laws do not conflict with FAA rules..

    Basically what it comes down to is, the states legislatures and local regulators can enact laws and rules that parallel or up the penalty of a federal law, what they cannot do is pass a law that exempts a resident from being prosecuted under a federal law or nullifies a rule.

    Now, to your first question: What is so bad about the proposed law?
    First, aside from it being a direct contradiction to federal regulation directing measures for which the State has no authority, this law will considerably inhibit UAS industry applications that go far beyond recreational use. “It is unlawful for an operator of an unmanned aircraft to, without specific federal authorization, operate the unmanned aircraft over real property lawfully owned or occupied by a person, other than a public agency, without the consent of a lawful owner or occupant of the real property.

    Let’s talk how this measure would affect commercial applications.

    First application that comes to mind is a site scanning, 3D modeling, and protect progression monitoring by UAS for construction (gonna go into detail here for the uninformed). Intervals of the above operation are on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, depending on the size of the project under construction, and can include the capturing of hundreds of geo-referenced images of the site from all angles (including oblique angles from an orbit around the structure with roughly a 100 foot radius away from the site or structure, at an elevation of 100-400 ft AGL). Such flights almost always require passing over property that is not part of the construction project. These images are then processed to create a 2D and 3D model of the site to allow for inspections of hazardous areas that would previously require human risk to access.

    Must a sUAS operator request permission of all property owners adjacent to the work site prior to commensing operations? To rephrase the question, must the aircraft operator request permission to fly his/her aircraft over private property? You can see where I’m going with this…


    The answer to that is yes, they should obtain permission from the affected property owners for a number of reasons, the primary one being liability and safety.

    Another point here - I am a commercial operator and I am being contracted by a construction company to monitor their worksite of a major project and do some site scanning/volumetric measuring on a periodic basis. Per the proposed law, I have requested permission to fly over the property of the five property owners who’s property is adjacent to the worksite. Three have denied permission, likely based on drone-fear instilled in the general public by the media, or simply do to ignorance and fear, despite my attempt at education. I have lost access to 30% of the airspace needed to complete the necessary flights.
    Do I lose a client? Does the Construction company miss out on all the advantages of using this technology, to include improved worker safety, significant money savings on construction waste reduction, improved stakeholder relations, and promotional media?


    No you just have to work in a different manner other than using a drone below 400 AGL.


    The answer is yes to the questions above. I foresee a version of this scenario playing out all over WA. A sUAS Operator hired by a realtor to promote a listing cannot complete the job because of denial of entry to a neighbor’s “personal private section of the NAS.” The commercial UAS operator loses the client, and the realtor does not get the fancy media to push his/her listing, and the house remains on the market.
    That's just the way it goes sometimes, as a property owner does a neighbor have more rights that I do just to sell their home, I don't think so, if someone wants to fly over my property for a commercial purpose, I expect to be compensated for that access and also demand to be issued a certificate of liability naming me as an additional insured.

    Next, measure, “The unmanned aircraft is clearly and prominently labeled with the name and phone number of the unmanned aircraft's owner and operator.”

    Don’t we have FAA Registration numbers for that? An undue burden is simply being placed on the hobby/commercial operator. What about the Scale Modelers out there? Duder’s badass Scale P-47 is now marred by his name and phone number.

    Why is this necessary? One can only infer so that there is accountability, to trace the aircraft back to the operator in the case of an accident, because after all, these are aircraft and there is risk involved to people and property on the ground. Again, isn’t that why we have FAA Registration numbers on our birds?


    If the FAA database was integrated into the normal databases for vehicle and criminal histories such as NCIC, EPIC and III, I would agree but until then it seems prudent to require a clear traceable ID on the drone.

    wayne
    Everybody loves a bunny.

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    I appreciate your playing devil's advocate, Wayne. Your points, though mostly sound, haven't curbed my intentions of contacting the necessary Reps in opposition to this Bill, however.

    -Richard
    "That aircraft is nothing but a bunch of spare parts flying in close formation!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pushjerk View Post
    Your points, though mostly sound, haven't curbed my intentions of contacting the necessary Reps in opposition to this Bill, however.

    -Richard
    I would expect nothing less, as an American that is one of your greatest rights and should be exercised to the best of your ability at every turn.

    Good luck and hopefully you will prevail.

    Wayne
    Everybody loves a bunny.

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    deep-green
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pushjerk View Post
    AMA members out there likely got this Notice. WA legislators are at it again.

    Read it. Linked inside is the Lej itself, as well as a canned response to help you in contacting your elected rep or the Author of the bill himself.

    Use your freedoms. Don't sit idle. Let these A holes know how you feel about this shit and how warped their ideas are.

    http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51579/...tion_KEY=20570
    When I first learned of this bill I contacted my reps and also sent detailed comments to the committee members. To the vice-chair of the committee I even sent an actual example of a mission plan and the resulting video of an operation that would be illegal under the proposed bill to demonstrate that the public nor their privacy were harmed as a result. Will it help? We'll see.

    Hopefully other Washington operators are paying attention because if this bill were to become law, commercial use of suas in WA will all but come to an end.

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