Drone Laws in Oregon

drone laws oregon

Paying attention to everything the FAA has put forth since their rules and regulations were initially put into full effect is crucial for all drone fliers. Although, do you know the laws and regulations related to drones in your state, as well?

Flying Over Oregon

Oregon holds a ton of potential for those interested in aerial photography and videography. With sunrises and sunsets that resemble rich oil paintings, where are the best, and legal, places to fly?

Unfortunately, as you are no doubt soon to find out, Oregon is in the middle of a strict legal battle state-wide when it comes to using drones. For example, you can check with Oregon’s national parks for the green light to fly, but keep in mind, Smith Rock State Park in central Oregon currently has a ban.

In short, always do some research, make some phone calls, and talk to someone who can give you a straight “yes” or “no” answer before you even think about lifting off in a certain location.

flying over oregon - drone laws oregon

The Registering Process in Oregon

The Registering Process in Oregon

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that all Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) owners follow strict regulations and laws. You will need to file your name, home address and your email address as a start.

From there, you will receive a Certificate of Aircraft Registration and Proof of Ownership. These will include an identification number for your aircraft. You must have this number displayed on your drone at all times. The number will be valid for up to 3 years.

All aircraft that weighs more than 0.55 pounds, or 250 grams, and less than 55 pounds, or 25 kilograms, must be registered. This also includes any added payloads, such as an onboard camera.

You must be at least 13-years-old in order to register and, effective December 21st, 2015, all newly purchased or made drones must be registered before their first flight. You are able to register through a paper-based process, but you can also do so online by clicking here.

Proximity to Airports in Oregon

Proximity to Airports in Oregon

As a general rule of thumb, and in accordance with the law from the FAA, you may not fly within a 5-mile radius of any airport. In 2012 the FAA enacted the Modernization and Reauthorization Act which requires hobbyist drone operators, meaning residential, to contact air traffic control and/or airport management if they are operating within a 5-mile radius of any local airport.

This is enacted nationwide, not only in Oregon, under Part 101 of the Act, being Special Rule for Model Aircraft, to ensure that drone operations under unsafe conditions are disapproved before the drone can be launched.

Regardless of the local airport you will be flying near, and possibly breaching airspace, you will need to contact either the airport air traffic control tower or the airport operator.

You will need to establish an agreed-upon operating procedure with airport air traffic or the airport operator and answer a couple of questions. For example, questions relating to how long you are going to be flying for.

Unique Drone Laws in Oregon

At this time of writing, all of the legal information listed below is deemed as accurate as possible and fully in effect.

HB 3047 – Chapter 502 – Weaponization

AN ACT

Relating to unmanned aircraft systems; creating new provisions; amending ORS 837.340 and 837.365; and declaring an emergency.

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION 1. ORS 837.365, as amended by section 2, chapter 72, Oregon Laws 2016, is amended to read:

837.365. [A person commits a Class A misdemeanor if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly operates an unmanned aircraft system that is capable of firing a bullet or projectile or otherwise operates an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes the system to function as a dangerous weapon as defined in ORS 161.015.]

Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person may not intentionally, knowingly or recklessly operate or cause to be operated an unmanned aircraft system that is capable of firing a bullet or projectile or otherwise operate or cause to be operated an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes the system to function as a dangerous weapon as defined in ORS 161.015.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection, violation of subsection (1) of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

(b) If the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly operates an unmanned aircraft system to fire a bullet or projectile or otherwise operates an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes the system to function as a dangerous weapon as defined in ORS 161.015, violation of subsection (1) of this section is a Class C felony.

(c) If the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly operates an unmanned aircraft system to fire a bullet or projectile or otherwise operates an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes the system to function as a dangerous weapon as defined in ORS 161.015, and the operation of the unmanned aircraft system causes serious physical injury to another person as both terms are defined in ORS 161.015, violation of subsection (1) of this section is a Class B felony.

Subsection (1) of this section does not apply if:

The person uses the unmanned aircraft system to release, discharge, propel or eject a nonlethal projectile for purposes other than to injure or kill persons or animals;

(b) The person uses the unmanned aircraft system for nonrecreational purposes in compliance with specific authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration;

(c) The person notifies the Oregon Department of Aviation, the Oregon State Police and any other agency that issues a permit or license for the activity requiring the use of the unmanned aircraft system of the time and location at which the person intends to use an unmanned aircraft system that is capable of releasing, discharging, propelling or ejecting a projectile at least five days before the person uses the system;

(d) If the person intends to use an unmanned aircraft system that is capable of releasing, discharging, propelling or ejecting a projectile in an area open to the public, the person provides reasonable notice to the public of the time and location at which the person intends to use the unmanned aircraft system; and

(e) The person maintains a liability insurance policy in an amount not less than $1 million that covers injury resulting from use of the unmanned aircraft system.

The notification requirement of subsection (3)(c) of this section does not apply to: (a) A career school licensed under ORS 345.010 to 345.450;

(b) A community college as defined in ORS 341.005;

(c) An education service district as defined in ORS 334.003;

(d) The Oregon Health and Science University;

(e) A public university listed in ORS 352.002; or

(f) An institution that is exempt from ORS 348.594 to 348.615 under ORS 348.597 (2).

Notwithstanding subsection (3) of this section, a person may not use an unmanned aircraft system that is capable of releasing, discharging, propelling or ejecting a projectile for purposes of crowd management.

SECTION 2. ORS 837.340 is amended to read:

837.340. (1) A law enforcement agency may operate an unmanned aircraft system, acquire information through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system, or disclose information acquired through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system, for the purpose of reconstruction of a specific crime scene or accident scene, or similar physical assessment, related to a specific [criminal] investigation.

The period that a law enforcement agency may operate an unmanned aircraft system under this section may not exceed five days for the purpose of reconstruction of a specific crime scene or accident scene, or similar physical assessment, related to a specific [criminal] investigation.

SECTION 3. Section 4 of this 2017 Act is added to and made a part of ORS 837.300 to 837.390.

SECTION 4. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person may not operate an unmanned aircraft system over the boundaries of privately owned premises in a manner so as to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly harass or annoy the owner or occupant of the privately owned premises.

Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to the use of an unmanned aircraft system by a law enforcement agency under ORS 837.335.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection, violation of subsection (1) of this section is a Class B violation.

(b) If, at the time of the offense, the person has one prior conviction under this section, violation of subsection (1) of this section is a Class A violation.

(c) If, at the time of the offense, the person has two or more prior convictions under this section, violation of subsection (1) of this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

(d) If the court imposes a sentence of probation for a violation under paragraph (c) of this subsection, the court may order as a condition of probation that the person may not possess an unmanned aircraft system.

SECTION 5. This 2017 Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is declared to exist, and this 2017 Act takes effect on its passage.

HB 2534 – Chapter 61 – Fish and Wildlife Commission

AN ACT

Relating to the regulation of drones by the State Fish and Wildlife Commission. Whereas it is the intent of the Legislative Assembly that the wildlife laws embody the sporting ethic of fair chase hunting as it relates to the use of drones in the pursuit of wildlife; now, therefore,

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION 1. (1) The State Fish and Wildlife Commission shall adopt rules prohibiting the use of drones for the following purposes related to the pursuit of wildlife:

Angling;

(b) Hunting;

(c) Trapping;

(d) Aiding angling, hunting or trapping through the use of drones to harass, track, locate or scout wildlife; and

(e) Interfering in the acts of a person who is lawfully angling, hunting or trapping.

Rules adopted to carry out the prohibitions provided for in this section may include exemptions for:

Subject to ORS 837.360 and 837.365, the State Department of Fish and Wildlife and the department’s agents and contractors for the use of drones in carrying out the duties of the department; or

(b) The use of drones in a manner otherwise prohibited under this section if the purpose of the use is to benefit wildlife management or habitat or for the protection of property.

Nothing in this section is meant to limit the use of drones by a person who is lawfully engaging in activities authorized under the commercial fishing laws.

As used in this section, “drone” means:

An unmanned flying machine;

(b) An unmanned water-based vehicle; or

(c) Any other vehicle that is able to operate in the air, in or under the water or on land, either remotely or autonomously, and without a human occupant.

HB 2710 – Chapter 686 – Law Enforcement & State Preemption

AN ACT

Relating to drones; and declaring an emergency.

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

DEFINITIONS

SECTION 1. As used in sections 1 to 17 of this 2013 Act:

“Drone” means an unmanned flying machine. “Drone” does not include a model aircraft as defined in section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-95) as in effect on the effective date of this 2013 Act.

“Law enforcement agency” means an agency that employs police officers, as defined in ORS 133.525, or that prosecutes offenses.

“Public body” has the meaning given that term in ORS 174.109.

“Warrant” means a warrant issued under ORS 133.525 to 133.703.

USE OF DRONES BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

SECTION 2. (1) Except as otherwise provided in sections 2 to 7 of this 2013 Act, a law enforcement agency may not operate a drone, acquire information through the operation of a drone or disclose information acquired through the operation of a drone.

Any image or other information that is acquired through the use of a drone by a law enforcement agency in violation of sections 2 to 7 of this 2013 Act, and any evidence derived from that image or information:

Is not admissible in, and may not be disclosed in, a judicial proceeding, administrative proceeding, arbitration proceeding or other adjudicatory proceeding; and

(b) May not be used to establish reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed.

SECTION 3. (1) A law enforcement agency may operate a drone, acquire information through the operation of a drone, or disclose information acquired through the operation of a drone, if:

A warrant is issued authorizing use of a drone; or

(b) The law enforcement agency has probable cause to believe that a person has committed a crime, is committing a crime or is about to commit a crime, and exigent circumstances exist that make it unreasonable for the law enforcement agency to obtain a warrant authorizing use of a drone.

A warrant authorizing the use of a drone must specify the period for which operation of the drone is authorized. In no event may a warrant provide for the operation of a drone for a period of more than 30 days. Upon motion and good cause shown, a court may renew a warrant after the expiration of the 30-day period.

SECTION 4. A law enforcement agency may operate a drone for the purpose of acquiring information about an individual, or about the individual’s property, if the individual has given written consent to the use of a drone for those purposes.

SECTION 5. (1) A law enforcement agency may operate a drone, acquire information through the operation of a drone, or disclose information acquired through the operation of a drone, for the purpose of search and rescue activities, as defined in ORS 404.200.

A law enforcement agency may operate a drone, acquire information through the operation of a drone, or disclose information acquired through the operation of a drone, for the purpose of assisting an individual in an emergency if:

The law enforcement agency reasonably believes that there is an imminent threat to the life or safety of the individual, and documents the factual basis for that belief; and

(b) Not more than 48 hours after the emergency operation begins, an official of the law enforcement agency files a sworn statement with the circuit court that describes the nature of the emergency and the need for use of a drone.

A law enforcement agency may operate a drone, acquire information through the operation of a drone, or disclose information acquired through the operation of a drone, during a state of emergency that is declared by the Governor under ORS chapter 401 if:

The drone is used only for the purposes of preserving public safety, protecting property or conducting surveillance for the assessment and evaluation of environmental or weather related damage, erosion or contamination; and

(b) The drone is operated only in the geographical area specified in a proclamation pursuant to ORS 401.165 (5).

SECTION 6. (1) A law enforcement agency may operate a drone, acquire information through the operation of a drone, or disclose information acquired through the operation of a drone, for the purpose of reconstruction of a specific crime scene, or similar physical assessment, related to a specific criminal investigation.

The period that a law enforcement agency may operate a drone under this section may not exceed five days for the purpose of reconstruction of a specific crime scene, or similar physical assessment, related to a specific criminal investigation.

SECTION 7. (1) A law enforcement agency may operate a drone for the purpose of training in:

The use of drones; and

(b) The acquisition of information through the operation of a drone.

Any image or other information that is acquired through the use of a drone by a law enforcement agency under this section, and any evidence derived from that image or information:

Is not admissible in, and may not be disclosed in, a judicial proceeding, administrative proceeding, arbitration proceeding or other adjudicatory proceeding; and

(b) May not be used to establish reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed.

REGISTRATION OF DRONES USED BY PUBLIC BODIES

SECTION 8. (1) A public body may not operate a drone in the airspace over this state without registering the drone with the Oregon Department of Aviation.

The Oregon Department of Aviation may impose a civil penalty of up to $10,000 against a public body that violates subsection (1) of this section.

Evidence obtained by a public body through the use of a drone in violation of subsection (1) of this section is not admissible in any judicial or administrative proceeding and may not be used to establish reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed.

The Oregon Department of Aviation shall establish a registry of drones operated by public bodies and may charge a fee sufficient to reimburse the department for the maintenance of the registry.

The Oregon Department of Aviation shall require the following information for registration of a drone:

The name of the public body that owns or operates the drone.

(b) The name and contact information of the individuals who operate the drone.

(c) Identifying information for the drone as required by the department by rule.

A public body that registers one or more drones under this section shall provide an annual report to the Oregon Department of Aviation that summarizes:

The frequency of use of the drones by the public body during the preceding calendar year; and

(b) The purposes for which the drones have been used by the public body during the preceding calendar year.

The State Aviation Board may adopt all rules necessary for the registration of drones in Oregon that are consistent with federal laws and regulations.

SECTION 9. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, section 8 of this 2013 Act becomes operative January 2, 2016.

The Oregon Department of Aviation and the State Aviation Board may take any action before January 2, 2016, including the adoption of rules, that is necessary to allow implementation of section 8 of this 2013 Act on January 2, 2016.

PROHIBITION ON USE OF WEAPONIZED DRONES BY PUBLIC BODIES

SECTION 10. A public body may not operate a drone that is capable of firing a bullet or other projectile, directing a laser or otherwise being used as a weapon.

USE OF INFORMATION ACQUIRED BY PUBLIC BODY DRONES

SECTION 11. Any image or other information that is acquired by a public body through the use of a drone that has not been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, and any evidence derived from that image or information:

Is not admissible in, and may not be disclosed in, a judicial proceeding, administrative proceeding, arbitration proceeding or other adjudicatory proceeding; and

May not be used to establish reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed.

SECTION 12. Section 11 of this 2013 Act is repealed January 2, 2016.

CRIMES INVOLVING DRONES

SECTION 13. (1) A person commits a Class A felony if the person possesses or controls a drone and intentionally causes, or attempts to cause, the drone to:

Fire a bullet or other projectile at an aircraft while the aircraft is in the air;

(b) Direct a laser at an aircraft while the aircraft is in the air; or

(c) Crash into an aircraft while the aircraft is in the air.

A person who intentionally interferes with, or gains unauthorized control over, a drone licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration, or operated by the Armed Forces of the United States as defined in ORS 351.642, an agency of the United States or a federal, state or local law enforcement agency, commits a Class C felony.

CIVIL REMEDIES

SECTION 14. In addition to any other remedies allowed by law, a person who intentionally interferes with, or gains unauthorized control over, a drone licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration, or operated by the Armed Forces of the United States as defined in ORS 351.642, an agency of the United States or a federal, state or local law enforcement agency, is liable to the owner of the drone in an amount of not less than $5,000. The court shall award reasonable attorney fees to a prevailing plaintiff in an action under this section.

SECTION 15. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person who owns or lawfully occupies real property in this state may bring an action against any person or public body that operates a drone that is flown at a height of less than 400 feet over the property if:

The operator of the drone has flown the drone over the property at a height of less than 400 feet on at least one previous occasion; and

(b) The person notified the owner or operator of the drone that the person did not want the drone flown over the property at a height of less than 400 feet.

A person may not bring an action under this section if:

The drone is lawfully in the flight path for landing at an airport, airfield or runway; and

(b) The drone is in the process of taking off or landing.

A prevailing plaintiff may recover treble damages for any injury to the person or the property by reason of a trespass by a drone as described in this section, and may be awarded injunctive relief in the action.

A prevailing plaintiff may recover attorney fees under ORS 20.080 if the amount pleaded in an action under this section is $10,000 or less.

The Attorney General, on behalf of the State of Oregon, may bring an action or claim for relief alleging nuisance or trespass arising from the operation of a drone in the airspace over this state. A court shall award reasonable attorney fees to the Attorney General if the Attorney General prevails in an action under this section.

APPLICABILITY TO ARMED FORCES

SECTION 16. Sections 1 to 17 of this 2013 Act do not apply to the Armed Forces of the United States as defined in ORS 351.642.

PREEMPTION OF LOCAL LAWS REGULATING DRONES

SECTION 17. Except as expressly authorized by state statute, the authority to regulate the ownership or operation of drones is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly. Except as expressly authorized by state statute, a local government, as defined ORS 174.116, may not enact an ordinance or resolution that regulates the ownership or operation of drones or otherwise engage in the regulation of the ownership or operation of drones.

REPORT TO LEGISLATURE

SECTION 18. On or before November 1, 2014, the Oregon Department of Aviation shall report to a joint interim committee of the Legislative Assembly related to the judiciary, or other appropriate interim committees, on:

The status of federal regulations relating to unmanned aerial vehicles; and

Whether unmanned aerial vehicles operated by private parties should be registered in Oregon in a manner similar to that required for other aircraft.

CAPTIONS

SECTION 19. The unit captions used in this 2013 Act are provided only for the convenience of the reader and do not become part of the statutory law of this state or express any legislative intent in the enactment of this 2013 Act.

EMERGENCY CLAUSE

SECTION 20. This 2013 Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is declared to exist, and this 2013 Act takes effect on its passage.

HB 4066 – Chapter 72 – Various Drone Regulations

AN ACT

Relating to unmanned aircraft systems; creating new provisions; amending ORS 163.700, 164.885, 498.128, 837.300, 837.360, 837.365 and 837.380; and declaring an emergency.

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

DEFINITION OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM

SECTION 1. ORS 837.300 is amended to read: 837.300. As used in ORS 837.300 to 837.390 and 837.995:

[(1) “Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned flying machine, commonly known as a drone. “Unmanned aircraft system” does not include a model aircraft as defined in section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-95) as in effect on July 29, 2013.]

“Aircraft” has the meaning given that term in ORS 836.005.

“Law enforcement agency” means an agency that employs [police] peace officers, as defined in [ORS 133.525] ORS 133.005, or that prosecutes offenses.

“Public body” has the meaning given that term in ORS 174.109.

“Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned flying machine, commonly known as a drone, and its associated elements, including communication links and the components that control the machine.

[(4)] (5) “Warrant” means a warrant issued under ORS 133.525 to 133.703.

WEAPONIZED UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

SECTION 2. ORS 837.365 is amended to read:

837.365. [A public body may not operate an unmanned aircraft system that is capable of firing a bullet or other projectile, directing a laser or otherwise being used as a weapon.] A person commits a Class A misdemeanor if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly operates an unmanned aircraft system that is capable of firing a bullet or projectile or otherwise operates an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes the system to function as a dangerous weapon as defined in ORS 161.015.

UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS AND AIRCRAFT

FREE Part 107 Training Videos

SECTION 3. ORS 164.885 is amended to read:

164.885. (1) A person commits the crime of endangering aircraft in the first degree if the person knowingly:

Throws an object at, or drops an object upon, an aircraft;

(b) Discharges a bow and arrow, gun, airgun or firearm at or toward an aircraft;

(c) Tampers with an aircraft or a part, system, machine or substance used to operate an aircraft in such a manner as to impair the safety, efficiency or operation of an aircraft without the consent of the owner, operator or possessor of the aircraft; or

(d) Places, sets, arms or causes to be discharged a spring gun, trap, explosive device or explosive material with the intent of damaging, destroying or discouraging the operation of an aircraft.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, a person commits the crime of endangering aircraft in the second degree if the person knowingly possesses a firearm or deadly weapon in a restricted access area of a commercial service airport that has at least 2 million passenger boardings per calendar year.

(b) Paragraph (a) of this subsection does not apply to a person authorized under federal law or an airport security program to possess a firearm or deadly weapon in a restricted access area.

(a) Endangering aircraft in the first degree is a Class C felony.

(b) Endangering aircraft in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

As used in this section[,]:

“Aircraft” does not include an unmanned aircraft system as defined in ORS 837.300.

(b) “Restricted access area” means an area of a commercial service airport that is:

[(a)] (A) Designated as restricted in the airport security program approved by the federal Transportation Security Administration; and

[(b)] (B) Marked at points of entry with signs giving notice that access to the area is restricted.

SECTION 4. Section 5 of this 2016 Act is added to and made a part of ORS 837.300 to 837.390.

SECTION 5. Reckless interference with aircraft; penalty. A person commits a Class A violation if the person possesses or controls an unmanned aircraft system and recklessly causes the unmanned aircraft system to:

Direct a laser at an aircraft while the aircraft is in the air;

Crash into an aircraft while the aircraft is in the air; or

Prevent the takeoff or landing of an aircraft.

USE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS BY PUBLIC BODIES

SECTION 6. Section 7 of this 2016 Act is added to and made a part of ORS 837.300 to 837.390.

SECTION 7. Policies and procedures for use of data. (1) A public body that operates an unmanned aircraft system shall establish policies and procedures for the use, storage, accessing, sharing and retention of data, including but not limited to video and audio recordings, resulting from the operation of the unmanned aircraft system.

The public body shall post the following information on the public body’s website or otherwise make the following information available to the public:

The policies and procedures established under this section.

(b) The text of ORS 192.501.

The policies and procedures established under this section must include:

The length of time data will be retained by the public body.

(b) Specifications for third party storage of data, including handling, security and access to the data by the third party.

(c) A policy on disclosure of data through intergovernmental agreements.

SECTION 8. ORS 837.360 is amended to read:

837.360. (1) A public body may not operate an unmanned aircraft system in the airspace over this state without registering the unmanned aircraft system with the Oregon Department of Aviation.

The Oregon Department of Aviation may impose a civil penalty of up to $10,000 against a public body that violates subsection (1) of this section.

Evidence obtained by a public body through the use of an unmanned aircraft system in violation of subsection (1) of this section is not admissible in any judicial or administrative proceeding and may not be used to establish reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed.

The Oregon Department of Aviation shall establish a registry of unmanned aircraft systems operated by public bodies and may charge a fee sufficient to reimburse the department for the maintenance of the registry.

The Oregon Department of Aviation shall require the following information for registration of an unmanned aircraft system:

The name of the public body that owns or operates the unmanned aircraft system. (b) The name and contact information of the individuals who operate the unmanned aircraft system.

(c) Identifying information for the unmanned aircraft system as required by the department by rule.

A public body that registers one or more unmanned aircraft systems under this section shall provide an annual report to the Oregon Department of Aviation that [summarizes]:

Summarizes the frequency of use of the unmanned aircraft systems by the public body during the preceding calendar year; [and](b) Summarizes the purposes for which the unmanned aircraft systems have been used by the public body during the preceding calendar year[.]; and

(c) Indicates how the public can access the policies and procedures established under section 7 of this 2016 Act.

The State Aviation Board may adopt all rules necessary for the registration of unmanned aircraft systems in Oregon that are consistent with federal laws and regulations.

SECTION 9. (1) Section 7 of this 2016 Act and the amendments to ORS 837.360 by section 8 of this 2016 Act become operative on January 1, 2017.

A public body may take any action before the operative date specified in subsection (1) of this section that is necessary to enable the public body to exercise, on and after the operative date specified in subsection (1) of this section, all the duties, functions and powers conferred on the public body by section 7 of this 2016 Act and the amendments to ORS 837.360 by section 8 of this 2016 Act.

USE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES

SECTION 10. ORS 837.380 is amended to read:

837.380. (1) Except as provided in [subsection (2)] subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a person who owns or lawfully occupies real property in this state may bring an action against any person or public body that operates an unmanned aircraft system that is flown over the property if:

The operator of the unmanned aircraft system has flown the unmanned aircraft system over the property on at least one previous occasion; and

(b) The person notified the owner or operator of the unmanned aircraft system that the person did not want the unmanned aircraft system flown over the property.

A person may not bring an action under this section if:

The unmanned aircraft system is lawfully in the flight path for landing at an airport, airfield or runway; and

(b) The unmanned aircraft system is in the process of taking off or landing.

A person may not bring an action under this section if the unmanned aircraft system is operated for commercial purposes in compliance with authorization granted by the Federal Aviation Administration. This subsection does not preclude a person from bringing another civil action, including but not limited to an action for invasion of privacy or an action for invasion of personal privacy under ORS 30.865.

[(3)] (4) A prevailing plaintiff may recover treble damages for any injury to the person or the property by reason of a trespass by an unmanned aircraft system as described in this section, and may be awarded injunctive relief in the action. [(4)] (5) A prevailing plaintiff may recover attorney fees under ORS 20.080 if the amount pleaded in an action under this section is $10,000 or less. [(5)] (6) The Attorney General, on behalf of the State of Oregon, may bring an action or claim for relief alleging nuisance or trespass arising from the operation of an unmanned aircraft system in the airspace over this state. A court shall award reasonable attorney fees to the Attorney General if the Attorney General prevails in an action under this section.

SECTION 11. ORS 163.700 is amended to read:

163.700. (1) Except as provided in ORS 163.702, a person commits the crime of invasion of personal privacy in the second degree if:

(A) For the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of the person, the person is in a location to observe another person in a state of nudity without the consent of the other person; and

(B) The other person is in a place and circumstances where the person has a reasonable expectation of personal privacy; or

(b)(A) The person knowingly makes or records a photograph, motion picture, videotape or other visual recording of another person’s intimate area without the consent of the other person; and

(B) The person being recorded has a reasonable expectation of privacy concerning the intimate area.

As used in this section and ORS 163.701:

(a) “Intimate area” means nudity, or undergarments that are being worn by a person and are covered by clothing.

(b) “Makes or records a photograph, motion picture, videotape or other visual recording” includes, but is not limited to[,]:

Making or recording or employing, authorizing, permitting, compelling or inducing another person to make or record a photograph, motion picture, videotape or other visual recording.

(B) Making or recording a photograph, motion picture, videotape or other visual recording through the use of an unmanned aircraft system as defined in ORS 837.300, even if the unmanned aircraft system is operated for commercial purposes in compliance with authorization granted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

(c) “Nudity” means any part of the uncovered or less than opaquely covered:

Genitals;

(B) Pubic area; or

(C) Female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola.

(d) “Places and circumstances where the person has a reasonable expectation of personal privacy” includes, but is not limited to, a bathroom, dressing room, locker room that includes an enclosed area for dressing or showering, tanning booth and any area where a person undresses in an enclosed space that is not open to public view.

(e) “Public view” means that an area can be readily seen and that a person within the area can be distinguished by normal unaided vision when viewed from a public place as defined in ORS 161.015.

(f) “Reasonable expectation of privacy concerning the intimate area” means that the person intended to protect the intimate area from being seen and has not exposed the intimate area to public view.

Invasion of personal privacy in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITIES

SECTION 12. Section 13 of this 2016 Act is added to and made a part of ORS 837.300 to 837.390.

SECTION 13. (1) As used in this section, “critical infrastructure facility” means any of the following facilities, if completely enclosed by a fence or other physical barrier that is obviously designed to exclude intruders, or if marked with a sign conspicuously posted on the property that indicates that entry is forbidden:

A petroleum or alumina refinery;

(b) An electrical power generating facility, substation, switching station or electrical control center;

(c) A chemical, polymer or rubber manufacturing facility;

(d) A water intake structure, water treatment facility, wastewater treatment plant or pump station;

(e) A natural gas compressor station;

(f) A liquid natural gas terminal or storage facility;

(g) A telecommunications central switching office;

(h) A port, railroad switching yard, trucking terminal or other freight transportation facility;

(i) A gas processing plant, including a plant used in the processing, treatment or fractionation of natural gas;

(j) A transmission facility used by a federally licensed radio or television station;

(k) A steelmaking facility that uses an electric arc furnace to make steel;

(L) A dam that is classified as a high hazard by the Water Resources Department;

(m) Any portion of an aboveground oil, gas or chemical pipeline that is enclosed by a fence or other physical barrier that is obviously designed to exclude intruders; or

(n) A correctional facility or law enforcement facility.

Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, a person commits a Class A violation if the person intentionally or knowingly:

Operates an unmanned aircraft system over a critical infrastructure facility at an altitude not higher than 400 feet above ground level; or

(b) Allows an unmanned aircraft system to make contact with a critical infrastructure facility, including any person or object on the premises of or within the facility.

This section does not apply to:

The federal government.

(b) A public body.

(c) A law enforcement agency.

(d) A person under contract with or otherwise acting under the direction or on behalf of the federal government, a public body or a law enforcement agency.

(e) An owner or operator of the critical infrastructure facility.

(f) A person who has the prior written consent of the owner or operator of the critical infrastructure facility.

(g) The owner or occupant of the property on which the critical infrastructure facility is located.

(h) A person who has the prior written consent of the owner or occupant of the property on which the critical infrastructure facility is located.

(i) A person operating an unmanned aircraft system for commercial purposes in compliance with authorization granted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

CONFORMING AMENDMENTS

SECTION 14. ORS 498.128 is amended to read:

498.128. (1) The State Fish and Wildlife Commission shall adopt rules prohibiting the use of drones for the following purposes related to the pursuit of wildlife:

Angling;

(b) Hunting;

(c) Trapping;

(d) Aiding angling, hunting or trapping through the use of drones to harass, track, locate or scout wildlife; and

(e) Interfering in the acts of a person who is lawfully angling, hunting or trapping.

Rules adopted to carry out the prohibitions provided for in this section may include exemptions for:

Subject to ORS 837.360 [and 837.365], the State Department of Fish and Wildlife and the department’s agents and contractors for the use of drones in carrying out the duties of the department; or

(b) The use of drones in a manner otherwise prohibited under this section if the purpose of the use is to benefit wildlife management or habitat or for the protection of property.

Nothing in this section is meant to limit the use of drones by a person who is lawfully engaging in activities authorized under the commercial fishing laws.

As used in this section, “drone” means:

An unmanned flying machine;

(b) An unmanned water-based vehicle; or

(c) Any other vehicle that is able to operate in the air, in or under the water or on land, either remotely or autonomously, and without a human occupant.

CAPTIONS

SECTION 15. The unit and section captions used in this 2016 Act are provided only for the convenience of the reader and do not become part of the statutory law of this state or express any legislative intent in the enactment of this 2016 Act.

EMERGENCY CLAUSE

SECTION 16. This 2016 Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is declared to exist, and this 2016 Act takes effect on its passage.

ORS 837.374 – Reckless Interference With Aircraft

Reckless interference with aircraft; penalty. A person commits a Class A violation if the person possesses or controls an unmanned aircraft system and recklessly causes the unmanned aircraft system to:

Direct a laser at an aircraft while the aircraft is in the air;

Crash into an aircraft while the aircraft is in the air; or

Prevent the takeoff or landing of an aircraft.

ORS 837.375 – Interference With An Unmanned Aircraft System

In addition to any other remedies allowed by law, a person who intentionally interferes with, or gains unauthorized control over, an unmanned aircraft system licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration, or operated by the Armed Forces of the United States as defined in ORS 352.313, an agency of the United States or a federal, state or local law enforcement agency, is liable to the owner of the unmanned aircraft system in an amount of not less than $5,000.

[2013 c.686 §14; 2015 c.315 §10]

ORS 837.380 – Action By Owner of Real Property

(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a person who owns or lawfully occupies real property in this state may bring an action against any person or public body that operates an unmanned aircraft system that is flown over the property if;

The operator o the unmanned aircraft system has flown the unmanned aircraft system over the property on at least one previous occasion; and

The person notified the owner or operator of the unmanned aircraft system that the person did not want the unmanned aircraft system flown over the property.

(2) A person may not bring an action under this section if:

The unmanned aircraft system is lawfully in the flight path for landing at an airport, airfield, or runway; and

The unmanned aircraft system is in the process of taking off or landing.

A person may not bring an action under this section if the unmanned aircraft system is operated for commercial purposes in compliance with authorization granted by the Federal Aviation Administration. This subsection does not preclude a person from bringing another civil action, including but not limited to an action for invasion of privacy or an action for invasion of personal privacy under ORS 30.865.

A prevailing plaintiff may recover treble damages for any injury to the person or the property by reason of a trespass by an unmanned aircraft system as described in this section, and may be awarded injunctive relief in the action.

A prevailing plaintiff may recover attorney fees under ORS 20.080 if the amount pleaded in an action under this section is $10,000 or less.

The Attorney General, on behalf of the State of Oregon, may bring an action or claim for relief alleging nuisance or trespass arising from the operation of an unmanned aircraft system in the airspace over this state. A court shall award reasonable attorney fees to the Attorney General if the Attorney General prevails in an action under this section.

[2013 c.686 §15; 2015 c.315 §11; 2016 c.72 §10]

Other Legal Issues With Drones in Oregon

At this time of writing, there are currently a number of bills in circulation within the state of Oregon surrounding drones.

HB 2709 – / – Wildlife Protection

SUMMARY

The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor’s brief statement of the essential features of the measure as introduced.

Permits law enforcement agency to use unmanned aircraft system for purpose of investigating unlawful taking of wildlife.

A BILL FOR AN ACT

Relating to unmanned aircraft systems.

Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION 1. Section 2 of this 2017 Act is added to and made a part of ORS 837.310 to 837.345.

SECTION 2. Not withstanding ORS 837.310, a law enforcement agency may operate an unmanned aircraft system, acquire information through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system or disclose information acquired through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system for the purpose of investigating a reasonable suspicion that a person has committed the unlawful taking of wildlife in violation of ORS 498.002.

HB 3049 – / – Harassment and Aerial Trespassing

SUMMARY

The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor’s brief statement of the essential features of the measure.

Provides that person may not operate unmanned aircraft system [so that unmanned aircraft system hovers over privately owned premises of another for more than 60 seconds] over privately owned premises in manner so as to harass or unreasonably annoy owner or occupant of premises. Provides [exceptions] exception. Makes violation punishable by maximum of $1,000 fine. Declares emergency, effective on passage.

A BILL FOR AN ACT

Relating to unmanned aircraft systems; and declaring an emergency.

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION 1. Section 2 of this 2017 Act is added to and made a part of ORS 837.300 to 837.390.

SECTION 2. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person may not operate an unmanned aircraft system over the boundaries of privately owned premises in a manner so as to harass or unreasonably annoy the owner or occupant of the privately owned premises.

Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to the use of an unmanned aircraft system by a law enforcement agency under ORS 837.335.

Violation of subsection (1) of this section is a Class B violation.

SECTION 3. This 2017 Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is declared to exist, and this 2017 Act takes effect on its passage.

SB 757 – / – State Agency Rules

SUMMARY

The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the measure is not a part of the body thereof subject to consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor’s brief statement of the essential features of the measure as introduced.

Modifies registration requirements for unmanned aircraft systems used by public educational institutions.

A BILL FOR AN ACT

Relating to unmanned aircraft systems; amending ORS 837.360.

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION 1. ORS 837.360, as amended by section 8 chapter 72, Oregon Laws 2016, is amended to read:

837.360. 1) A public body may not operate an unmanned aircraft system in the airspace over this state without registering the unmanned aircraft system with the Oregon Department of Aviation.

The Oregon Department of Aviation may impose a civil penalty of up to $10,000 against a public body that violates subsection (1) of this section.

Evidence obtained by a public body through the use of an unmanned aircraft system in violation of subsection (1) of this section is not admissible in any judicial or administrative proceeding and may not be used to establish reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, the Oregon Department of Aviation shall establish a registry of unmanned aircraft systems operated by public bodies and may charge a fee sufficient to reimburse the department for the maintenance of the registry.

(b) A public educational institution may register all of the unmanned aircraft systems used by a single instructor at the institution for a fee of $5. Registration under this paragraph must be renewed every three years.

The Oregon Department of Aviation shall require the following information for registration of an unmanned aircraft system:

The name of the public body that owns or operates the unmanned aircraft system.

The name and contact information of the individuals who operate the unmanned aircraft system.

Identifying information for the unmanned aircraft system as required by the department rule.

A public body that registers one or more unmanned aircraft systems under this section shall provide an annual report to the Oregon Department of Aviation that;

Summarizes the frequency of use of the unmanned aircraft systems by the public body during the proceeding calendar year;

Summarizes the purpose for which the unmanned aircraft systems have been used by the public body during the preceding calendar year; and

Indicates how the public can access the policies and procedures established under section 7, chapter 72, Oregon Laws 2016.

The State Aviation Board may adopt all rules necessary for the registration of unmanned aircraft systems in Oregon that are consistent with federal laws and regulations.

HB 3046 – / – Law Enforcement Limits

SUMMARY

The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor’s brief statement of the essential features of the measure as introduced.

Prohibits law enforcement agency from requesting that another public body acquire information through operation of unmanned aircraft system, commonly known as drone. Provides exceptions. Declares emergency, effective on passage.

A BILL FOR AN ACT

Relating to unmanned aircraft systems; creating new provisions; amending ORS 837.310; and declaring an emergency.

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION 1. ORS 837.310 is amended to read:

837.310 (1) Except as otherwise provided in ORS 837.310 to 837.345[,]:

(a) A law enforcement agency may not operate an unmanned aircraft system, acquire information through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system or disclose information acquired through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system.

(b) A law enforcement agency may not request that another public body acquire information through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system unless:

The law enforcement agency and the other public body have entered into an intergovernmental agreement for a specific joint investigation; or

The request is narrowly tailored as to time and location.

Any image or other information that is acquired through the use of an unmanned aircraft system [by a law enforcement agency] in violation or ORS 837.310 to 837.345, and any evidence derived from that image or information;

Is not admissible in, and may not be disclosed in, a judicial proceeding, administrative proceeding, arbitration proceeding or other adjudicatory proceeding; and

May not be used to establish reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed.

SECTION 2. Information acquired in violation of ORS 837.310, as amended by section 1 of this 2017 Act, is inadmissible and may not be disclosed in proceedings and may not be used to establish reasonable suspicion or probable cause, as provided in ORS 837.310 (2), whether acquired before, on or after the effective date of this 2017 Act.

SECTION 3. This 2017 Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is declared to exist, and this 2017 Act takes effect on its passage.

HB 3048 – / – Harassment

SUMMARY

The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor’s brief statement of the essential features of the measure as introduced.

Prohibits person from operating unmanned aircraft system, commonly known as drone, so that drone comes within 50 feet of individual without consent of individual. Established exceptions. Makes violation punishable by $1,000 fine.

A BILL FOR AN ACT

Relating to unmanned aircraft systems.

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION 1. Section 2 of this 2017 Act is added to and made a part of ORS 837.300 to 837.390.

SECTION 2. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person may not operate an unmanned aircraft system so that the unmanned flying machine comes within 50 feet of any individual without the consent of the individual.

Subsection (1) or this section does not apply to:

An unmanned flying machine that is taking off or landing.

Use of an unmanned aircraft system by a law enforcement agency under ORS 837.335.

Violation of subsection (1) of this section is a Class B violation.

FAQ on Oregon Law and Drones

drone laws oregon faq

If you do not see your question, or an answer to it, listed below, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll gladly give you one.

Is a drone/UAS considered the same as a model aircraft?

The United States Congress has defined and concluded that a model aircraft is only considered a drone or a UAS when the following points are met:

  • It’s flown for recreational purposes or as a hobby and not for any business or commercial reasons
  • It’s flown within visible distance, meaning being able to see it at all times, of the individual operating it
  • It’s capable of sustaining flight within the atmosphere, meaning that it can fly

If your model aircraft, regardless of whether or not you acquired it pre-built or built it yourself, meets the above points to your knowledge, it’s considered a drone/UAS.

What is the Small UAS Rule?

The Small UAS Rule requires those who have unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, that weigh less than 55 pounds, payload included, to register their aircraft with the FAA. This only applies to recreational or hobby fliers and not commercial drone use, however.

Is the FAA’s Small UAS Rule still in effect?

Yes, it has been in effect from August 29th of 2016 and is still in effect at this time of writing.

Do I have to carry my Certificate of Aircraft Registration while flying my UAS at all times?

Yes, you must have the registration certificate from the FAA at all times during flight operation. In accordance with federal law, all UAS operators must show their certificate of registration to any local, state, or federal law enforcement officer when they are asked to do so.

What do I do for registration if my UAS is over the 55-pound limit?

If your UAS weighs more than 55 pounds, including payload, you will need to register it by clicking here.

sUAS Service Agreement

Drone Laws in Oregon

Knowing the laws, regulations, restrictions, etc., regarding drones in your state is extremely important. Remember to educate yourself, follow the rules, fly safely and responsibly, and have fun!

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