Drone Laws in Utah

drone laws in utah

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 Utah

Utah is a state that is lush with state parks to fly your drone in. However, each has their own set of rules and regulations when it comes to when and where you fly your drone, as well as whether or not it’s free to do so. For example, drones are allowed to fly during the winter months at Dead Horse Point State Park for a $25 fee. During the rest of the year, however, flying a drone is prohibited in the park.

St. George, Utah has a ton of spacious, open areas that allow you to really spread your wings and fly. The desert areas are perfect for exploring with your drone. If you’re lucky, you may even stumble upon the infamous Dixie Rock!

flying over utah - utah drone laws

The Registering Process in Utah

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.

registering process in utah - drone laws in utah

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 Utah

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.

Proximity to Airports in Utah - drone laws in utah

This is enacted nationwide, not only in Utah, 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 Utah

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

HB 217 – Livestock Harassment

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

Section 1. Section 76-9-308 is enacted to read:

76-9-308. Harassment of livestock.

(1) As used in this section:

(a) “Livestock” has the same meaning as that term is defined in Subsection 76-9-301 (1).

(b) “Unmanned aircraft system” has the same meaning as that term is defined in Subsection 63G-18-102(5)(a).

(2) Except as provided in Subsection (3), a person is guilty of harassment of livestock if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly chases, with the intent of causing distress, or harms livestock through the use of.

(a) A motorized vehicle or all-terrain vehicle;

(b) A dog; or

(c) An unmanned aircraft system.

(3) A person is not guilty of harassment of livestock if;

The person is:

(i) The owner of the livestock;

(ii) An employee or agent of the owner, or otherwise acting under the owner’s general direction or with the owner’s permission;

(iii) Acting in an emergency situation to prevent damage to the livestock or property; or

(iv) An employee or agent of the state or a political subdivision and acting in the employee or agent’s official capacity; or

(b) The action is in line with generally accepted animal husbandry practices.

(4) A person who violates this section is guilty of:

(a) A class B misdemeanor if the violation is a first offense and:

(i) The person has previously been convicted of harassment of livestock under this section;

(ii) Livestock is seriously injured or killed as a result of the person’s actions; or

(iii) Livestock or property suffered damage in excess of $1,000, including money spent in recovering the livestock, as a result of the person’s actions.

SB 111 – Chapter 14 – Unmanned Aircraft Amendments

CHAPTER 14. UNMANNED AIRCRAFT — DRONES

Part 1. General Provisions

72-14-101.

This chapter is known as “Unmanned Aircraft — Drones.”

Section 3. Section 72-14-102, which is renumbered from Section 63G-18-102 is renumbered and amended to read:

72-14-102. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

“Airport” means the same as that term is defined in Section 72-10-102.

“Airport operator” means the same as that term is defined in Section 72-10-102.

“Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is”

Capable of sustaining flight; and

Operated with no possible direct human intervention from on or within the aircraft.

“Unmanned aircraft system means the entire system used to operate an unmanned aircraft, including:

The unmanned aircraft, including payload;

Communications equipment;

Navigation equipment;

Controllers;

Support equipment; and

Autopilot functionality.

Section 4. Section 72-14-103 is enacted to read:

72-14-103. Preemption of local ordinance.

A political subdivision of the state, or an entity within a political subdivision of the state, may not enact a law, ordinance, or rule governing the private use of an unmanned aircraft unless:

Authorized by this chapter; or

The political subdivision or entity is an airport operator that enacts the law, rule, or ordinance to govern;

(i) The operation of an unmanned aircraft within the geographic boundaries of the airport over which the airport operator has authority; or

(ii) The takeoff or landing of an unmanned aircraft at the airport over which the airport operator has authority.

This chapter supersedes any law, ordinance, or rule enacted by a political subdivision of the state before July 1, 2017.

Section 5. Section 72-14-104 is enacted to read:

72-14-104. Applicability.

This chapter does not apply to a person or business entity:

Using an unmanned aircraft for legitimate educational or business purposes; and

Operating the unmanned aircraft system in a manner consistent with applicable Federal Aviation Administration rules, exemptions, or other authorizations.

Part 2. Law Enforcement Use of Unmanned Aircraft

72-14-201.

This part is known as “Law Enforcement Use of Unmanned Aircraft.”

Section 7. Section 72-14-202 is enacted to read:

72-14-202. Definitions.

As used in this part:

“Civilian” means a person that is not a law enforcement officer.

“Law enforcement agency” means the same as that term is defined in Section 53-3-102.

“Law enforcement officer” means the same as that term is defined in Section 53-13-103.

“Target” means a person upon whom, or an object, structure, or area upon which, another person:

Has intentionally collected or attempted to collect information through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system; or

Intends to collect or to attempt to collect information through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system.

Section 8. Section 72-14-203, which is renumbered from Section 63G-18-103 is renumbered and amended to read:

72-14-203. Unmanned aircraft system use requirements — Exceptions

A law enforcement agency or officer may not obtain, receive, or use data acquired through an unmanned aircraft system unless the data is obtained:

Pursuant to a search warrant;

In accordance with judicially recognized exceptions to warrant requirements;

Subject to Section (2), from a person who is a nongovernment actor;

To locate a lost or missing person in an area in which a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy; or

For purposes unrelated to a criminal investigation.

A law enforcement officer or agency may only use for law enforcement purposes data obtained from a nongovernment actor if:

The data appears to pertain to the commission of a crime; or

The law enforcement agency or officer believes, in good faith, that:

(i) The data pertains to an imminent or ongoing emergency involving the danger of death or serious bodily injury to an individual; and

(ii) Disclosing the data would assist in remedying the emergency.

A law enforcement agency or officer that obtains, receives, or uses data acquired through the use of unmanned aircraftsystem or through Subsection (2) shall destroy the data as soon as reasonably possible after the law enforcement agency or officer obtains, receives, or uses the data subject to an applicable retention schedule under Title 63G, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act, or a federal, state, or local law.

Section 9. Section 72-14-204, which is renumbered from Section 63G-18-104 is renumbered and amended to read:

72-14-204. Data Retention.

Except as provided in this section, a law enforcement agency:

May not use, copy, or disclose data collected by an unmanned aircraft system on a person, structure, or area that is not a target; and

In accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, shall ensure that data described in Subsection (1)(a) is destroyed as soon as reasonably possible after the law enforcement agency collects or receives the data.

A law enforcement agency is not required to comply with Subsection (1) if:

Deleting the data would also require the deletion of data that:

(i) Relates to the target of the operation; and

(ii) Is requisite for the success of the operation;

(b) The law enforcement agency receives the data:

(i) Through a court order that:

Requires a person to release the data to the law enforcement agency;

Prohibits the destruction of the data; or

(ii) From a person who is a nongovernment actor;

(c)(i) The data was collected inadvertently; and

(ii) The data appears to pertain to the commission of a crime;

(d)(i) The law enforcement agency reasonably determines that the data pertains to an emergency situation; and

(ii) Using or disclosing the data would assist in remedying the emergency;

(e) The data was collected through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system over public lands outside of municipal boundaries.

72-14-205. Reporting.

As used in this section, “law enforcement encounter” means the same as that term is defined in Section 77-7a-103.

A law enforcement officer or agency that operates an unmanned aircraft system while on duty or acting in the law enforcement officer’s or agency’s official capacity, or obtains or receives data in accordance with Section 72-14-203, shall document that following in any report or other official record of the law enforcement encounter:

The presence and use of the unmanned aircraft;

If any data acquired; and

If applicable, the person from whom data was received in accordance with Subsection 72-14-2032.

Section 11. Section 72-14-301 is enacted to read:

Part 3. Unlawful Use of Unmanned Aircraft

72-14-301.

This part is known as “Unlawful Use of Unmanned Aircraft.”

Section 12. Section 72-14-403 is enacted to read:

72.14.302. Reserved.

Reserved.

Section 13. Section 72-14-303 is enacted to read:

72-14-303. Weapon attached to unmanned aircraft — Penalties.

As used in this section “weapon” means:

A firearm as described in Section 76-10-501; or

An object that in the manner of the object’s use or intended use is capable of causing death, bodily injury, or damage to property, as determined according to the following factors:

(i) The location and circumstances in which the object is used or possessed;

(i) The primary purpose for which the object is made;

(iii) The character of the damage, if any, the object is likely to cause;

(iv) The manner in which the object is used;

(v) Whether the manner in which the object is used or possessed constitutes a potential imminent threat to public safety and;

(vi) The lawful purposes for which the object may be used.

(a) Except as provided in Subsection (3), a person may not fly an unmanned aircraft that carries a weapon or to which a weapon is attached,

(b) A person that violates Subsection (2)(a) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor;

A person may fly an unmanned aircraft that carries a weapon or to which a weapon is attached if the person;

(i) Obtains a certificate of authorization, or other written approval, from the Federal Aviation Administration authorizing the person to fly the unmanned aircraft that carries the weapon or to which the weapon is attached; and

(ii) Operates the unmanned aircraft in accordance with the certificate or authorication or other written approval;

(b)(i) Obtains a contract with the state or the federal government permitting the person to fly the unmanned aircraft that carries the weapon or to which the weapon is attached; and

(ii) Operates the unmanned aircraft in accordance with the contract; or

(c) Operates the unmanned aircraft that carries the weapon or to which the weapon is attached in airspace controlled by the United States Department of Defense, with the permission of the United States Department of Defense.

Section 14. Section 72-14-401 is enacted to read:

Part 4. Safe Use of Unmanned Aircraft

72-14-401.

This part is known as “Safe Use of Unmanned Aircraft.”

Section 15. Section 72-14-202 is enacted to read:

72-14-402. Reserved.

Reserved.

Section 16. Section 72-14-403 is enacted to read:

72-14-403. Safe operation of unmanned aircraft.

An individual who operates an unmanned aircraft system to fly an unmanned aircraft for recreational purposes shall comply with this section or 14 C.F.R. Sec. 101 Subpart E.

An individual operating an unmanned aircraft shall;

Maintain visual line of sight of the unmanned aircraft in order to:

(i) Know the location of the unmanned aircraft;

(ii) Determine the attitude, altitude, and direction of flight;

(iii) Observe the airspace for other air traffic or hazards; and

(iv) Determine that the unmanned aircraft does not endanger the life or property or another person;

(b) Ensure that the ability described in Subsection (2)(a)(i) is exercised by either;

(i) The operator of the unmanned aircraft; or

(ii) A visual observer

An individual may not operate an unmanned aircraft in Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport unless the operator of the unmanned aircraft has prior authorization from air traffic control.

An individual may not operate an unmanned aircraft in a manner that interferes with operations and traffic patterns at any airport, heliport, or seaplane base.

An individual may not operate an unmanned aircraft system:

From a public transit rail platform or station;

(i) Under a height of 50 feet within a public transit fixed guideway right-of-way; and

(ii) Directly above any overhead electric lines used to power a public transit rail vehicle.

An individual may not operate an unmanned aircraft in violation of a notice to airmen described in 14 C.F.R. Sec. 107.47.

An individual may not operate an unmanned aircraft at an altitude that is higher than 400 feet above ground level unless the unmanned aircraft:

Is flown within a 400-foot radius of a structure; and

Does not fly higher than 400 feet above the structure’s immediate uppermost limit.

(a) An individual who violates this section is liable for any damages that may result from the violation;

(b) A law enforcement officer shall issue a written warning to an individual who violates thus section who has not previously received a written warning for a violation of this section.

(c) Except as provided in Subsection (8)(d), an individual who violates this section after receiving a written warning for a previous violation of this section is guilty of an infraction.

(d) An individual who violates this section is guilty of a class B misdemeanor for each conviction of a violation of this section after the individual is convicted of an infraction or a misdemeanor for a previous violation of this section.

Section 17. Section 76-6-206 is amended to read:

76-6-206. Criminal trespass.

As used in this section;

“Enter” means intrusion of the entire body or the entire unmanned aircraft.

“Remain unlawfully” as that term relates to an unmanned aircraft, means remaining on or over private property when:

(i) The private property or any portion of the private property is not open to the public; and

(ii) The person operating the unmanned aircraft is not otherwise authorized to fly the unmanned aircraft over the private property or any portion of the private property.

A person is guilty of a criminal trespass if, under circumstances not amounting to burglary as defined in Section 76-6-202, 76-6-203, or 76-6-204 or a violation of Section 76-10-2402 regarding commercial obstruction:

The person enters or remains unlawfully on or causes an unmanned aircraft to enter and remain unlawfully over property and:

(i) Intends to cause annoyance or injury to any person or damage to any property, including the use of graffiti as defined in Section 76-6-107;

(ii) Intends to commit any crime, other than theft or a felony; or

(iii) Is reckless as to whether the person’s or unmanned aircraft’s presence will cause fear for the safety of another ;

(b) Knowing the person’s or unmanned aircraft’s entry or presence is unlawful, the person enters or remains on or causes an unmanned aircraft to enter or remain unlawfully over property to which notice against entering is given by:

(i) Personal communication to the person by the owner or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner;

(ii) Fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders; or

(iii) Posting of signs reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders;

(c) The person enters a condominium unit in violation of Subsection 57-8-7.

(a) A violation of Subsection (2)(a) or (b) is a class B misdemeanor unless the violation is committed in a dwelling, in which event the violation is a class A misdemeanor.

(b) A violation of Subsection (2)(c) is an infraction.

It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:

The property was at the time open to the public. And

The actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining on the property.

Section 18. Section 76-9-402 is amended to read:

76-9-402. Privacy violation.

A person is guilty of privacy violating if, except as authorized by law, the person:

Trespasses on property with intent to subject anyone to eavesdropping or other surveillance in a private place;

Installs, or uses after unauthorized installation in a private place, without the consent of the person or persons entitled to privacy in the private place, any device for observing, photographing, hearing, recording, amplifying, or broadcasting sounds or events in the private place; or

Installs or uses outside of a private place a device for observing, photographing, hearing, recording, amplifying, or broadcasting sounds or events originating in the private place which would not ordinarily be audible, visible, or comprehensible outside the private place, without the consent of the person or persons entitled to privacy in the private place.

A person is not guilty of a violation of this section if:

The device used is an unmanned aircraft;

The person is operating the unmanned aircraft for legitimate commercial or educational purposes in a manner consistent with applicable Federal Aviation Administration rules, exemptions, or other authorizations; and

Any conduct described in Subsection (1) that occurs via the unmanned aircraft is solely incidental to the lawful commercial or educational use of the unmanned aircraft.

Privacy violation is a class B misdemeanor.

Section 19. Section 76-9-702.7 is amended to read:

76-9-702.7. Voyeurism offenses — Penalties.

A person is guilty of voyeurism who intentionally uses any type of technology to secretly or surreptitiously record video of a person:

For the purpose of viewing any portion of the individual’s body regarding which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether or not that portion of the body is covered with clothing;

Without the knowledge or consent of the individual; and

Under circumstances in which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

A violation of Subsection (1) is a class A misdemeanor, except that a violation of Subsection (1) committed against a child under 14 years of age is a third degree felony.

Distribution or sale of any images, including in print, electronic, magnetic, or digital format, obtained under Subsection (1) by transmission, display, or dissemination is a third degree felony, except that if the violation of this Subsection (3) includes images of a child under 14 years of age, the violation is a second degree felony.

A person is guilty of voyeurism who, under circumstances not amounting to a violation of Subsection (1), views or attempts to view an individual, with or without the use of any instrumentality:

With the intent of viewing any portion of the individual’s body regarding which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether or not that portion of the body is covered with clothing;

Without the knowledge or consent of the individual; and

Under circumstances in which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

A violation of Subsection (4) is a class B misdemeanor, except that a violation of Subsection (4) committed against a child under 14 years of age is a class A misdemeanor.

HB 126 – Chapter 18 – Unmanned Aircraft Revisions

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

Section. Section 63G-18-101 is amended to read:

CHAPTER 18. UNMANNED AIRCRAFT — DRONES

63G-18-101.

This chapter is known as “Unmanned Aircraft — Drones.”

Section 2. Section 65A-3-2.5 is enacted to read:

65A-3-2.5. Wildland fire and unmanned aircraft.

As used in this section:

“Incident commander” means the government official or employee in command of the response to a wildlife fire.

“Sanctioned entity” includes a person that oversees, is employed by, or is working under the direction of:

(i) A government entity;

(ii) A telecommunications provider;

(iii) A utility provider;

(iv) The owner or operator of a pipeline;

(v) An insurance provider;

(vi) A resource extraction entity;

(vii) News media;

(viii) A person that operates an unmanned aircraft system under a certificate or waiver, a certificate of authorization, or any other grant of authority obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration that expressly authorizes operation of the unmanned aircraft system; or

(ix) A person similar to a person described in Subsections (1)(c)(i) through (vii).

(c) “Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is:

(i) Capable of sustaining flight; and

(ii) Operated with no possible direct human intervention from on or within the aircraft.

(d) “Unmanned aircraft system” means the entire system used to operate an unmanned aircraft, including:

(i) The unmanned aircraft;

(ii) Communications equipment;

(iii) Navigation equipment;

(iv) Controllers;

(v) Support equipment; and

(vi) Autopilot functionality.

A person may not operate an unmanned aircraft system within an area that is under a temporary flight restriction that is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration as a result of the wildland fire, or an area designation as a wildlife fire scene on a system managed by a federal, state, or local government entity that disseminates emergency information to the public, unless the person operates the unmanned aircraft system with the permission of, and in accordance with the restrictions established by, the incident commander.

A person, other than a government official or a government employee acting within the person’s capacity as a government official or government employee, that recklessly operates an unmanned aircraft within an area described in Subsection (2) is guilty of:

Except as provided in Subsection (3)(b),(c), or (d), a class B misdemeanor;

Except as provided in Subsection(3)(c) or (d), a class A misdemeanor, if the operation of the unmanned aircraft system causes an aircraft being used to contain or control a wildland fire to:

(i) Drop a payload of water or fire retardant in a location other than the location originally designated for the aircraft to drop the payload; or

(ii) Land without dropping a payload of water or fire retardant in the location originally designated for the aircraft to drop the payload;

(c) Except as provided in Subsection (3)(d), a third degree felony, if the operation of the unmanned aircraft system causes the unmanned aircraft to come into direct physical contact with a manned aircraft; or

(d) A second degree felony if the operation of the unmanned aircraft is the proximate cause of a manned aircraft colliding with the ground, a structure, or another manned aircraft.

The incident commander of a wildland fire shall grant reasonable access to the area of, and within three miles of, the wildland fire to a sanctioned entity if;

The access is for a purpose related to the responsibilities or business of the sanctioned entity; and

The access can be granted, with reasonable restrictions, without imposing a safety risk or impairing efforts to control the wildland fire.

(5) A political subdivision of the state, or an entity within a political subdivision of the state, may not enact a law, ordinance, or rule governing the private use of an unmanned aircraft in relation to a wildland fire.

HB 296/SB 167 – Chapter 18 – Government Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Act

Regulation of Drones

This bill establishes provisions for the appropriate use of an unmanned aerial vehicle.

This bill:

Defines terms;

Enacts the “Government Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Act”;

Prohibits a law enforcement agency from obtaining data through an unmanned aerial vehicle unless the data was obtained:

– Pursuant to a warrant;

– In accordance with judicially recognized exceptions to warrant requirements;

– Under certain conditions, from a nongovernment actor;

– Establishes requirements for the retention and use of data collected by an unmanned aerial vehicle;

– Establishes reporting requirements for:

— A law enforcement agency that operates an unmanned aerial vehicle; and

— The Utah Department of Public Safety; and

— Provides a statement of intent.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

Section 1. Section 63G-18-101 is enacted to read:

63G-18-101.

This chapter is known as the “Government Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Act.”

Section 2. Section 63G-18-102 is enacted to read:

63G-18-102. Definitions.

As used in this chapter;

“Law enforcement agency” means an entity of the state or an entity of a political subdivision of the state, including an entity of a state institution of higher education that exists primarily to prevent, detect, or prosecute crime and enforce criminal statutes or ordinances.

“Nongovernment actor” means a person that is not:

An agency, department, division, or other entity within state government;

A person employed by or acting in an official capacity on behalf of the state;

A political subdivision of the state; or

A person employed by or acting in an official capacity on behalf of a political subdivision of the state.

“Target” means a person upon whom, or a structure or area upon which a person:

Has intentionally collected or attempted to collect information through the operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle; or

Plans to collect or attempt to collect information through the operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle.

(a) “Unmanned aerial vehicle” means an aircraft that;

(i) Is capable of sustaining flight; and

(ii) Operates with no possible direct human intervention from on or within the aircraft;

(b) “Unmanned aerial vehicle” does not include an unmanned aircraft that is flown;

(i) Within visual line of sight of the individual operating the aircraft; and

(ii) Strictly for hobby or recreational purposes.

Section 3. Section 63G-18-103 is enacted to read:

63G-18-103. Warrant required — Exceptions.

A law enforcement agency may not obtain, receive, or use data acquired through an unmanned aerial vehicle unless the data is obtained:

Pursuant to a search warrant;

In accordance with judicially recognized exceptions to warrant requirements;

Subject to Subsection (2), from a person who is a nongovernment actor.

A nongovernment actor may only disclose data acquired through an unmanned aerial vehicle to a law enforcement agency if;

The data appears to pertain to the commission of a crime; or

The nongovernment actor believes, in good faith, that;

(i) The data pertains to an imminent or ongoing emergency involving danger of death or serious bodily injury to an individual; and

(ii) Disclosing the data would assist in remedying the emergency.

Section 4. Section 63G-18-104 is enacted to read:

63G-18-104. Data retention.

Except as provided in this section, a law enforcement agency;

May not use, copy, or disclose data collected by an unmanned aerial vehicle on a person, structure, or area that is not a target; and

Shall ensure that data described in Subsection (1)(a) is destroyed as soon as reasonably possible after the law enforcement agency collects or receives the data.

A law enforcement agency is not required to comply with Subsection (1) if;

Deleting the data would also require the deletion of data that;

(i) Relates to the target of the operation; and

(ii) Is requisite for the success of the operation;

(b) The law enforcement agency receives the data;

(i) Through a court order that;

Requires a person to release the data to the law enforcement agency; or

Prohibits the destruction of the data; or

(ii) From a person who is a nongovernment actor;

(c)(i) The data was collected inadvertently; and

(ii) The data appears to pertain to the commission of a crime;

(d)(i) The law enforcement agency reasonably determines that the data pertains to an emergency situation; and

(ii) Using or disclosing the data would assist in remedying the emergency; or

(e) The data was collected through the operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle over public lands outside of municipal boundaries.

Section 5. Section63G-18-105 is enacted to read:

63G-18-105. Reporting.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (1)(b), before March 31 of each year, a law enforcement agency that operated an unmanned aerial vehicle in the previous calendar year shall submit to the Utah Department of Public Safety, and make public on the law enforcement agency’s website, a written report containing:

(i) The number of times the law enforcement agency operated an unmanned aerial vehicle in the previous calendar year;

(ii) The number of criminal investigations aided by the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the law enforcement agency in the previous calendar year;

(iii) A description of how the unmanned aerial vehicle was helpful to each described in Subsection (1)(a)(ii);

(iv) The frequency with which data was collected, and the type of data collected, by an unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the law enforcement agency on any person, structure, or area other than a target in the previous calendar year;

(v) The number of times a law enforcement agency received, from a person who is not a law enforcement agency, data collected by an unmanned aerial vehicle; and

(vi) The total cost of the unmanned aerial vehicle program operated by the law enforcement agency in the previous calendar year.

(b)(i) A law enforcement agency that submits a report described in Subsection (1)(a) may exclude from the report information pertaining to an ongoing investigation.

(ii) A law enforcement agency that excludes information under Subsection (1)(b)(i) from the report shall report the excluded information to the Utah Department of Public Safety on the annual report in the year following the year in which the information a excluded.

Before May 31 of each year, the Utah Department of Public Safety shall, for all reports received under Subsection (1) during the previous calendar year;

Transmit to the Government Operations Interim Committee and post on the department’s website a report containing:

(i) A summary of the information reported to the department;

(ii) The total number of issued warrants authorizing the operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle; and

(iii) The number of denied warrants for the operation of a unmanned aerial vehicle; and

(b) Post of the department’s website each report the department received.

Section 6. Statement of intent.

This chapter is intended to govern the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle by a law enforcement agency. Nothing herein is intended to prohibit or impede the public and private research, development, or manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles. Unmanned aerial vehicles will provide promising technological advances, which, if properly developed, will prove beneficial to the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of this state and greater society.

HB 420 – Unmanned Vehicle Amendments

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

Section 1. Section 63G-18a-101 is enacted to read:

CHAPTER 18a. UNMANNED VEHICLES

Part 1. General Provisions

63G-18a-101.

This chapter is known as “Unmanned Vehicles.”

Section 2. Section 63G-18a-102 is enacted to read:

63G-18a-102. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

“Acute emergency” means a fire, a flood, extreme weather, a missing person situation, or a natural or man-made disaster that is expected to present an imminent threat to life or property, or to public health, safety, or welfare for more than 24 hours.

“Neutralize” means to force the termination of the operation of an unmanned vehicle:

Disabling or damaging the unmanned vehicle;

Interfering with any portion of the unmanned vehicle system associated with the unmanned vehicle; or

Otherwise taking control of the unmanned vehicle or the unmanned vehicle system associated with the unmanned vehicle.

“Public safety official” means:

A sworn and certified peace officer; or

A firefighter who is:

(i) A member of a fire department or another public organization that provides fire suppression service; and

(ii) Authorized by the department or a public organization described in Subsection (3)(b)(i) to neutralize an unmanned vehicle.

(a) “Unmanned vehicle” means a device that:

(i) Is self propelled;

(ii) May travel on land, through air, or on or under water; and

(iii) Is operated with no possible direct human intervention from on or within the device.

(b) “Unmanned vehicle” does not include a device used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks.

“Unmanned vehicle system” means the entire system used to operate an unmanned vehicle, including:

The unmanned vehicle, including payload;

Communications equipment;

Navigation equipment;

Controllers;

Support equipment; and

Autopilot functionality.

Section 3. Section 63G-18a-201 is enacted to read:

Part 2. Restricted Use

63G-18a-201.

This part is known as “Restricted Use.”

Section 4. Section 63G-18a-202 is enacted to read:

63G-18a-202. Reserved.

Reserved.

Section 5. Section 63G-18a-203 is enacted to read:

63G-18a-203. Unmanned vehicles and emergency operations.

Subject to the requirements of this section, a public safety official may neutralize an unmanned vehicle that operates within three miles of the location of an acute emergency if neutralizing the unmanned vehicle is reasonably necessary to:

Protect an individual or property from hazards associated with the acute emergency;

Provide a safe environment for emergency response vehicles and personnel to operate;

Prevent unsafe congestion of aircraft above or around the acute emergency; or

Protect a flight path of an aircraft being used to respond to the acute emergency.

A public safety official may not neutralize an unmanned vehicle under this section if neutralizing the unmanned vehicle:

Could reasonably cause or lead to the death of, or bodily injury to, a human; or

Is likely to cause or lead to:

(i) The death of, or bodily injury to, an animal; or

(ii) Damage to private property, other than the unmanned vehicle, in an amount greater than $5,000.

A public safety official who neutralizes an unmanned vehicle in accordance with this section shall neutralize the unmanned vehicle:

In the most safe and practicable manner available; and

In a manner that causes as little damage or destruction as possible, in light of the circumstances, to the unmanned vehicle and other property.

HB 59 – Correctional Facilities – Unmanned Aircraft Revisions

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

Section 1. Section 72-14-102 is amended to read:

72-14-102. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

“Airport” means the same as that term is defined in Section 72-10-102.

“Airport operator” means the same as that term is defined in Section 72-10-102.

“Correctional facility” means the same as that term is defined in Section 77-16b-102.

“Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is:

Capable of sustaining flight; and

Operated with no possible direct human intervention from on or within the aircraft.

“Unmanned aircraft system” means the entire system used to operate an unmanned aircraft, including:

The unmanned aircraft, including payload;

Communications equipment;

Navigation equipment;

Controllers;

Support equipment;

Autopilot functionality.

Section 2. Section 72-13-304 is enacted to read:

72-14-304. Unlawful operation of unmanned aircraft near prison facilities — Penalties.

An individual may not operate an unmanned aircraft system;

To carry or drop any item to or inside the property of a correctional facility; or

In a manner that interferes with the operations or security of a correctional facility.

(a) A violation of Subsection (1)(a) is a third degree felony.

(b) A violation of Subsection (1)(b) is a class B misdemeanor.

An operator of an unmanned aircraft system does not violate Subsection (1) if the operator is:

An employee or contractor working on behalf of a mosquito abatement district created pursuant to Title 17B, Limited Purpose Local Government Entities – Local Districts, or Title 17D, Limited Purpose Local Government Entities – Other Entities; and

Acting in the course and scope of the operator’s employment.

SB 211 – Various Drone Regulations – Private Use of Drones

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

Section 1. Section 31A-22-2001 is enacted to read:

31A-22-2001. Definitions

As used in this part:

“Covered operator” means an operator who is covered by the provisions of an insurance policy issued in accordance with this part.

“Operator” means an individual who controls an unmanned aircraft system.

“Owner” means the person that owns the unmanned aircraft.

“Unmanned aircraft” means the same as that term is defined in Section 63G-18-102.

“Unmanned aircraft system” means the same as that term is defined in Section 63G-18-102.

Section 2. Section 31A-22-2002 is enacted to read:

31A-22-2002. Required components of unmanned aircraft liability insurance policies.

A policy of unmanned aircraft liability insurance obtained to satisfy the requirements of Section 63G-18-504 shall comply with the requirements of Sections 31A-22-2003 and 31A-22-2004.

Section 3. Section 31A-22-2003 is enacted to read:

31A-22-2003. Unmanned aircraft liability coverage.

In addition to complying with the requirements of Chapter 21, Insurance Contracts in General, and Chapter 22, Part 2, Liability Insurance in General, a policy of unmanned aircraft liability coverage described in Section 31A-22-2002 shall:

State the following:

(i) The owner in whose name the policy is purchased;

(ii) The owner’s address;

(iii) The coverage afforded to the owner;

(iv) The premium charged to the owner;

(v) The period of time the policy is valid; and

(vi) The policy’s limits of liability;

(b) Specifically designate each unmanned aircraft system for which the policy grants coverage;

(c) Insure the persons named in the policy;

(d) Insure any other operator of an unmanned aircraft system described in Subsection (1)(b) who operates the unmanned aircraft system with the express or implied permission of the owner; and

(e) In addition to the coverage described in Section 31A-22-2002;

(i) Cover damages or injury resulting from a covered operator who, while operating an unmanned aircraft system, is stricken by paralysis, seizure, or other unconscious condition that the covered operator did not know, or have reason to know, was likely to occur; and

(ii) Cover a person who operates an unmanned aircraft system in violation of a Certificate of Waiver, Certificate of Authorization, or other exemption obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration by the owner of the unmanned aircraft system.

A covered operator’s liability is limited to the insurance policy’s coverage.

A policy containing unmanned aircraft liability coverage described in Section 31A-22-2002 may:

Prorate the insurance with other valid insurance; or

Grant lawful coverage in addition to unmanned aircraft liability coverage.

Unmanned aircraft liability coverage is not required to insure a liability;

Covered under a worker’s compensation law under Title 34A, Utah Labor Code;

Resulting from bodily injury to, or death of, a named insured’s employee if:

(i) The bodily injury or death is caused by an unmanned aircraft system that is owned by the named insured; and

(ii) The named insured’s employee acts as an employee of the named insured at the time the bodily injury or death occurs; or

(c) Resulting from damage to property owned by, rented to, bailed to, or transported by the insured.

(a) An insurance provider that provides an unmanned aircraft liability coverage policy may, in good faith, settle any claim covered by the policy.

(b) The amount of a settlement made under Subsection (5)(a) is deductible from the limits of liability described in Section 31A-22-2004.

An insurer who grants an insurance policy containing unmanned aircraft liability coverage shall defend, in good faith, a person insured under the policy against a claim or suit brought by another person seeking damages that are payable under the policy if the other person prevails.

(a) An insurer upon which a third party brings a claim may not use the defense of lack of cooperation on the part of the insured unless:

(i) The insurance policy of the insured provides the insurer with the defense of lack of cooperation; and

(ii) The third party colludes with the insured to bring the claim.

(b) If the defense of lack of cooperation is not effective against the claimant under Subsection (7)(a), after a payment by the owner of the premium that is due, the insurer is:

(i) Subrogated to the injured person’s claim against the insured to the extent of the payment; and

(ii) Entitled to reimbursement by the insured after the claimant has been made whole with respect to the claim against the insured.

A policy of unmanned aircraft liability coverage may limit coverage to the policy minimum limits described in Section 31A-22-2004 if:

Alcohol or an illegal drug or substance is present in the blood of a covered operator while the covered operator operates an unmanned aircraft system designated under Subsection (1)(b);

The policy, or a specifically reduced premium, contains an express written declaration that an unmanned aircraft system designated under Subsection (1)(b) will not be operated by an individual while alcohol or an illegal drug or substance is present in the blood of an individual; and

The insured agreed to the declaration described in Subsection (8)(b).

(a) A claimant who brings a claim exclusively against a named insured may elect to resolve the claim:

(i) By submitting the claim to binding arbitration; or

(ii) Through litigation.

(b) If the claimant elects to commence litigation under Subsection (9)(a)(ii), the claimant may not elect under this section to resolve the claim through binding arbitration without the written consent of the claimant, the insured, and the insured’s insurer.

(c)(i) A claim that is submitted to binding arbitration under Subsection (9)(a)(i) shall be resolved by a panel of arbitrators selected in accordance with Subsection (9)(c)(ii).

(ii) Unless otherwise agreed upon in writing by the claimant, the insured, and the insured’s insurer, a panel of arbitrators shall be composed of the following three members:

One member selected by the claimant;

One member selected by the insured; and

One member jointly selected by the members described in Subsections (9)(c)(ii)(A) and (B).

(d)(i) The claimant is responsible for all costs associated with the selection and retention of the member described in Subsection (9)(c)(ii)(A).

(ii) The insured is responsible for all costs associated with the selection and retention of the member described in Subsection (9)(c)(ii)(B).

(iii) Unless otherwise agreed upon in writing by the claimant and the insured, the claimant and the insured are equally responsible for all costs associated with the selection and retention of the member described in Subsection (9)(c)(ii)(C).

(e) Except as otherwise provided in this section, or unless otherwise agreed upon in writing by the claimant, the insured, and the insured’s insurer, an arbitration procedure conducted under this section is governed by Title 78B, Chapter 11, Utah Uniform Arbitration Act.

(f)(i) Discovery in an arbitration conducted under this section shall be conducted in accordance with Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules 26b through 36.

(ii) A dispute that arises during a pre-trial discovery shall be resolved by the arbitration panel.

(g) A written decision of two of the three arbitrators constitutes a final decision of the arbitration panel.

(h) Before an arbitration panel determines the amount of an arbitration award:

(i) The existence of a liability insurance policy may be disclosed to the arbitration panel; and

(ii) The total amount of all applicable liability insurance policy limits may not be disclosed to the arbitration panel.

(i) The amount of an arbitration award is equal to the lesser of:

(i) The amount the arbitration panel renders as an award; or

(ii) The liability limits of all the insured’s applicable liability insurance policies, including applicable liability umbrella policies.

(j) The arbitration award is the final resolution of all claims between the parties unless the award is procured by corruption, fraud, or other undue means.

(k) If the arbitration panel finds that the claim was not brought, pursued, or defended in good faith, the arbitration panel may award reasonable fees and costs against the party that failed to bring, pursue, or defend the claim in good faith.

Nothing in this section limits a claim under another portion of an applicable insurance policy.

Section 4. Section 31A-22-2004 is enacted to read:

31A-22-2004. Unmanned aircraft insurance liability limits.

A policy containing unmanned aircraft liability coverage may not limit the insurer’s liability under the coverage below the following:

(a) $25,000 for a liability that is the proximate cause of bodily injury to or death of one individual, arising out of the use of an unmanned aircraft system in any one accident;

(b) Subject to the limit for one individual in Subsection (1)(a), $65,000 for a liability that is the proximate cause of bodily injury to or death of two or more individuals arising out of the use of an unmanned aircraft system in any one accident; and

(c) $15,000 for a liability that is the proximate cause of injury to or destruction of property of others arising out of the use of an unmanned aircraft system in any one accident, or;

$80,000 for a liability that is the proximate cause of bodily injury to or the death of others, or from destruction of or damage to property of others arising out of the use of an unmanned aircraft system in any one accident.

Section 5. Section 63G-18-101 is amended to read:

CHAPTER 18. UNMANNED AIRCRAFT — DRONES

63G-18-101.

This chapter is known as “Unmanned Aircraft — Drones.”

Section 6. Section 63G-18-102 is amended to read:

63G-18-102. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

“Airport” means an area of land, water, or both, that:

Is used or made available for aircraft landing or takeoff;

Meets the minimum requirements established by the Operations Division of the Department of Transportation for size and design, surface, marketing, equipment, and operation; and

Includes all areas shown as part of the airport in the current airport layout plan approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

(a) “Airport authority” means the entity that is authorized by statute to operate an airport.

(b) “Airport authority” includes the department or division of a political subdivision responsible for operating a specific airport.

(c) “Airport authority” does not include the governing body of a country or municipality.

“Commercial operator” means an individual who operates an unmanned aircraft system for compensation, hire, or profit.

“Law enforcement agency” means an entity of the state or an entity of a political subdivision of the state, including an entity of a state institution of higher education, that exists primarily to prevent, detect, or prosecute crime and enforce criminal statutes or ordinances.

“Law enforcement officer” means a sworn and certified peace officer:

Who is an employee of a law enforcement agency that is part of, or administered by, the state or a political subdivision of this state; and

Whose primary duties consist of the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of criminal statutes or ordinances of the state or a political subdivision of the state.

“Operator” means an individual who controls an unmanned aircraft system.

“Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is:

Capable of sustaining flight; and

Operated with no possible direct human intervention from on or within the aircraft.

“Unmanned aircraft system” means the entire system used to operate an unmanned aircraft, including:

The unmanned aircraft, including any payload;

Communications equipment;

Navigation equipment;

Controllers;

Support equipment; and

Autopilot functionality.

Section 7. Section 63G-18-106 is enacted to read:

63G-18-106. Preemption of local ordinance.

A political subdivision of the state, or an entity of a political subdivision of the state, may not enact a law, ordinance, or rule governing the private use of an unmanned aircraft, unless the entity is an airport authority.

This chapter supercedes a law, ordinance, or rule enacted by a political subdivision of the state that is not an airport authority.

Section 8. Section 63G-18-107 is enacted to read:

63G-18-107. Unmanned aircraft to yield right of way — Penalties.

An operator of an unmanned aircraft shall yield right of way to:

A manned aircraft;

A parachutist; or

A vehicle or individual on the ground.

An operator who violates Subsection (1) is guilty of an infraction.

Section 9. Section 63G-18-108 is enacted to read:

63G-18-108. Impaired operation of unmanned aircraft — Penalties.

An operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft system while the operator;

Has a blood or breath alcohol concentration at or above .08 grams;

Is under the influence of any drug to a degree that renders the operator incapable of safely operating the unmanned aircraft system; or

Knows or has reason to know of a physical or mental condition that could interfere with the operator’s safe operation of the unmanned aircraft system.

If, after receiving a written warning from a law enforcement officer for a violation of Subsection (1), a private operator subsequently violates Subsection (1), the private operator is guilty of:

An infraction for the first violation after receiving the warning; or

A class B misdemeanor for a second or subsequent violation after receiving the warning.

Section 10. Section 63G-18-201 is enacted to read:

Part 2. Government Use of Unmanned Aircraft

63G-18-201.

This part is known as “Government Use of Unmanned Aircraft.”

Section 11. Section 63G-18-202 is enacted to read:

As used in this part:

“Nongovernemnt actor” means a person that is not:

An agency, department, division, or other entity within state government;

A person employed by or otherwise acting in an official capacity on behalf of the state;

A political subdivision of the state;

A person employed by or otherwise acting in an official capacity on behalf of a political subdivision of the state;

The federal government; or

A person employed by or otherwise acting in an official capacity on behalf of the federal government.

“Target” means a person upon whom, or a structure or area upon which, a person:

Has intentionally collected or attempted to collect information through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system; or

Plans to collect or attempt to collect information through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system.

“Testing site” means an area that:

Has boundaries that are clearly identified using GPS coordinates;

A law enforcement agency identifies in writing to the Department of Public Safety, including the boundaries identified under Subsection (3)(a);

Is not more than three square miles; and

Contains no occupied structures.

FREE Part 107 Training Videos

Section 12. Section 63G-18-203, which is renumbered from Section 63G-28-103 is renumbered and amended to read:

63G-18-203. Unmanned aircraft system use requirements — Exceptions — Testing.

A law enforcement agency may not obtain, receive, or use data acquired through an unmanned aircraft system unless the data is obtained:

Pursuant to a search warrant;

In accordance with judicially recognized exceptions to warrant requirements;

(c)(i) In a public location in which a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy; and

(ii) The unmanned aircraft controlled by the unmanned aircraft system, at the time the data is obtained by the unmanned aircraft system, is clearly audible and visible without aid:

By all persons who are targets; and

From all portions of the area on which data is collected

(d) Subject to Subsection (2), from a person who is a nongovernment actor;

(e) At a testing site; or

(f) To locate a lost or missing person in an area in which a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy.

A nongovernment actor may only disclose the data acquired through an unmanned aircraft system to a law enforcement agency if:

The data appears to pertain to the commission of a crime; or

The nongovernment actor believes, in good faith, that:

(i) The data pertains to an imminent or ongoing emergency involving danger of death or serious bodily injury to an individual; and

(ii) Disclosing the data would assist in remedying the emergency.

A law enforcement agency that obtains, receives, or uses data acquired under Subsection (1)(d) or (e) shall destroy the data as soon as reasonably possible after the law enforcement agency obtains, receives, or uses the data.

A law enforcement agency that operates an unmanned aircraft system under Subsection (1)(d) may not operate the unmanned aircraft system outside of the testing site.

Section 13. Section 63G-18-204, which is renumbered from Section 63G-18-104 is renumbered and amended to read:

63G-18-204. Data retention.

Except as provided in this section, a law enforcement agency:

May not use, copy, or disclose data collected by an unmanned aircraft system on a person, structure, or area that is not a target; and

Shall ensure that data in Subsection (1)(a) is destroyed as soon as reasonably possible after the law enforcement agency collects or receives the data.

A law enforcement agency is not required to comply with Subsection (1) if:

Deleting the data would also require the deletion of data that:

(i) Relates to the target of the operation; and

(ii) Is requisite for the success of the operation;

(b) The law enforcement agency receives the data:

(i) Though a court order that:

Requires a person to release the data to the law enforcement agency; or

Prohibits the destruction of the data; or

(ii) From a person who is a nongovernment actor;

(c)(i) The data was collected inadvertently; and

(ii) The data appears to pertain to the commission of a crime;

(d)(i) The law enforcement agency reasonably determines that the data pertains to an emergency situation; and

(ii) Using or disclosing the data would assist in remedying the emergency; or

(e) The data was collected through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system over public lands outside of municipal boundaries.

Section 14. Section 63G-18-205, which is renumbered from Section 63G-18-105 is renumbered and amended to read:

63G-18-205. Reporting.

Except as provided by Subsections (2) and (3), before March 31 of each year, a law enforcement agency that operated an unmanned aircraft system in the previous calendar year shall submit to the Utah Department of Public Safety, and make public on the law enforcement agency’s website, a written report containing:

The number of times the law enforcement agency operated an unmanned aircraft system in the previous calendar year;

The number of criminal investigations aided by the use of an unmanned aircraft system operated by the law enforcement agency in the previous calendar year;

A description of how much the unmanned aircraft system was helpful to each investigation described in Subsection (1)(b);

The frequency with which data was collected, and the type of data collected, by an unmanned aircraft system operated by the law enforcement agency on any person, structure, or area other than a target in the previous calendar year;

The number of times a law enforcement agency received, from a person who is not a law enforcement agency, data collected by an unmanned aircraft system; and

The total cost of the unmanned aircraft system program operated by the law enforcement agency in the previous calendar year, including the source of any funds used to operate the program.

(a) A law enforcement agency that submits a report described in Subsection (1) may exclude from the report information pertaining to an ongoing investigation.

(b) A law enforcement agency that excludes information under Subsection (2)(a) from the report shall report the excluded information to the Utah Department of Public Safety on the annual report in the year following the year in which the investigation to which the information pertains is concluded.

A law enforcement agency is not required to submit, under Subsection (1), to the Department of Public Safety information pertaining to the use of an unmanned aircraft system operated at a testing site.

Before May 31 of each year, the Utah Department of Public Safety shall, for all reports received under Subsection (1) during the previous calendar year:

Transmit to the Government Operations Interim Committee and post on the department’s website a report containing:

(i) A summary of the information reported to the department;

(ii) The total number of issued warrants authorizing the operation of an unmanned aircraft system; and

(iii) The number of denied warrants for the operation of an unmanned aircraft system; and

(b) Post on the department’s website each report the department received.

Section 15. Section 63G-18-301 is enacted to read:

Part 3. Private Use of Unmanned Aircraft

63G-18-301.

This part is known as “Private Use of Unmanned Aircraft.”

Section 16. Section 63G-18-302 is enacted to read:

63G-18-302. Definitions.

As used in this part:

“Emergency” means a circumstance that presents an imminent threat to life or property, or to public health, safety, or welfare.

“Line of sight” means direct, unobstructed visual contact with an unmanned aircraft without the assistance of another person or instrumentation other than corrective lenses.

(a) “Private operator” means an individual who is a nongovernment actor who controls an unmanned aircraft system.

(b) “Private operator” includes:

(i) The individual who is required to maintain the ability to intervene under Subsection 63G-18-304(3) in the operation of an unmanned aircraft system that is running autonomously;

(ii) Except as used in Section 63G-18-305, a supervising operator; and

(iii) A commercial operator.

“Supervising operator” means a competent individual who:

Is at least 17 years of age;

Is capable of operating the unmanned aircraft system; and

Is in close enough proximity to a private operator to take control of the unmanned aircraft system, if necessary.

“Mode of transportation” means a device or animal in, on, or by which a person may be transported.

Section 17. Section 63G-18-303 is enacted to read:

63G-18-303. Applicability.

This part does not:

Regulate a public entity’s operation of an unmanned aircraft system, including the federal government’s operation of an unmanned aircraft system; or

Apply to an unmanned aircraft that weighs less than 0.55 pounds.

Section 18. Section 63G-18-304 is enacted to read:

63G-18-304. Operator qualifications — General safety requirements.

Before a private operator operates an unmanned aircraft system, the private operator shall:

Examine the unmanned aircraft system to ensure that the unmanned aircraft system operates properly;

Ensure that weather conditions will allow for the safe operation of the unmanned aircraft;

Comply with all applicable federal laws and Federal Aviation Administration rules;

Ensure that the location for the takeoff, flight, and landing of the unmanned aircraft is adequate for the safe operation of the unmanned aircraft; and

Establish proper measures to mitigate the harm that could result from a malfunction of the unmanned aircraft system.

While a private operator operates an unmanned aircraft system, the private operator:

Shall immediately terminate the flight of the unmanned aircraft controlled by the unmanned aircraft system if conditions change so that the requirements described in Subsection (1) cannot be satisfied;

Shall, except as provided in Subsection (3), maintain complete, real-time control of the unmanned aircraft;

Shall comply with all applicable federal laws and Federal Aviation Administration rules; and

May not use the unmanned aircraft system to commit:

(i) Criminal trespass under Section 76-2-206;

(ii) A privacy violation under Section 76-9-402;

(iii) Reckless endangerment under Section 76-5-223;

(iv) A stalking violation under Section 76-5-106.5; or

(v) Cruelty to an animal under Section 76-9-301.

A private operator who operates an unmanned aircraft autonomously is not required to maintain complete, real-time control under Subsection (2)(b) of the unmanned aircraft if the private operator:

During the entire time the unmanned aircraft operates autonomously, maintains a continuous ability to override the autonomous function of the unmanned aircraft to assume complete control of the unmanned aircraft; and

Maintains continuous line of sight with the unmanned aircraft.

(a) A private operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft system unless the private operator has, in the private operator’s immediate possession, a certificate of registration issued by the Federal Aviation Administration for the unmanned aircraft system.

(b) A private operator shall, upon request from a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration or a law enforcement officer, provide the representative or the officer with the certificate of registration described in Subsection (4)(a).

(c) A private operator who violates Subsection (4)(b) is guilty of an infraction.

(a) An unmanned aircraft system that is operated by a commercial operator is required to be covered under an unmanned aircraft liability policy in accordance with Section 63G-18-504.

(b) An unmanned aircraft system that is operated by a private operator is not required to be covered under an unmanned aircraft liability policy, unless the private operator is a commercial operator.

Section 19. Section 63G-18-305 is enacted to read:

63G-28-305. Age requirements for operation — Penalties.

As used in this section, “private operator” does not include a supervising operator.

(a) Except as provided in Subsection (2)(b), a private operator who is required to be at least 17 years of age.

(b) A private operator who is less than 17 years of age and who is not a commercial operator may operate an unmanned aircraft system if the private operator is under the direct supervision of a supervising operator.

(a) A supervising operator shall have, in the supervising operator’s immediate possession, identification, issued by a government entity, that contains the supervising operator’s photograph and age or date of birth.

(b) A supervising operator shall, upon request from a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration or a law enforcement officer, provide the representative or the officer with the identification described in Subsection (3)(a).

(a) A private operator who operates an unmanned aircraft system and who does not comply with the requirements of Subsection (2) is guilty of an infraction.

(b) A supervising operator who violates Subsection (3) is guilty of an infraction.

Section 20. Section 63G-18-306 is enacted to read:

63G-18-307. Airspeed restrictions — Penalties.

Except as provided in Subsection (2), a private operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes an unmanned aircraft to exceed an airspeed of 100 miles per hour.

A private operator may operate an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes an unmanned aircraft to exceed an airspeed of 100 miles per hour if:

(i) A natural nonprofit organization recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration as having authority to provide guidance and waivers on unmanned aircraft provides a written statement to the operator stating that operation of the unmanned aircraft at an airspeed greater than 100 miles per hour is authorized by the organization; or

(ii) The private operator receives written approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate the unmanned aircraft at an airspeed greater than 100 miles per hour; and

(b) The private operator has, in the private operator’s immediate possession, the statement described in Subsection (2)(a)(i) or the approval described in Subsection (2)(a)(ii).

A private operator who operates an unmanned aircraft under a statement or approval described in Subsection (2) shall, upon request from a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration or a law enforcement officer, provide the statement or approval to the representative or officer.

A private operator who violates:

Subsection (1) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor; or

Subsection (3) is guilty of an infraction.

Section 22. Section 63G-18-308 is enacted to read:

63g-18-308. Weight restriction — Penalties.

A private operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft with a gross takeoff weight of more than 55 pounds unless:

(i) A national nonprofit organization recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration as having authority to provide guidance and waivers on unmanned aircraft provides a written statement to the operator stating that operation of the unmanned aircraft that weighs more than 55 pounds is authorized by the organization; or

(ii) The private operator receives written approval to operate the unmanned aircraft from the Federal Aviation Administration; and

(b) The private operator has, in the private operator’s immediate possession, the statement described in Subsection (1)(a)(i) or the approval described in Subsection (1)(a)(i).

A private operator who operates an unmanned aircraft under a statement or approval described in Subsection (1) shall, upon request from a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration or a law enforcement officer, provide the statement or approval to the representative or officer.

A private operator who violates Subsection (1) or (2) is guilty of an infraction.

Section 23. Section 63G-18-309 is enacted to read:

63G-18-309. Identification affixed to unmanned aircraft — Penalties.

A private operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft unless the unmanned aircraft has the unmanned aircraft owner’s name, mailing address, telephone number, and Federal Aviation Administration registration number permanently affixed to the outside of the unmanned aircraft.

A private operator who violates Subsection (1) is guilty of an infraction.

Section 24. Section 63G-18-310 is enacted to read:

63G-18-310. Weaponizing unmanned aircraft — Penalties.

(a) As used in this section, “weapons” means:

(i) A firearm; or

(ii) An object that in the manner of the object’s use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.

(b) The following factors are used in determining whether an object, other than a firearm, is a dangerous weapon:

(i) The location and circumstances in which the object is used or possessed;

(ii) The primary purpose for which the object is made;

(iii) The character of the wound, if any, produced by the object’s use;

(iv) The manner in which the object is used;

(v) Whether the manner in which the object is used or possessed constitutes a potential imminent threat to public safety; and

(vi) The lawful purposes for which the object may be used.

An individual is guilty of weaponizing an unmanned aircraft if the individual:

Attaches a weapon to an unmanned aircraft; or

Uses an unmanned aircraft to carry a weapon.

Weaponizing an unmanned aircraft is a class B misdemeanor.

Section 25. Section 63G-18-311 is enacted to read:

63G-18-311. Propulsion mechanisms for unmanned aircraft — Penalties.

A private operator may not operator an unmanned aircraft that uses:

Hydrogen gas for propulsion or lift; or

Except as provided in Subsection (2), metal blade propellers.

Notwithstanding Subsection (1), an unmanned aircraft may use metal blade propellers if:

A national nonprofit organization recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration as having authority to provide guidance and waivers on unmanned aircraft provides a written statement to the private operator stating that operation of the unmanned aircraft with metal blade propellers is authorized by the organization; and

The private operator has, in the private operator’s immediate possession, the statement described in Subsection (2)(a).

A private operator who operates an unmanned aircraft under a statement described in Subsection (2)(a) shall, upon request from a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration or a law enforcement officer, provide the statement or approval to the representative or officer.

A private operator who violates Subsection (3) is guilty of an infraction.

Section 26. Section 63G-18-312 is enacted to read:

63G-18-312. Unmanned aircraft operation outside daylight hours.

A private operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft system after sunset or before sunrise unless the unmanned aircraft flown through the system is equipped with, and operates using, an onboard lighting system that is visible, without aid, from at least 300 feet in all directions.

Section 27. Section 63G-18-313 is enacted to read:

63G-18-313. Operation of multiple unmanned aircraft — Penalties.

A private owner may not:

Operate more than one unmanned aircraft at the same time, regardless of whether one or more of the unmanned aircraft operates autonomously; or

Operate an unmanned aircraft at the same time the private operator operates or controls a mode of transportation, regardless of whether the unmanned aircraft operates autonomously.

A private operator who violates Subsection (1) is guilty of an infraction.

Section 28. Section 63G-18-314 is enacted to read:

63G-18-314. Interference with unmanned aircraft or operator.

Except as provided in Subsection (2), an individual may not interfere with the operation of an unmanned aircraft system by:

Intentionally obscuring the operator’s line of sight;

Interfering with the operator’s interaction with the unmanned aircraft system;

Intentionally distracting the operator from the operation of the unmanned aircraft system; or

Knowingly creating a radio frequency signal that might interfere with the operation of the unmanned aircraft system.

An individual may interfere with the operation of an unmanned aircraft system:

To take necessary action to eliminate an immediate threat of an unmanned aircraft striking an individual; or

If the individual is a law enforcement officer, to eliminate an immediate threat an unmanned aircraft poses to an individual’s body or property.

An individual who violates Subsection (1) is guilty of:

An infraction if the interference does not cause damage to the unmanned aircraft, damage to property, or bodily harm to an individual; or

A class B misdemeanor if the interference causes damage to the unmanned aircraft, damage to property, or bodily harm to an individual.

Section 29. Section 63G-18-315 is enacted to read:

63G-18-315. Unmanned aircraft in prohibited airspace — Penalties.

Except as provided in Subsection (2), a private operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes an unmanned aircraft to fly in airspace designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as:

Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace;

A restricted area under 14 C.F.R. Chapter 1, Subchapter E, Part 73, Subpart B; or

A prohibited area under 14 C.F.R. Chapter 1, Subchapter E, Part 73, Subpart C.

A private operator may operate an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes an unmanned aircraft to fly in airspace described in Subsection (1) if the private operator:

Receives written aproval for the operation from the entity controlling the airspace described in Subsection (1); and

Has, in the private operator’s immediate possession, the written approval described in Subsection (2)(a).

A private operator who operates an unmanned aircraft system under a written approval described in Subsection (2) shall, upon request from a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration or a law enforcement officer, provide the written approval to the representative or officer.

A private operator who violates:

Subsection (1) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor; or

Subsection (3) is guilty of an infraction.

Section 30. Section 63G-18-316 is enacted to read:

63G-18-316. Unmanned aircraft in proximity to airports.

A private operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes an unmanned aircraft to fly within five miles of an airport unless the private operator:

Receives written approval from the airport operator authorizing the flight of the unmanned aircraft within five miles of the airport; and

Has, in the private operator’s immediate possession, the written approval described in Subsection (1)(a).

A private operator who operates an unmanned aircraft system under a written approval described in Subsection (1)(a) shall, upon request from a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration or a law enforcement officer, provide the written approval to the representative or officer.

A private operator who violates:

Subsection (1)(a) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor; or

Subsection (1)(b) or (2) is guilty of an infraction.

Section 31. Section 63G-18-317 is enacted to read:

63G-18-317. Unmanned aircraft in federally prohibited areas — Penalties.

Except as provided in Subsection (2), a private operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes an unmanned aircraft to fly:

Within an area under a temporary flight restriction designated by the Federal Aviation Administration; or

In violation of a notice to airmen issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.

A private operator may operate an unmanned aircraft system in a manner prohibited under Subsection (1) if the private operator:

Receives written approval from the Federal Aviation Administration; and

Has, in the private operator’s immediate possession, the written approval described in Subsection (2)(a).

A private operator who operates an unmanned aircraft system under a written approval described in Subsection (2) shall, upon request from a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration or a law enforcement officer, provide the approval to the representative or officer.

A private operator who violates:

Subsection (1) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor; or

Subsection (3) is guilty of an infraction.

Section 32. Section 63G-18-318 is enacted to read:

63G-18-318. Unmanned aircraft in state protected areas — Penalties.

Except as provided in Subsection (2), a private operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft system so that an unmanned aircraft flies:

Within 1,000 feet of the grounds upon which the Utah State Capitol is located;

In the airspace above the grounds upon which the Utah State Capitol is located;

Within 1,000 feet of the governor’s mansion; or

Within 500 feet of an occupied structure that is more than 150 feet tall.

A private operator may operate an unmanned aircraft system so that an unmanned aircraft flies within an area prohibited under Subsection (1) is the private owner:

Receives written approval from the Department of Public Safety; and

Has, in the private operator’s immediate possession, the written approval described in Subsection (2)(a).

A private operator who operates an unmanned aircraft system under a written approval described in Subsection (2) shall, upon request from a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration or a law enforcement officer, provide the written approval to the representative or officer.

A private operate who violates:

Subsection (1) is guilty of a class C misdemeanor; or

Subsection (3) is guilty of an infraction.

Section 33. Section 63G-18-319 is enacted to read:

63G-18-319. Unmanned aircraft and correctional facilities — Penalties.

As used in this section, “correctional facility” means the entirety of the grounds upon which one of the following is located:

A facility operated by or under contract with the Department of Corrections to permanently house criminal offenders in a secure setting;

A facility operated by a municipality or a country to house or detain criminal offenders; or

A juvenile detention facility.

A private operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes an unmanned aircraft to fly within 1,000 feet of a correctional facility, or the airspace over a correctional facility, unless the private operator:

Receives written approval for the operation from the entity managing the operation of the correctional facility; and

Has, in the private operator’s immediate possession, the written approval described in Subsection (2)(a).

A private operator who operates an unmanned aircraft system under a written approval described in Subsection (2) shall, upon request from one of the following individuals, provide the written approval to the individual:

A representative from the Federal Aviation Administration;

A law enforcement officer; or

An employee of the entity managing the operation of the correctional facility.

A private operator who violates:

Subsection (1) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor; or

Subsection (4) is guilty of an infraction.

Section 34. Section 63G-18-320 is enacted to read:

63G-18-320. Unmanned aircraft in an enclosure — Penalties.

As used in this section:

“Enclosure” means an area wholly or partially inside a manmade structure or natural feature.

“Enclosure” includes the area wholly or partially:

(i) Inside a building or tent;

(ii) Under a bridge, tunnel, overpass, or arch; or

(iii) In a cave or mine.

A private operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft system so that an unmanned aircraft flies in an enclosure unless the private operator:

Obtains written approval from:

(i) The owner of the enclosure in which the private operator flies the unmanned aircraft;

(ii) If applicable, the person organizing the event at which the private operator flies the unmanned aircraft; and

(iii) If required by law, the Federal Aviation Administration in the form of a Certificate of Waiver, Certificate of Authorization, or other exemption; and

(b) Has, in the private operator’s immediate possession, any written approval described in Subsection (2)(a) obtained by the private operator.

A private operator who operates an unmanned aircraft system under a written approval described in Subsection (2) shall, upon request from a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration or a law enforcement officer, provide the written approval to the representative or officer.

A private operator who violates:

Subsection (2) is guilty of a class C misdemeanor; or

Subsection (3) is guilty of an infraction.

Section 35. Section 63G-18-321 is enacted to read:

63G-18-321. Unmanned aircraft and emergencies — Penalties.

As used in this section, “apparent emergency” means that official emergency response personnel have arrived at the scene of an incident.

A private operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft system in a manner that causes an unmanned aircraft to fly over the scene of an apparent emergency, or an area immediately affected by an apparent emergency, unless the operator flies the unmanned aircraft under the diretion of the person coordinating the response to the apparent emergency.

A private operator is guilty of a class B misdemeanor if, after receiving a written warning from a law enforcement officer for a violation of Subsection (2), the private operator subsequently violates Subsection (2).

Section 36. Section 63G-18-401 is enacted to read:

Part 4. Education Institution Operation of Unmanned Aircraft

63G-18-401.

This part is known as “Education Institution Operation of Unmanned Aircraft.”

Section 37. Section 63G-14-402 is enacted to read:

63G-18-402. Definitions.

As used in this part:

“Educational institution” means:

An educational institution described in Section 53B-1-102 under the state system of higher education; or

A private institution of higher education in the state accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education.

“Educational operator” means an individual who operates an unmanned aircraft system in the individual’s official capacity as an employee or representative of an educational institution.

Section 38. Section 63G-18-403 is enacted to read:

63G-18-403. Higher educational institutional operation of unmanned aircraft.

Except as provided in Subsection (4), an educational operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft system unless:

The educational operator has, in the educational operator’s immediate possession:

(i) Identification that:

Is issued by the educational institution for which the educational operator is operating the unmanned aircraft system;

Indicates the educational operator’s affiliation with the educational institution; and

Contains the educational operator’s name and a photograph; and

(ii) A certificate or registration issued by the Federal Aviation Administration for the unmanned aircraft system;

(b) If required by federal law or rule, the educational institution for which the educational operator is operating the unmanned aircraft system has obtained a Certificate of Waiver, Certificate of Authorization, or other exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration that specifically authorizes the operation of the unmanned aircraft system;

(c) The educational operator has, in the educational operator’s immediate possession, a copy of any waiver, authorization, or exemption, obtained under Subsection (1)(b); and

(d) The educational operator operates the unmanned aircraft system in accordance with any waiver, authorization, or exemption obtained under Subsection (1)(b).

Upon request from a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration or a law enforcement officer, an educational operator shall provide the representative or officer:

The identification described in Subsection (1)(a)(i);

The certificate of registration described in Subsection (1)(a)(ii); or

The waiver, authorization, or exemption described in Subsection (1)(b).

An educational operator who violates Subsection (2) is guilty of an infraction.

Unless required by federal law, an educational operator is not required to comply with this section if the educational operator operates an unmanned aircraft system over property that is owned by the educational institution for which the educational operator operates the unmanned aircraft system.

Section 39. Section 63G-18-501 is enacted to read:

Part 5. Commercial Operation of Unmanned Aircraft

63G-18-501.

This part is known as “Commercial Operation of Unmanned Aircraft.”

Section 40. Section 63G-18-502 is enacted to read:

63G-18-502. Definitions.

As used in this part, “valid identification” means:

Identification that:

Is issued by the corporate operator;

Indicates the individual’s affiliation with the corporate operator; and

Contains the individual’s name and a photograph; or

A valid driver license or state-issued identification card.

Section 41. Section 63G-18-503 is enacted to read:

63G-18-503. Regulated use of commercial unmanned aircraft.

A commercial operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft system for commercial purposes, unless:

The commercial operator is at least 17 years of age;

The entity for which the commercial operator is operating the unmanned aircraft system has obtained a Certificate of Waiver, Certificate of Authorization, or some other exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration that specifically authorizes the operation of the unmanned aircraft system;

The commercial operator has, in the commercial operator’s immediate possession:

(i) Valid identification;

(ii) A copy of a Certificate of Waiver, Certificate of Authorization, or other exemption described in Subsection (1)(b); and

(iii) A certificate or registration issued by the Federal Aviation Administration for the unmanned aircraft system;

(d) The commercial operator operates the unmanned aircraft system in accordance with a Certificate of Waiver, Certificate of Authorization, or other exemption described in Subsection (1)(b); and

(e) Except as provided in Subsection (3), the commercial operator receives permission from each landowner over which the commercial operator will fly an unmanned aircraft at less than 400 feet above ground.

Upon request from a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration or a law enforcement officer, a commercial operator shall provide the representative or officer:

Valid identification;

A Certificate of Waiver, Certificate of Authorization, or other exemption described in Subsection (1)(b); or

The certificate of registration described in Subsection (1)(c)(iii).

A commercial operator is not required to obtain permission from a landowner under Subsection (1)(e) to operate an unmanned aircraft at less than 400 feet above ground if an altitude of less than 400 feet above the landowner’s property is necessary in order to take off or land at an airport, airfield, or runway.

(a) A commercial operator who violates Subsection (1)(b) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

(b) A commercial operator who violates Subsection (2) is guilty of an infraction.

Section 42. Section 63G-18-504 is enacted to read:

63G-18-504. Liability coverage required for commercial operation.

Except as provided in Subsection (3), on ot after July 1, 2017, a commercial operator may not operate an unmanned aircraft system for commercial purposes unless:

The unmanned aircraft system is covered under a policy of unmanned aircraft liability coverage that complies with the requirements of Section 31A-22-2002; and

The commercial operator has, in the commercial operator’s immediate possession, evidence of the unmanned aircraft liability coverage described in Subsection (1)(a).

On or after July 1, 2017, upon request from a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration or a law enforcement officer, a commercial operator shall provide the representative or officer evidence of unmanned aircraft liability coverage described in Subsection (1)(a)/

Not withstanding Subsection (1), a commercial operator may operate an unmanned aircraft system for commercial purposes without obtaining a policy of unmanned aircraft liability coverage if the commercial operator only flies the unmanned aircraft controlled by the unmanned aircraft system:

For agricultural purposes; and

Over property owned by the commercial operator or a person with whom the commercial operator has an agreement to operate the unmanned aircraft.

(a) A commercial operator who violates Subsection (1)(a) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

(b) A commercial operator who violates Subsection (2) is guilty of an infraction.

Other Legal Issues With Drones in Utah

At this time of writing, there are currently no HB or SB in session that have yet to be signed into law.

FAQ on Utah Law and Drones

drone laws in utah 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 Utah

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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *