A little-known but highly influential group of attorneys from across the country will soon meet in Detroit and could change our skies forever. They claim their draft model legislation concerning drones will help protect privacy. However, their actions could have far-reaching effects on innovation, safety and future drone operations.
The state-appointed members of theUniform Law Commission (ULC) aim to promote uniformity by proposing model legislation for consideration by legislatures across the country.
In Detroit, the ULC will continue work on a proposed “Tort Law Relating to Drones Act” drafted by commissioners who have no aviation or drone experience and without consulting the federal government, state legislators or the industry. Their subsequent proposal fails to recognize the federal government’s exclusive control of airspace regulation and runs counter to existing law.
The draft proposal draws an inflexible, arbitrary line 200 feet in the sky and, if enacted by the states, would establish a new aerial trespass law. It anoints private property owners as de facto air traffic controllers, giving them a right to establish no-fly zones and creating a maze of flight paths with differing rules that operators must navigate on a house-by-house basis. As the draft goes much further than any existing state or federal law, it’s likely to cause significant controversy and could create a complicated patchwork of differing state laws that erode, rather than enhance, aviation safety. See more...