NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A3597B
SPONSOR: Zebrowski (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to unlawful
use of a drone
PURPOSE OF THE BILL:
This bill creates the crime of unlawful use of a drone.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill amends section 240.00 of the penal as it relates
to the definitions of drone, restricted airspace and personal use.
Section two of the bill amends the penal law by adding a new section
240.80 as it relates to creating the crime of unlawful use of a drone.
During personal use, an individual is guilty of unlawful use of an
unmanned aircraft when operating an aircraft more than 400 feet above
ground level or weighing more than 10 pounds. In addition, an individual
is guilty of unlawful use if an unmanned aircraft is used without a
visual line of sight, within a restricted airspace, in a reckless
manner, in a manner intended to harass or annoy, or below one hundred
feet above ground level on private property without the owner's consent.
Unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft is a violation.
Section three of the bill relates to the effective date.
This bill would provide reasonable regulations for the personal use of
drones. Currently, the FAA has banned commercial use of drones as it
develops guidelines which are expected to be released at the end of
2015. Although commercial operations are regulated, the FAA does not
govern recreational drone use therefore leaving it wholly unregulated
and susceptible to reckless use by civilians. There have been many
instances over the past several months of drones flown irresponsibly in
close proximity to airports and bridges. This bill would ensure safe and
proper use of drones by establishing reasonable restrictions that
protect the public.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE:
This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the
date upon which it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
January 27, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. ZEBROWSKI, GOTTFRIED, JAFFEE, TITONE, MARKEY,
SIMOTAS, STECK, STIRPE, DINOWITZ, MOSLEY, MONTESANO, McDONOUGH,
GUNTHER, CROUCH, COLTON, PEOPLES-STOKES, GALEF, LINARES -- Multi-Spon-
sored by -- M. of A. ABBATE, BRAUNSTEIN, COOK, DenDEKKER, DUPREY,
GLICK, HIKIND, LOPEZ, McLAUGHLIN, ROBINSON, SALADINO, SIMON -- read
once and referred to the Committee on Codes -- committee discharged,
bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said
committee -- again reported from said committee with amendments,
ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to unlawful use of a drone
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 240.00 of the penal law is amended by adding three
2 new subdivisions 7, 8 and 9 to read as follows:
3 7. "Drone" means an unmanned aircraft which is operated remotely with-
4 out the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the
6 8. "Restricted airspace" means any airspace over the property of a
7 correctional facility as defined in section forty of the correction law
8 or airspace within five miles of an airport.
9 9. "Personal use" means the operation of a drone solely for the
10 purpose of pleasure or recreation.
11 § 2. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 240.80 to read
12 as follows:
13 § 240.80 Unlawful use of a drone.
14 A person is guilty of unlawful use of a drone when during the personal
15 use of such drone, except as otherwise provided by federal law, he or
16 she knowingly operates a drone:
17 1. more than four hundred feet above ground level; or
18 2. weighing more than ten pounds; or
19 3. without a visual line of sight of such aircraft; or
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 3597--B 2
1 4. within a restricted airspace; or
2 5. in a reckless manner wherein such operation creates a risk of harm
3 to the public; or
4 6. with the intent to harass or annoy an individual or individuals; or
5 7. below one hundred feet above ground level on private property with-
6 out the owner's consent.
7 Unlawful use of a drone is a violation.
8 § 3. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
9 ing the date upon which it shall have become a law.