BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        SB 170|
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                                   THIRD READING 


          Bill No:  SB 170
          Author:   Gaines (R) et al.
          Amended:  6/2/15  
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE:  6-0, 4/14/15
           AYES:  Hancock, Anderson, Leno, McGuire, Monning, Stone
           NO VOTE RECORDED:  Liu

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE:  7-0, 5/28/15
           AYES:  Lara, Bates, Beall, Hill, Leyva, Mendoza, Nielsen

           SUBJECT:   Unmanned aircraft systems:  correctional facilities


          SOURCE:    Author
          
          DIGEST:   This bill is to make the intentional operation of an  
          unmanned aircraft system in airspace over laying a prison or  
          jail a misdemeanor.

          ANALYSIS:   

          Existing federal law, the Aviation Administration Modernization  
          and Reform Act of 2012, requires the Secretary of Transportation  
          to develop a comprehensive plan to safely accelerate the  
          integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national  
          airspace system.  The plan is required to provide for safe  
          integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into national  
          airspace as soon as practicable, not later than September 30,  
          2015.  (112 P.L. 95, 332.)

          This bill makes it a misdemeanor to intentionally operate an  








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          unmanned aircraft system below the navigable airspace overlying  
          a state prison or jail without prior permission.

          

          Background

          This bill uses the term "unmanned aircraft systems," as defined,  
          to reference what are commonly known as drones.  That term, also  
          used by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), would be  
          defined to include the unmanned aircraft itself (the drone) and  
          the associated elements (which include the components that  
          control the aircraft).  Regarding the types of aircraft that may  
          be considered unmanned aircraft systems, the FAA's fact sheet  
          notes:

               Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) come in a variety of  
               shapes and sizes and serve diverse purposes.  They may  
               have a wingspan as large as a Boeing 737 or smaller than  
               a radio-controlled model airplane.  Regardless of size,  
               the responsibility to fly safely applies equally to  
               manned and unmanned aircraft operations.

               Because they are inherently different from manned  
               aircraft, introducing UAS into the nation's airspace is  
               challenging for both the FAA and aviation community.  UAS  
               must be integrated into a National Airspace System (NAS)  
               that is evolving from ground-based navigation aids to a  
               GPS-based system in NextGen.  Safe integration of UAS  
               involves gaining a better understanding of operational  
               issues, such as training requirements, operational  
               specifications and technology considerations. 

          Although not always thought of when the word "drone" is used,  
          hobby-size airplanes and helicopters that are equipped with  
          digital cameras are becoming more and more affordable for the  
          average consumer.  Those hobby aircraft may be used for pure  
          novelty, surveying one's yard, or even checking to see the  
          condition of a roof.  With respect to the treatment of model  
          aircraft as an unmanned aircraft system, the FAA has issued the  
          following clarification:

               The current FAA policy for UAS operations is that no  
               person may operate a UAS in the National Airspace  







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               System without specific authority.  For UAS operating  
               as public aircraft the authority is the [Certificate  
               of Waiver or Authorization], for UAS operating as  
               civil aircraft the authority is special airworthiness  
               certificates, and for model aircraft the authority is  
               AC 91-57 [(the model aircraft operating standards)]. 

               The FAA recognizes that people and companies other  
               than modelers might be flying UAS with the mistaken  
               understanding that they are legally operating under  
               the authority of AC 91-57.  AC 91-57 only applies to  
               modelers, and thus specifically excludes its use by  
               persons or companies for business purposes.
          
          This bill makes it a misdemeanor to fly an unmanned aircraft  
          system (drone) over a prison or jail without permission.  The  
          penalty would be up to six month in jail or by a fine not  
          exceeding $1,000.
          
          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:YesLocal:   Yes

          According the Senate Appropriations Committee: 

           Non-reimbursable local costs for enforcement and  
            incarceration offset to a degree by fine revenue for the  
            new misdemeanor. 

          SUPPORT:   (6/1/15)

          California Correctional Peace Officers Association
          California Police Chiefs Association
          California State Sheriffs' Association

          OPPOSITION:   (6/1/15)

          California Attorneys for Criminal Justice

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:     

          The California Police Chiefs Association supports this bill  
          stating:

              As unmanned aircraft become more publically accessible,  







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              virtually anyone will be able to use the devise to drop  
              contraband into a prison or county jail. Additionally,  
              unmanned aircraft systems can be used to gather  
              sensitive information from inside of prisons and jails.  
              This information can be used for a variety of dangerous  
              exploits including inmate escapes and prison riots.  
              Placing restrictions on the use of unmanned aircraft  
              over prisons and jails helps prevent these situations
              .
          ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION:     

          California Attorneys for Criminal Justice oppose this bill  
          stating:

              The Proposed section 4578 would prohibit the use of  
              unmanned aircraft below navigable airspace overlaying a  
              state prison or jail, even when not committing the  
              contraband crimes set forth in the rest of the chapter.  
              The proposed legislation would impermissibly shield the  
              prison from the public eye. Given the California prison  
              system's recent history of deplorable conditions, this  
              law would promote an air of secrecy in and around the  
              prison's walls.


          Prepared by:Mary Kennedy / PUB. S. / 
          6/2/15 14:03:39


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