AN ACT TO CLARIFY THAT AGENTS OR AGENCIES OF THE STATE OR A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE SHALL HAVE AUTHORITY TO PROCURE AND OPERATE UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS UPON APPROVAL OF THE STATE CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER AND TO MODIFY THE REGULATION OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS TO CONFORM TO FAA GUIDELINES.
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Under current law, the Division of Aviation of the Department of Transportation (Division) is responsible for the development of and administration of a knowledge and skills test for operating an unmanned aircraft. Amends GS 63-95(b) to delete the requirement that the test be a skills test; instead requires only a knowledge test. Adds language requiring that the test must ensure that the operator of an unmanned aircraft system is knowledgeable of the state statutes and regulations that regulate the operation of unmanned aircraft systems. Makes conforming changes, deleting all references to requiring a skills test for operating unmanned aircraft systems.
Amends GS 63-96 and deletes the requirement for a "license" for commercial operation of unmanned aircraft systems and instead requires a "permit" for commercial operation of unmanned aircraft systems. Removes all references in this section to "license" and replaces them with "permit." Decreases the minimum permittee age from 18 to 17. Provides that a person who operates an unmanned aircraft system for commercial purposes other than as authorized under this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Provides that before implementation of the knowledge test and permit process required by GS 63-96, any person authorized by the FAA for commercial operation of an unmanned aircraft system in this state will not be in violation of GS 63-96. However, the person must make an application for a state permit for commercial operation within 60 days of the full implementation of the permitting process and are issued a state commercial operation permit in due course.
Amends the long title of this act.
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