2023 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title XXV AVIATION
Chapter 330 REGULATION OF AIRCRAFT, PILOTS, AND AIRPORTS
SECTION 41Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act.
330.41 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act.—
(1) SHORT TITLE.—This act may be cited as the “Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act.”
(2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this act, the term:
(a) “Critical infrastructure facility” means any of the following, if completely enclosed by a fence or other physical barrier that is obviously designed to exclude intruders, or if clearly marked with a sign or signs which indicate that entry is forbidden and which are posted on the property in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders:
1. A power generation or transmission facility, substation, switching station, or electrical control center.
2. A chemical or rubber manufacturing or storage facility.
3. A water intake structure, water treatment facility, wastewater treatment plant, or pump station.
4. A mining facility.
5. A natural gas or compressed gas compressor station, storage facility, or natural gas or compressed gas pipeline.
6. A liquid natural gas or propane gas terminal or storage facility.
7. Any portion of an aboveground oil or gas pipeline.
8. A refinery.
9. A gas processing plant, including a plant used in the processing, treatment, or fractionation of natural gas.
10. A wireless communications facility, including the tower, antennae, support structures, and all associated ground-based equipment.
11. A seaport as listed in s. 311.09(1), which need not be completely enclosed by a fence or other physical barrier and need not be marked with a sign or signs indicating that entry is forbidden.
12. An inland port or other facility or group of facilities serving as a point of intermodal transfer of freight in a specific area physically separated from a seaport.
13. An airport as defined in s. 330.27.
14. A spaceport territory as defined in s. 331.303(18).
15. A military installation as defined in 10 U.S.C. s. 2801(c)(4) and an armory as defined in s. 250.01.
16. A dam as defined in s. 373.403(1) or other structures, such as locks, floodgates, or dikes, which are designed to maintain or control the level of navigable waterways.
17. A state correctional institution as defined in s. 944.02 or a private correctional facility authorized under chapter 957.
18. A secure detention center or facility as defined in s. 985.03, or a nonsecure residential facility, a high-risk residential facility, or a maximum-risk residential facility as those terms are described in s. 985.03(44).
19. A county detention facility as defined in s. 951.23.
20. A critical infrastructure facility as defined in s. 692.201.
(b) “Drone” has the same meaning as s. 934.50(2).
(c) “Drone delivery service” means a person or entity engaged in a business or profession of delivering goods via drone and who is governed by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(d) “Drone port” means a stand-alone building that does not exceed 1,500 square feet in area or 36 feet in height; is located in a nonresidential area; is used or intended for use by a drone delivery service for the storage, launch, landing, and observation of drones; was constructed using Type I or Type II construction as described in the Florida Building Code; and, if greater than one story in height, includes at least one stairwell that is compliant with the Florida Building Code.
(e) “Unmanned aircraft system” means a drone and its associated elements, including communication links and the components used to control the drone which are required for the pilot in command to operate the drone safely and efficiently.
(a) The authority to regulate the operation of unmanned aircraft systems is vested in the state except as provided in federal regulations, authorizations, or exemptions.
(b) Except as otherwise expressly provided, a political subdivision may not enact or enforce an ordinance or resolution relating to the design, manufacture, testing, maintenance, licensing, registration, certification, or operation of an unmanned aircraft system, including airspace, altitude, flight paths, equipment or technology requirements; the purpose of operations; and pilot, operator, or observer qualifications, training, and certification.
(c) Except as otherwise expressly provided, a political subdivision may not withhold issuance of a business tax receipt, development permit, or other use approval to a drone delivery service or enact or enforce an ordinance or resolution that prohibits a drone delivery service’s operation based on the location of its drone port, notwithstanding part II of chapter 163 and chapter 205. A political subdivision may enforce minimum setback and landscaping regulations that are generally applicable to permitted uses in the drone port site’s zoning district. This paragraph may not be construed to authorize a political subdivision to require additional landscaping as a condition of approval of a drone port.
(d) This subsection does not limit the authority of a local government to enact or enforce local ordinances relating to nuisances, voyeurism, harassment, reckless endangerment, property damage, or other illegal acts arising from the use of unmanned aircraft systems if such laws or ordinances are not specifically related to the use of an unmanned aircraft system for those illegal acts.
(4) PROTECTION OF CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITIES.—
(a) A person may not knowingly or willfully:
1. Operate a drone over a critical infrastructure facility;
2. Allow a drone to make contact with a critical infrastructure facility, including any person or object on the premises of or within the facility; or
3. Allow a drone to come within a distance of a critical infrastructure facility that is close enough to interfere with the operations of or cause a disturbance to the facility.
(b) A person who violates paragraph (a) commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. A person who commits a second or subsequent violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(c) This subsection does not apply to actions identified in paragraph (a) which are committed by:
1. A federal, state, or other governmental entity, or a person under contract or otherwise acting under the direction of a federal, state, or other governmental entity.
2. A law enforcement agency that is in compliance with s. 934.50, or a person under contract with or otherwise acting under the direction of such law enforcement agency.
3. An owner, operator, or occupant of the critical infrastructure facility, or a person who has prior written consent of such owner, operator, or occupant.
(d) This subsection and paragraph (2)(a) shall sunset 60 days after the date that a process pursuant to s. 2209 of the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016 becomes effective.
(5) CONSTRUCTION.—This section shall be construed in accordance with standards imposed by federal statutes, regulations, and Federal Aviation Administration guidance on unmanned aircraft systems.
History.—s. 8, ch. 2017-150; s. 1, ch. 2019-113; s. 2, ch. 2021-165; s. 1, ch. 2023-137; ss. 1, 2, ch. 2023-147.