Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 24. Transportation And Motor Vehicles
Agency 5. Virginia Aviation Board
Chapter 20. Regulations Governing the Licensing and Operation of Airports and Aircraft and Obstructions to Airspace in the Commonwealth of Virginia

24VAC5-20-420. Political subdivision powers.

A. Any political subdivision may regulate the take-off and landing of an unmanned aircraft on property owned by the political subdivision, in a manner consistent with this part. All regulations of any political subdivision, whether enacted by ordinance or resolution by a locality or adopted by a political subdivision other than a locality, must comply with this part of this chapter.

B. The regulations may provide for times when take-offs and landings are allowed.

C. The regulations may designate specific properties of increased concern for public safety or risk to natural resources where an operator seeking to use the property must show (i) the purpose of the take-off and landing, (ii) what steps the operator will take to limit risk to the public or to natural resources, and (iii) information to demonstrate that the take-off and landing can be carried out without harm to the identified public safety risk or natural resources. On such properties, the regulation may deny permission to take-off or land unmanned aircraft, unless the operator can demonstrate the safety of the take-off and landing, based on the information provided.

Prior to designating any properties pursuant to this subsection, the political subdivision must show the basis for the designation. The designation must be based on a significant and specific risk to public safety or to natural resources. Every area designated pursuant to this subsection must include a map showing, with specificity, the area of prohibited use. The map and any related documents must be provided in electronic, computable, machine-readable, and transmissible form.

D. For unmanned aircraft with a takeoff weight of 55 pounds or more, the regulations may require the operator to provide information prior to any take-off or landing, demonstrating the safety of the take-off and landing. This subsection is inapplicable to any licensed airport or licensed UAS facility.

E. No political subdivision shall require a permit for operators for take-off and landing unmanned aircraft in areas designated for unmanned aircraft use. This subsection shall not apply to unmanned aircraft covered by subsection C of this section.

F. No political subdivision shall regulate the take-off and landing of unmanned aircraft with a ready-for-take-off weight of less than 0.55 pounds, except on properties regulated pursuant to the authority in subsection B of this section.

G. Any political subdivision may provide or participate in offering UAS classes, competitions, and similar events on its property.

Statutory Authority

§§ 5.1-2.2 and 5.1-2.15 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 40, Issue 3, eff. October 25, 2023.

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