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
4/22/2024

24VAC5-20-440. Exceptions.

A. No ordinance or regulation may prohibit:

1. The take-off or landing of an unmanned aircraft by a commercial operator in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations or as deemed reasonable or necessary by private or public entities for emergency or maintenance support functions or services, including the protection and maintenance of public or private critical infrastructure;

2. The landing of an unmanned aircraft by an operator in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations as deemed reasonable or necessary by the operator in the event of a technical malfunction of an unmanned aircraft system;

3. The take-off or landing of an unmanned aircraft being operated by a sworn public safety officer or other emergency response personnel in the performance of the public safety officer's duties;

4. The take-off or landing of an unmanned aircraft owned or operated by the United States government or any operator under contract with any agency of the United States government in performance of the officer's assigned duties;

5. The take-off or landing of an unmanned aircraft by a commercial operator done as a part of the response to an emergency declared by the Governor or a local emergency declared pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth; or

6. The take-off or landing of unmanned aircraft by employees and agents of a political subdivision on that political subdivision's lands.

B. No political subdivision's local regulation enacted pursuant to the authority in this chapter shall apply to take-offs and landings on the vehicular travel portions of public highways or streets or to rights of ways adjacent to travel portions of the highways or streets.

C. If a private entity has exclusive use of more than one-half acre of public property for a specific event, such as a concert, sports activity, or family event, any local regulation may allow the entity to launch and land its own unmanned aircraft at the event and may allow an operator employed by the entity to launch and land unmanned aircraft during the event on that property only.

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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