Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 9. General Powers of Local Governments

§ 15.2-926.3. Local regulation of certain aircraft.

A. No political subdivision may regulate the use of a privately owned, unmanned aircraft system as defined in § 19.2-60.1 within its boundaries.

B. Notwithstanding the prohibition of subsection A, a political subdivision may, by ordinance or regulation, regulate the take-off and landing of an unmanned aircraft, as defined in § 19.2-60.1, on property owned by the political subdivision. Such ordinance or regulation shall be developed and authorized in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Aviation (the Department). Such rules and regulations shall be in accordance with federal rules and regulations and shall include a process for adoption of an ordinance or regulation, exemptions to the ordinance or regulation, political subdivision training, and notification requirements. The political subdivision shall report to the Department any ordinance or regulation adopted pursuant to this section, and the Department shall publish and update annually on its website, and any other website the Department deems appropriate, a summary of any such ordinance or regulation adopted.

C. Nothing in this section shall permit a person to go or enter upon land owned by a political subdivision solely because he is in possession of an unmanned aircraft system if he would not otherwise be permitted entry upon such land.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit (i) 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; (ii) 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; (iii) the take-off or landing of an unmanned aircraft being operated by a sworn public safety officer in the performance of his duties; or (iv) 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 his assigned duties.

2016, c. 451; 2018, cc. 851, 852; 2020, c. 345.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.