Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 5.1. Aviation
Chapter 1. Aircraft, Airmen and Airports Generally
6/20/2019

This section has more than one version with varying effective dates. Scroll down to see all versions.

§ 5.1-1. (Effective until September 1, 2023) Definitions. (2018 updated section)

When used in this title, unless expressly stated otherwise:

"Aircraft" means any contrivance now known, or hereafter invented, used, or designed for navigation of or flight in the air, including a balloon or other contrivance designed for maneuvering in airspace at an altitude greater than 24 inches above ground or water level, except that any contrivance now or hereafter invented of fixed or flexible wing design, operating without the assistance of any motor, engine, or other mechanical propulsive device, which is designed to utilize the feet and legs of the operator or operators as the sole means of initiating and sustaining forward motion during the launch and of providing the point of contact with the ground upon landing and commonly called a "hang glider" shall not be included within this definition.

"Aircraft based in this Commonwealth" means an aircraft that is either (i) domiciled in a county, city, or town in the Commonwealth or (ii) parked in a county, city, or town in the Commonwealth when not in flight for the period of time specified in § 5.1-5.

"Airman" means any individual, including the person in command and any pilot, mechanic, or member of the crew, who engages in the navigation of aircraft while under way within Virginia airspace; any individual who is directly in charge of the inspection, maintenance, overhauling, or repair of aircraft, aircraft engines, propellers, or accessories; and any individual who serves in the capacity of aircraft dispatcher.

"Air navigation facility" means any airport ground or air navigation facility, other than one owned and operated by the United States, used in, available for use in, or designed for use in aid of air navigation, including any structures, buildings, mechanisms, lights, beacons, markers, communicating systems, or other instrumentalities or devices, and any combination of any or all of such facilities, used or useful as an aid, or constituting any advantage or convenience, to the safe taking off, navigation, and landing of aircraft; in the safe and efficient operation or maintenance of an airport; in the safe, efficient and convenient handling or processing of aviation passengers, mail or cargo; or in the servicing or maintenance of aircraft or ground equipment.

"Airport" means any area of land or water which is used, or intended for public use, for the landing and takeoff of aircraft, and any appurtenant areas that are used, or intended for use, for airport buildings or other airport facilities or rights-of-way, easements and together with all airport buildings and facilities located thereon.

"Airport hazard" means any structure, object or natural growth, or use of land that obstructs the airspace required for the flight of aircraft in landing or taking off at an airport or is otherwise hazardous to such landing or taking off of aircraft.

"Airspace" means all that space above the land and waters within the boundary of the Commonwealth.

"Board" means the Virginia Aviation Board.

"Civil aircraft" means any aircraft other than a public aircraft.

"Commercial aircraft" means any civil aircraft used in flight activity for compensation or for hire.

"Contract carrier by aircraft" or "contract carrier" means any person not included under the definitions of "common carrier by aircraft" or "restricted common carrier by aircraft" as defined in § 5.1-89 who, under special and individual contracts or agreements, and whether directly or by a lease or any other arrangement, transports passengers or property by aircraft for compensation and in the transportation of passengers does not charge individual fares.

"Department" means the Department of Aviation.

"Drop zone" means any locality whether over land or water that is used, or intended for use, for the landing and recovery of sky divers or parachutists using a parachute or other contrivance designed for sport jumping.

"Fighter or attack jet" means a jet-powered aircraft designed for military (i) combat training or (ii) operational mission execution.

"Landing area" or "landing field" means any locality, whether over land or water, including airports and intermediate landing fields, which is used or intended to be used for the landing and takeoff of aircraft and open to the public for such use, whether or not facilities are provided for the sheltering, servicing, or repair of aircraft or for receiving or discharging passengers or cargo.

"Person" means any individual, corporation, government, political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, two or more of any of the foregoing having a joint or common interest, or any other legal or commercial entity.

"Public aircraft" means an aircraft used exclusively in the service of any state, or political subdivision thereof, or the federal government. "Public aircraft" includes any fighter or attack jet that is leased or owned by a private entity, provided that the aircraft operations are conducted exclusively for the purpose of military combat training in service to the federal government.

Code 1950, § 5-1; 1966, c. 576; 1970, c. 717; 1975, c. 561; 1979, c. 272; 1980, c. 721; 1988, c. 588; 2011, c. 809; 2018, cc. 357, 441.

§ 5.1-1. (Effective September 1, 2023) Definitions. (2018 updated section)

When used in this title, unless expressly stated otherwise:

"Aircraft" means any contrivance now known, or hereafter invented, used, or designed for navigation of or flight in the air, including a balloon or other contrivance designed for maneuvering in airspace at an altitude greater than 24 inches above ground or water level, except that any contrivance now or hereafter invented of fixed or flexible wing design, operating without the assistance of any motor, engine, or other mechanical propulsive device, which is designed to utilize the feet and legs of the operator or operators as the sole means of initiating and sustaining forward motion during the launch and of providing the point of contact with the ground upon landing and commonly called a "hang glider" shall not be included within this definition.

"Aircraft based in this Commonwealth" means an aircraft that is either (i) domiciled in a county, city, or town in the Commonwealth or (ii) parked in a county, city, or town in the Commonwealth when not in flight for the period of time specified in § 5.1-5.

"Airman" means any individual, including the person in command and any pilot, mechanic, or member of the crew, who engages in the navigation of aircraft while under way within Virginia airspace; any individual who is directly in charge of the inspection, maintenance, overhauling, or repair of aircraft, aircraft engines, propellers, or accessories; and any individual who serves in the capacity of aircraft dispatcher.

"Air navigation facility" means any airport ground or air navigation facility, other than one owned and operated by the United States, used in, available for use in, or designed for use in aid of air navigation, including any structures, buildings, mechanisms, lights, beacons, markers, communicating systems, or other instrumentalities or devices, and any combination of any or all of such facilities, used or useful as an aid, or constituting any advantage or convenience, to the safe taking off, navigation, and landing of aircraft; in the safe and efficient operation or maintenance of an airport; in the safe, efficient and convenient handling or processing of aviation passengers, mail or cargo; or in the servicing or maintenance of aircraft or ground equipment.

"Airport" means any area of land or water which is used, or intended for public use, for the landing and takeoff of aircraft, and any appurtenant areas that are used, or intended for use, for airport buildings or other airport facilities or rights-of-way, easements and together with all airport buildings and facilities located thereon.

"Airport hazard" means any structure, object or natural growth, or use of land that obstructs the airspace required for the flight of aircraft in landing or taking off at an airport or is otherwise hazardous to such landing or taking off of aircraft.

"Airspace" means all that space above the land and waters within the boundary of the Commonwealth.

"Board" means the Virginia Aviation Board.

"Civil aircraft" means any aircraft other than a public aircraft.

"Commercial aircraft" means any civil aircraft used in flight activity for compensation or for hire.

"Contract carrier by aircraft" or "contract carrier" means any person not included under the definitions of "common carrier by aircraft" or "restricted common carrier by aircraft" as defined in § 5.1-89 who, under special and individual contracts or agreements, and whether directly or by a lease or any other arrangement, transports passengers or property by aircraft for compensation and in the transportation of passengers does not charge individual fares.

"Department" means the Department of Aviation.

"Drop zone" means any locality whether over land or water that is used, or intended for use, for the landing and recovery of sky divers or parachutists using a parachute or other contrivance designed for sport jumping.

"Landing area" or "landing field" means any locality, whether over land or water, including airports and intermediate landing fields, which is used or intended to be used for the landing and takeoff of aircraft and open to the public for such use, whether or not facilities are provided for the sheltering, servicing, or repair of aircraft or for receiving or discharging passengers or cargo.

"Person" means any individual, corporation, government, political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, two or more of any of the foregoing having a joint or common interest, or any other legal or commercial entity.

"Public aircraft" means an aircraft used exclusively in the service of any state, or political subdivision thereof, or the federal government.

Code 1950, § 5-1; 1966, c. 576; 1970, c. 717; 1975, c. 561; 1979, c. 272; 1980, c. 721; 1988, c. 588; 2011, c. 809.

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.