Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: April 21, 2016
Sen. Ron Sharp
Drone bill flies to House for further consideration
On Wednesday, the Senate passed House Bill 2599 to
address growing concerns surrounding the popular use of drones.
Sharp is the principal Senate author of the measure that restricts
flight of unmanned aircraft over “critical infrastructure”
less than 400 feet above ground level or past their fence lines.
“What fences and barriers do to prevent trespassers at critical
sites, House Bill 2499 is trying to do in the airspace with new
technology of unmanned aircraft,” said Sharp, R-Shawnee. “Concerns
have been raised that this bill isn’t needed because federal
regulations already prohibit unmanned aircraft over such facilities.
However, the FAA regulations are only guidelines to pilots and operators
of unmanned aircraft to avoid such airspace, but there is not a
strict prohibition currently.”
The bill defines “critical infrastructure” as locations
that are completely fenced in or obviously marked to prevent intruders
such as, among others, refineries, electric power generation facilities,
gas processing sites, water treatment plants and dams.
The Senate amended the bill to require signage on critical infrastructure
property that also forbids flight of unmanned aircraft without site
authorization. The criminal penalty and misdemeanor offense were
also removed and replaced with a provision that violators may be
found civilly liable for damages to the critical infrastructure
property, environment or human health.
HB 2599 exempts the government, law enforcement, the owner of the
critical infrastructure facility, and operators authorized by the
FAA to conduct operations over that airspace.
The measure now returns to the House for consideration of the Senate
For more information,
Sen. Sharp: (405) 521-5539