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H.R. 4432: Commercial UAS Modernization Act

Title: Commercial UAS Modernization Act

Introduced: Feb 2, 2016 (114th Congress)

Sponsor: Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D-OR3]

Status: Referred to Committee - Referred to the Subcommittee on Space.

Summary: Commercial UAS Modernization Act This bill amends the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to permit an individual to operate a small commercial unmanned aircraft without an airworthiness certificate within the United States until the effective date of a final rule based on the notice of proposed rulemaking "Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems" issued on February 23, 2015, subject to the following requirements: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive an attestation that the aircraft owner has liability insurance covering its operation; the owner must register the aircraft; the operator must pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test developed by the FAA and a proficiency test administered by a test site for such aircraft; the aircraft may be operated for commercial purposes only in daylight conditions, under visual line of sight rules, lower than 500 feet above ground level, and only after a preflight inspection; and the aircraft shall yield right of way to all other users of the National Airspace System. Such an aircraft may not be operated: (1) until the operator of a test site certifies that it meets the requirements in the rulemaking notice and can operate within such restrictions; (2) unless the operator has prior authorization from the air traffic control facility having jurisdiction over the Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport; and (3) by any individual with any physical or mental condition that would interfere with safe operation of the aircraft. The operator of a such an aircraft involved in an accident causing personal injury or property damage must report it to the FAA within two days. The FAA shall provide for a micro UAS classification of unmanned aircraft systems, the aircraft component of which may not weigh more than 4.4 pounds, including payload. The operation of such a micro shall be subject to specified restrictions. The bill directs the FAA to: appoint a Deputy Associate Administrator for Unmanned Aircraft who shall create a research and development plan for the safe integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System; establish a joint aircraft system research and development data collection and analysis program at the William J. Hughes Technical Center; and implement an air traffic management pilot program to research and test a new regulatory structure for operations of such aircraft in airspace below 1,200 feet.


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