State Seeks Local Input on Drone Usage/Regulations

The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Aviation Administration seeks local input for small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) and the regulatory framework managing those aircraft and operators.

The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Aviation Administration seeks input from state and local government officials on sUAS operations and their impact on residents and communities. The survey asks eight short questions and should take no more than five minutes to complete. Local feedback is valuable as MDOT MAA evaluates the current state of awareness and regulatory needs.

In Maryland, the State has exclusive power to regulate drone usage. As such, counties and municipalities are preempted from enacting local ordinances that prohibit, restrict, or regulate the testing or operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

SB 370 – Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Development, Regulation, and Privacy Act of 2015 grants the State exclusive power to regulate drone usage, preempting municipalities and counties from enacting local ordinances. MACo opposed this legislation as preemption of county authority and secured an amendment to assess the need for new laws or local tools after three years of industry maturation.

As a result of MACo’s amendment, a statewide workgroup studied and reported incidents and patterns on small UAS activities in Maryland. The 2019 report describes the challenges drones create for local law enforcement and the need to clarify rules and authorities.

Click here to access the MDOT MAA survey.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.