Kentucky UAS Laws

Note on Federal vs State Laws:

Federal airspace laws take precedence over state drone laws. If a state or local law directly conflicts with FAA regulations, the state or local law is likely to be invalidated.



"Unmanned aircraft" means an aircraft operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.

"Operator" means a person operating or flying an unmanned aircraft

Statutes/Bills (passed):

HB 540 - An ACT relating to aviation safety

HB 540 allows commercial airports to prepare unmanned aircraft facility maps. The bill specifies that UAS operators cannot operate, take off or land in areas designated by an airport’s map. It also prohibits operation of UAS in a reckless manner that creates a serious risk of physical injury or damage to property. Anyone who violates these provisions is guilty of a class A misdemeanor, or a class D felony if the violation causes a significant change of course or a serious disruption to the safe travel of an aircraft. The law specifies that these provisions do not apply to commercial operators in compliance with FAA regulations. 

SB 157 (KY Acts ch. 061) - AN ACT relating to drones.

Section 1. KRS 511.100 is amended to read as follows:

1. As used in this section:

a. "Key infrastructure assets" means:

i. Any critical node of a system used in the production or generation of electrical energy;

ii. A petroleum refinery;

iii. A rubber or hazardous chemical manufacturing facility;

iv. A petroleum or hazardous chemical storage facility or terminal;

v. Natural gas processing, fractionation, stabilization, and compressor station facilities, as well as above-ground pipelines and related facilities;

vi. Railroad yards and railroad tunnel portals;

vii. A drinking water collection, treatment, or storage facility;

viii. Grounds or property of a state prison, juvenile justice facility, jail, or other facility for the detention of persons charged with or convicted of crimes;

ix. A facility used for research, development, design, production, delivery, or maintenance of military weapons systems, subsystems, and components or parts to meet military requirements of the United States; or

x. A wireless communications facility, including the tower, antennae, support structures and all associated ground-based equipment, and a telecommunications central switching office; and

b. "Unmanned aircraft system" means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human interaction from within or on the aircraft and includes everything that is on board or otherwise attached to the aircraft and all associated elements, including communication links and the components that control the small unmanned aircraft, that are required for the safe and efficient operation of the unmanned aircraft in the national airspace system.

2. A person commits the offense of trespass upon key infrastructure assets if he or she knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon real property on 5which key infrastructure assets are located. A person commits the offense of trespass upon key infrastructure assets if he 7or she knowingly uses, or retains or authorizes a person to use, an unmanned 8aircraft system to fly above real property on which key infrastructure assets 9are located with the intent to cause harm or damage to or conduct surveillance 10of the key infrastructure asset without the prior consent of the owner, tenant, 11or lessee of the real property.

3. Trespass upon key infrastructure assets is a Class B misdemeanor for the first offense, and a Class A misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense

4. This section does not apply to:

a. An unmanned aircraft system used by the federal government or by the Commonwealth, or by a person acting pursuant to a contract with the federal government or the Commonwealth;

b. An unmanned aircraft system used by:

i. The owner of the real property or key infrastructure asset;

ii. A person under a valid lease, servitude, right-of-way, right of use, permit, license, or other right granted by the owner of the real property or key infrastructure asset; or

iii. A third party who is retained or authorized by a person specified in subparagraph 1. or 2. of this paragraph;

c. An unmanned aircraft system used by a law enforcement agency, emergency medical service agency, hazardous material response team, disaster management agency, or other emergency management agency for the purpose of incident command, area reconnaissance, personnel and equipment deployment monitoring, training, or a related purpose;

d. Operation of an unmanned aircraft system by a person or entity for a commercial purpose in compliance with applicable Federal Aviation Administration authorization, regulations, or exemptions;

e. A satellite orbiting the earth;

f. An unmanned aircraft system used by an insurance company or a person acting on behalf of an insurance company for purposes of underwriting an insurance risk or investigating damage to insured property; or

g. An unmanned aircraft system used strictly in accordance with an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.



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