UAS Legislative Update - May 15, 2018
AUVSI Cascade Chapter continues to track legislation on unmanned systems and robotics in both the Oregon and Washington legislatures. We do this by having engaged members on our chapter Board of Directors serving on state boards and working groups as well as through our membership advocates as opportunities present themselves. We also provide education, testimony, commentary and letters regarding proposed legislation. Importantly, through our community outreach, we provide public briefings to civic, academic and fraternal organizations as well as the media that are authoritative, straight from “face-of-the-industry” professionals and which fairly represent the views of our members. And, finally, we collaborate with other industry trade organizations where mutual interests are at stake to ensure our interests are appropriately represented and informed decisions are rendered.
In Oregon, AUVSI Cascade Chapter was and is a major voice in discussing potential legislation at the Oregon Legislature’s UAS Work Group led by Rep. Rich Vial. We benefit from our diverse Board of Directors that includes experienced operators, a test range manager and two seasoned attorneys as well as a broad network of experts in industry, government and academia. This close working relationship and resident expertise has been invaluable in authoritatively addressing proposed legislation. Major unmanned systems legislation recently considered included:
- HB 3046 – relating to law enforcement asking other agencies to use drones to gather information (Judiciary Committee)
- HB 3048 – relating to UAS proximity to individuals (Judiciary Committee)
- HB 3243 – relating to law enforcement agency equipment (Judiciary Committee)
- HB 4063 – designates Oregon Department of Transportation as lead agency for autonomous vehicle programs and establishes a Task Force on Autonomous Vehicles (enacted)
- HB 4152 – relating to wildfire use of UAS (enacted)
- SB 1543 – Modifies elements of, and exceptions to, crime involving unlawful operation of unmanned aircraft system, notably to fire or drop a weapon or projectile (enacted)
The last three bills were successfully enacted by the Oregon Legislature and Governor.
The Washington legislature was also active in the area of unmanned systems in 2017 and 2018. Notable legislation that was proposed (and the respective committee considering it) included:
- HB 1031 – UAS remain 200 yards from Orcas (Senate Committee)
- HB 1049 – UAS contact info; overflight of property (House Committee)
- HB 2363 – UAS delivery of contraband to secure facilities (Senate Committee)
- HB 2131 – Autonomous vehicles (House Committee)
- HB 2970 – Establishing Autonomous Working Group (enacted)
- HB 2971 – Autonomous Working Group report by January 2, 2019 (House Committee)
As you can see, with the exception of HB 2970, most of the legislation did not get to the floor of the state house or senate.
If you know or hear of legislation or local community policies regarding unmanned systems and robotics, please bring it to the attention of our Cascade Chapter President, Tom Hagen, so we can help ensure 1) we are aware of it, and 2) we can help ensure informed decisions are made by our local officials, legislative staff and legislators here in the Pacific Northwest. Tom can be contacted at the following email address: tomhagen@CascadeAUVSI.org.