Michigan House Passes Drone Legislation

Michigan Drone Bills Pass the House in late March 2018

HB 5494, HB5495, and HB 5496 pass the House on March 22, 2018, HB 5494 passing 108 yeas to 1 nays, HB5495 passing 104 yeas to 5 nays, and HB 5496 passing with 107 yeas to 2 nays. The bills head to the Senate for approval.

These two bills are from recommendations made by the Michigan Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force back on November 20, 2017. This Task Force chaired by the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Michael Trout made recommendations for regulation and operations of UAS within the State.

HB5494 adds language to make a person criminally liable for an offense committed while being aided by an UAS while HB5495 adds to the Michigan Penal Code that if an individual knowingly or intentionally operates a UAS in a way that interferes with the operations of key facilities, to include correctional facilities, that they could be punished as with a felony charge and punished with up to 4 years imprisonment and up to a $2,500 fine.

HB5496 amends the duties of the Michigan Aeronautics Commission to include additional responsibilities for UAS. These would include:

  • Providing advice to departments and agencies of the state about UAS and related technologies
  • Provide advice to the public about:
    1. Regulation of unmanned aircraft systems by the federal government and by this state
    2. Safe operating principles for unmanned aircraft systems
    3. Restrictions on the use of unmanned aircraft systems
    4. Any other matters within the scope of the Commission’s authority under the Act
  • Provide education and information to departments and agencies of the state, political subdivisions, and the general public about unmanned aircraft systems.
  • Receive and consider comments from persons in the state that are interested in or affected by the use of UAS.

Rep Hoitenga, a Republican from Manton, sponsored the bill.

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