2017 Session - MONTANA 

Bad Bill Bob's Commentary on SB170

Attention parents of youngsters who have their little remote control helicopters or airplanes!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Here is a bill that will create civil penalities for ANYONE who flies UNDER 250 feet above                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
the ground over a nearby neighbors fence (thus trespassing) of A MINIMUM of $500.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
And for commercial UAV operators (and of course serious hobbyiests), SB170                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
FLIES IN THE FACE OF FEDERAL AIRSPACE REGS UNDER FAA AUTHORITY.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
This bill does not care if the aircraft is with OR without a camera. It does not care if the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
wind comes up and grabs the little unit and sucks it over the fence. And if by some                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
chance, the little bugger flies over a feedlot or railroad tracks, the penalty is                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
NOT LESS THAN $2500!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
This bill has lawsuits written all over it. The challenge is for the state to somehow                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
demonstrate that it has the authority of the airspace in Montana, rather than the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
federal authority that the US Congress granted the FAA over 50 years ago.