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TN - State Law SB 306 effective 7/1/19 - Questions?

CCD

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Trying to do more research for flying here in TN and ran into this new article which I further looked into as well.


LINK to SB 306 Tennessee General Assembly Legislation

Can anyone tell me how this new law could/would be interpreted in/near "Downtown Nashville". Being new to flying, as well to Nashville, I am not sure if the rail lines near downtown could fall into this if I were to be doing a fly over for footage of Nashville. Is this so vague as to be able to used for anything?

Want to make sure I am staying compliant.

I am concerned on the definitions of critical infrastructure cited below.

"Criminal Offenses - As enacted, increases the penalty for using an unmanned aircraft over a critical infrastructure facility without the business operator's consent from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class E felony; adds communication service facilities to the types of facilities that are considered critical infrastructure facilities. - Amends TCA Title 39."

BILL SUMMARY
ON FEBRUARY 25, 2019, THE SENATE ADOPTED AMENDMENT #1 AND PASSED SENATE BILL 306, AS AMENDED.

AMENDMENT #1 adds communication service facilities to the types of facilities that are critical infrastructure facilities under present law for purposes of the prohibition on the use of unmanned aircraft for surveillance. Present law defines "critical infrastructure facility" to mean:

(1) An electrical power generation system; electrical transmission system, either as a whole system or any individual component of the transmission system; or electrical distribution substation;
(2) A petroleum refinery;
(3) A manufacturing facility that utilizes any hazardous substance either in storage or in the process of manufacturing;
(4) A chemical or rubber manufacturing facility;
(5) A petroleum or chemical storage facility;
(6) A water or wastewater treatment facility;
(7) Any facility, equipment, or pipeline infrastructure utilized in the storage, transmission, or distribution of natural gas or propane; and
(8) Railroad yards and facilities not open to the general public.
 

Thomas B

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Onerous that the laws elevates it to a felony, but FAA rules may supersede.... still it wil likely be local enforcement.

Point #8 seems to be your answer. Point#7 may also apply, ie, tank cars.

Did I miss the point/question?
 

CCD

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Onerous that the laws elevates it to a felony, but FAA rules may supersede.... still it wil likely be local enforcement.

Point #8 seems to be your answer. Point#7 may also apply, ie, tank cars.

Did I miss the point/question?
I think you got the question. I am just wondering if this is another hurdle here for me not to be able to fly in Downtown Nashville, where I feel it already is a challenge. Just leads me to the next question, what is defined as close or in proximity.

I am sure this is a challenge for all who are trying to fly responsibly just looking for any help here.
 

HawkDriver

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I was in the TN NG Aviation unit that is now based out of BNA. We (along with FAA and BNA) established our inbound/outbound VFR routes that utilize visual checkpoints all around Nashville. The rail yard and lines south of downtown are one of them. Primarily we'd stick to following the interstates when under VFR unless tower directed us otherwise. I will say that Metro PD, TBI, and 'other' agencies buzz all around Nashville at all altitudes so keep an eye (and ear) out.
 

rustysteel

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Following as I also fly in TN and photograph rail operations... not good...
 

Thomas B

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...Just leads me to the next question, what is defined as close or in proximity.

I am sure this is a challenge for all who are trying to fly responsibly just looking for any help here.
That is likely a question best posed to the Nashville city government. The possibility of a waiver from FAA does exist, albeit a long process.
 

BigAl07

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I was in the TN NG Aviation unit that is now based out of BNA. We (along with FAA and BNA) established our inbound/outbound VFR routes that utilize visual checkpoints all around Nashville. The rail yard and lines south of downtown are one of them. Primarily we'd stick to following the interstates when under VFR unless tower directed us otherwise. I will say that Metro PD, TBI, and 'other' agencies buzz all around Nashville at all altitudes so keep an eye (and ear) out.
I've flown in and out of KBNA and at times it can be a seemingly Charlie Foxtrot. We were leaving one evening a couple of years ago and the planes were stacked up as far as the eye could see with some "Holding" in layers. I tried to get a picture of it (I was #2 in the cockpit before anyone freaks out LOL) but it turned out horrible. It was something to see with the sky "littered" with landing and anti-collision lights.
 

brett8883

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Trying to do more research for flying here in TN and ran into this new article which I further looked into as well.


LINK to SB 306 Tennessee General Assembly Legislation

Can anyone tell me how this new law could/would be interpreted in/near "Downtown Nashville". Being new to flying, as well to Nashville, I am not sure if the rail lines near downtown could fall into this if I were to be doing a fly over for footage of Nashville. Is this so vague as to be able to used for anything?

Want to make sure I am staying compliant.

I am concerned on the definitions of critical infrastructure cited below.

"Criminal Offenses - As enacted, increases the penalty for using an unmanned aircraft over a critical infrastructure facility without the business operator's consent from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class E felony; adds communication service facilities to the types of facilities that are considered critical infrastructure facilities. - Amends TCA Title 39."

BILL SUMMARY
ON FEBRUARY 25, 2019, THE SENATE ADOPTED AMENDMENT #1 AND PASSED SENATE BILL 306, AS AMENDED.

AMENDMENT #1 adds communication service facilities to the types of facilities that are critical infrastructure facilities under present law for purposes of the prohibition on the use of unmanned aircraft for surveillance. Present law defines "critical infrastructure facility" to mean:

(1) An electrical power generation system; electrical transmission system, either as a whole system or any individual component of the transmission system; or electrical distribution substation;
(2) A petroleum refinery;
(3) A manufacturing facility that utilizes any hazardous substance either in storage or in the process of manufacturing;
(4) A chemical or rubber manufacturing facility;
(5) A petroleum or chemical storage facility;
(6) A water or wastewater treatment facility;
(7) Any facility, equipment, or pipeline infrastructure utilized in the storage, transmission, or distribution of natural gas or propane; and
(8) Railroad yards and facilities not open to the general public.
I’m not a lawyer but it sounds like a case of a State government trying to undermine Federal Authority and would likely be overturned by the courts but not before somebody is dragged through the mud and you likely don’t want to be that guy. If you were to be charged with such a crime it would probably eventually be thrown out but it doesn’t mean it would be any less fun or expensive for you.

The FAA has a good little brochure on this and I encourage you to send it to your state representative. This is what you have to hate about our judicial system, before the law can be overturned somebody’s near term life has to be ruined.

FAA has a good brochure on this subject https://www.faa.gov/uas/resources/policy_library/media/UAS_Fact_Sheet_Final.pdf I would write to the FAA to try to get help and also your State Representatives.
 

HawkDriver

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I've flown in and out of KBNA and at times it can be a seemingly Charlie Foxtrot. We were leaving one evening a couple of years ago and the planes were stacked up as far as the eye could see with some "Holding" in layers. I tried to get a picture of it (I was #2 in the cockpit before anyone freaks out LOL) but it turned out horrible. It was something to see with the sky "littered" with landing and anti-collision lights.
Ha yep those first few months we were at BNA were a bit, well, lets say sporty. They are always busy there. ATC had to work us into their pattern one evening when returning from a training IFR flight. The controller keyed the mic, gave an audible annoyed-sigh, gave us our clearance and instruction and requested we execute the ILS at 150 kts. He then asked 3 Southwest airliners to slow back to accommodate. Fun times!
 
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CCD

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I’m not a lawyer but it sounds like a case of a State government trying to undermine Federal Authority and would likely be overturned by the courts but not before somebody is dragged through the mud and you likely don’t want to be that guy. If you were to be charged with such a crime it would probably eventually be thrown out but it doesn’t mean it would be any less fun or expensive for you.

The FAA has a good little brochure on this and I encourage you to send it to your state representative. This is what you have to hate about our judicial system, before the law can be overturned somebody’s near term life has to be ruined.

FAA has a good brochure on this subject https://www.faa.gov/uas/resources/policy_library/media/UAS_Fact_Sheet_Final.pdf I would write to the FAA to try to get help and also your State Representatives.
Thanks for the info, I am not going to be that guy who gets dragged into that situation. Writing my state rep sounds like the best option. I appreciate pointing me to that PDF, hopefully I will never have to reference it.
 

kensteele

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Thanks for the info, I am not going to be that guy who gets dragged into that situation. Writing my state rep sounds like the best option. I appreciate pointing me to that PDF, hopefully I will never have to reference it.
of course, none of us want to be that guy, we are all law-abiding citizens and we'll comply until the laws change but the laws won't change. this law will never be reverse or challenged in court in fact, it will probably get strengthened as the list of critical infrastructure locations grow exponentially.

the only positive change i see that might be available is to add something about intent.
 

JAW

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If I'm not mistaken, the FAA allows local authorities to determine critical infrastructure and establish no-fly zone's around it. As far as I know, there's no hard and fast definition of what a critical infrastructure is. That would leave it to the locals to determine what in their case is a critical infrastructure.
 

Rich55

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I too am native Nashvillian and would like nothing better than fly around downtown just to record what is happening to my home town. I may still do it on a early Sunday morning or a holiday when the city is not buzzing or full of tourists. I know that is getting harder by the day, I live very close to Nashville and go through downtown very regularly. I just passed my 107 certification my suggestion and advise is stay away from any populated area till you feel 100% or 99% sure you can handle drone with no reservations should something like loss of communicate or loss of visual. I would ask a friend to be there to assist. If you have done much flying around buildings there is a lot of turbulence when there is little to no wind at ground level. Pre plan your flight keep it short get drone own put it away try not to draw attention get in and get out. Don’t be the guy that shows up on the local news or Facebook everyone is talk g about. Finally rate the risk decide is it really worth the liability are you ready to pay the price should something go bad wrong. The mere fact you have posted in public forum will be used against you should something really bad happens. Rail lines are federally protected I would not fly anywhere within their right away. As a photographer I don’t make portraits of people setting on railroads either for the fact you are trespassing when walking on railroad. Yep I am conservative and rather spend my money on trips or equipment not with lawyer defending my actions. I don’t argue with police either. 64 years has taught me you can’t fight city hall unless you have a heck of a lot more money than majority of folks on this forum. You can find millionaires go broke trying to defend themselves OJ is rare exception.
 

kensteele

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If I'm not mistaken, the FAA allows local authorities to determine critical infrastructure and establish no-fly zone's around it. As far as I know, there's no hard and fast definition of what a critical infrastructure is. That would leave it to the locals to determine what in their case is a critical infrastructure.
....Rail lines are federally protected I would not fly anywhere within their right away.
protected from what? for the numerous engineers that repeatedly crash their trains rounding corners too fast or failing to brake because they're watching netflix? when trains derail and all kinds of dangerous chemicals are spilled into the local water or a cloud of toxic gas descends on half the city making everybody sick and schools have to evacuated for a week, is that because these rails are being protected against terrorists who are trying to disrupt our lives or maybe the engineer should stay off his mobile phone or get some sleep at night?

some people just want to get photos of the amtrak train twisting thru the mountains. have you been to a large railyard? it's actually pretty cool. many people grew up with trains, once upon a time when we were free, we could love trains...and we could take pictures of them. today, the trains are located in the same places where there are shops and people gather and there is scenery. everyone has a union square or union station or union hub.

everything is a critical infrastructure. the terrorists saw that america was too free and so they set out to change that. a couple of attacks and a slew of nasty notes later, they have departed our nation and left our country in lock down with the citizens spying on each other and tearing ourselves apart. i went to a grade school public school like everyone else. the school yard is not a critical infrastructure. but the people now in charge of the local councils, everything from the city water tower to city hall counts; from the local baseball stadium to the bus terminal; a wifi router on a pole at 8th and main; the at&t cellphone towner in the middle of nowhere; the power lines that run across town and the waterfall that was created by the smallest dam on the east coast; birds nesting on the beach for the entire coastline and then there's the abandoned lighthouse that we "could" use in an emergency during hurricane season; the state fair will become a nfz just people more than 50 people gather there. the real problem is going to be when the law is changed to read "not allowed within 1000 feet of a critical infrastructure." have you seen your drone bounce off a nfz before?
 

Rich55

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Jaw, you can video or make stills all day long without being in right of way. Again I grew up and live in Nashville area. Yeah I have worked and been to Radnor yard. Photographed Union Station and on and on. I was expressing my opinion and you have the right to express your we may or may not agree. I am very aware of losing a lot of our freedom over the last 50 plus years. The laws would not even be on the agenda if it were not for people doing things that put others at risk with or without their permission or knowledge. If we as drone operators went to stealth mode trying to not be intrusive, legislation would not even know what a drone was. This is my last response to you.
If OP or someone else wish to engage with me cool otherwise we are done here.
 

Gryphon962

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Is there any reason why the state authorities would try to keep users out of specific airspace by writing a state law, rather than by implementing a restricted area that would appear on aviation charts and apps? There seems to be a general problem in the US where legislators decide to impose airspace restrictions by other than the normal means.
 

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Is there any reason why the state authorities would try to keep users out of specific airspace by writing a state law, rather than by implementing a restricted area that would appear on aviation charts and apps? There seems to be a general problem in the US where legislators decide to impose airspace restrictions by other than the normal means.
In short, they can't request restricted airspace. Among the requirements for restricted airspace is that the controlling agency must have the ability to control the restricted airspace and the underlying surface, if it goes to the surface. It also requires a change to federal law which means the proposal must be open for comment nationally. I was involved in an effort to get a new restricted area within an existing military operations area. I wasn't in the project at the beginning but it took five years from when I became involved before the new area was approved. State and local governments can normally make rules and ordinances much quicker.
 
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Rich55

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Is there any reason why the state authorities would try to keep users out of specific airspace by writing a state law, rather than by implementing a restricted area that would appear on aviation charts and apps? There seems to be a general problem in the US where legislators decide to impose airspace restrictions by other than the normal means.
Two reasons come to mind. One give local authorities ability to prosecute. Second reason it’s obvious general public cannot and will not obey law hence we are getting closer and closer to police state. Not trying to be smart mouth or rude, just responding to your open end question that I hope you already knew the answer to.
 

Gryphon962

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In short, they can't request restricted airspace. Among the requirements for restricted airspace is that the controlling agency must have the ability to control the restricted airspace and the underlying surface, if it goes to the surface. It also requires a change to federal law which means the proposal must be open for comment nationally. I was involved in an effort to get a new restricted area within an existing military operations area. I wasn't in the project at the beginning but it took five years from when I became involved before the new area was approved. State and local governments can normally make rules and ordinances much quicker.
That's interesting. Sounds like the Federal process for selection and continuous assessment of restricted airspace isn't working all that well. I'm guessing that this sort of stuff doesn't even show up in a NOTAM. From your recent experience, do you happen to have a link that explains how the process works and who the responsible parties are? Allowing local municipalities to create what is effectively restricted airspace (but not on the charts or NOTAMs) is insane. I have a number of connections through work to the FAA leadership and if armed with right info, might be able to ask someone to look into this.
 

kadras

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That's interesting. Sounds like the Federal process for selection and continuous assessment of restricted airspace isn't working all that well. I'm guessing that this sort of stuff doesn't even show up in a NOTAM. From your recent experience, do you happen to have a link that explains how the process works and who the responsible parties are? Allowing local municipalities to create what is effectively restricted airspace (but not on the charts or NOTAMs) is insane. I have a number of connections through work to the FAA leadership and if armed with right info, might be able to ask someone to look into this.
Part 5, Chapter 23, of FAA Joint Order 7400.2M "Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters" discusses restricted airspace. http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Order/7400.2M_Bsc_dtd_2-28-19.pdf
 
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