September 29, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a number of bills targeting the model aircraft community. This includes legislation that would require geo-fencing and drone identification, and prohibit the operation of UAS over state managed land and waters. The specific bills vetoed by the Governor were AB 2148, AB 2724, AB 2320, and AB 1662.
Working alongside our allies and members, we were able to put a stop to this legislation that would have negatively impacted our longstanding hobby. Technology, like geo-fencing, is a helpful tool, but it is not a substitute for educating operators on how and where they should or shouldn’t fly their drones or model aircraft.
Governor Brown said that the bill mandating geo-fencing would create “significant regulatory confusion by creating a patchwork of federal, state, and local restrictions on airspace,” and we couldn’t agree more.
This victory does not mean that our advocacy efforts at the local level are over, as other states and municipalities are considering legislation similar to the bills vetoed by Governor Brown. We will continue to work with and educate state and local legislators to ensure the protection of our longstanding hobby.