A bill aimed at protecting first responders from drone aircraft co-authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Senate Bill 807 limits emergency responders’ civil liability for damaging a drone that interferes with the delivery of emergency services, such as a water-dropping aircraft at the scene of a brush fire.

Brown vetoed a similar bill last year, SB 168.

Brown vetoed a Gatto-sponsored bill today that would have required drone aircraft to be equipped with GPS-based “geo-fencing” technology that would allow them to be turned off or directed away from sensitive areas such as airfields, brush fires or incident scenes.

Brown vetoed AB 2724, which would also have forced drone owners to carry liability insurance by 2020, because, he said, it would create “regulatory confusion” through “a patchwork of federal, state and local restrictions on airspace,” according to his veto message.

Brown also said the geo-fencing portion of the bill would like be preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Disappointed, naturally,” Gatto, D-Los Angeles, tweeted. “I think GPS-based geo-fencing is the only practical way to protect our airports and designated fire zones.”

–City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.