SB1098: Unmanned aircraft; exempts an owner from the requirement to register.


Offered January 13, 2021
Prefiled November 18, 2020
A BILL to amend and reenact § 5.1-5 of the Code of Virginia, relating to aircraft registration; unmanned aircraft.
Patrons-- Favola and Cosgrove; Delegate: Kory

Referred to Committee on Transportation

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 5.1-5 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 5.1-5. Registration of aircraft.

A. Every resident of the Commonwealth owning a civil aircraft, every nonresident owning a civil aircraft based in the Commonwealth for more than 90 days during any calendar year, and every owner of an aerial application aircraft operating within the Commonwealth or of a civil aircraft operated in the Commonwealth as a for-hire intrastate air carrier shall register such aircraft with the Department before such aircraft is operated in the Commonwealth. Any owner of an unmanned aircraft as defined in § 19.2-60.1 shall not be required to register such aircraft.

B. The Department shall provide for the issuance, expiration, suspension, and revocation of aircraft registration in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Board. Such aircraft registration or registration requirement shall be considered the licensure or licensure requirement for purposes of the tax imposed pursuant to Chapter 15 (§ 58.1-1500 et seq.) of Title 58.1. The Department shall furnish any necessary forms pursuant to the issuance of such registration and may assess a fee for such issuance not in excess of $5 annually. The Department may, in lieu of issuing aircraft registration required by subsection A, issue commercial aircraft registration to air carriers and commercial dealers and issue to noncommercial dealers noncommercial dealer fleet registration, to cover all aircraft owned by such dealers and all aircraft for sale held by dealers on a consignment basis from an aircraft manufacturer. The Department may assess a fee not in excess of $50 annually for any such noncommercial dealer fleet registrations issued and a fee not in excess of $100 annually for any such commercial fleet registrations issued. The fee for a commercial single aircraft registration shall not be in excess of $10 annually.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, no aircraft shall be required to be registered if the aircraft is brought into the Commonwealth solely for major maintenance or major repair. An aircraft owner shall provide proof that the aircraft is based at an airport in another state, shown by evidence of a hangar or tie-down lease for a minimum of 12 months prior to the aircraft being brought into the Commonwealth, and proof of the work being performed in the Commonwealth, shown by presentation of invoices that describe such work.