MACo Action Alert: Drone Regulations

Action Alert Graphic

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Contact your Delegates on the House Environment & Transportation Committee to add a Sunset to SB 370's Local Preemption of Drone Regulations


The bill needs to add a 3-year sunset clause to the local preemption in Senate Bill 370 (PDF). In its current form, SB 370 – Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Development, Regulation, and Privacy Act of 2015 would preempt county and municipal authority to regulate unmanned aircraft use in Maryland.

Unmanned aircraft, or drones are a growth industry with applications in public safety, agriculture, real estate, recreation, and many more as-of-yet unforeseen uses.


County governments may need to regulate drones to help enforce against bad actors, safeguard critical infrastructure, and preserve privacy rights.

A 3-year sunset will allow the General Assembly to re-evaluate whether local regulations are necessary with more information about this emerging technology and its applications.

  • Local police, fire, EMS and Search & Rescue officers may use drones in life-saving missions.
  • County and municipal governments are responsible for securing critical infrastructure including airports, water treatment plants, bridges, and transit systems.
  • Local law enforcement works in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration to stop unauthorized use of drone aircraft.
  • County and municipal governments are best situated to regulate the manner and use of drones through local policies to protect privacy rights.


2015 House Environment & Transportation Committee

MACo's Testimony for SB 370 (PDF)

MACo Contact: Robin Clark, Policy Analyst