CHAPTER 301 - DELAWARE AERONAUTICS COMMISSION CREATING COMMISSION ON AERONAUTICS
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 167 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, RELATING TO AERONAUTICS BY PROVIDING FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND REGULATION THEREOF WITHIN THIS STATE; CREATING A STATE AERONAUTICS COMMISSION AND THE OFFICE OF DIRECTOR OF AERONAUTICS; PRESCRIBING THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF SUCH COMMISSION AND DIRECTOR; PROVIDING FOR COOPERATION WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND DISPOSITION OF FEDERAL FUNDS BY SUCH COMMISSION; PROVIDING FOR REGULATION OF AIRCRAFT, AIRMEN, AIRPORTS AND AIR INSTRUCTION BY SUCH COMMISSION; PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION, BY CONDEMNATION OR OTHERWISE, OF AIRPORTS AND PROTECTION PRIVILEGES AND THE LEASING AND SALE THEREOF; PROVIDING FOR THE OPERATION OF STATE AIRPORTS; PROVIDING FOR REVIEW OF ORDERS OF SUCH COMMISSION, AND PRESCRIBING PENALTIES.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
Section 1. Definitions.
Subdivision 1. For the purpose of the laws of this State relating to aeronautics, the following words, terms, and phrases shall have the meanings herein given, unless otherwise specifically defined, or unless another intention clearly appears, or the context otherwise requires.
Subd. 2. "Aeronautics" means transportation by aircraft; the operation, construction, repair, or maintenance of aircraft, aircraft power plants and accessories, including the repair, packing, and maintenance of parachutes; the design, establishment,
construction, extension, operation, improvement, repair, or maintenance of airports, restricted landing areas, or other air navigation facilities, and air instruction.
Subd. 3. "Aircraft" means any contrivance now known, or hereafter invented, used or designed for navigation of or flight in the air.
Subd. 4. "Public aircraft" means an aircraft used exclusively in the service of any government or of any political subdivision thereof, including the government of any state, territory, or possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, but not including any government-owned aircraft engaged in carrying persons or property for commercial purposes.
Subd. 5. "Civil aircraft" means any aircraft other than a public aircraft.
Subd. 6. "Airport" means any area, of land or water, except a restricted landing area, which is designed for the landing and takeoff of aircraft, whether or not facilities are provided for the shelter, servicing, or repair of aircraft, or for receiving or discharging passengers or cargo, and all appurtenant areas used or suitable for airport buildings or other airport facilities, and all appurtenant rights of way, whether heretofore or hereafter established.
Subd. 7. "Commission" means the Delaware Aeronautics Commission; "State" or "this State" means the State of Delaware; and "director" means the Director of Aeronautics of this State.
Subd. 8. "Restricted Area" means any area of land, water, or both, which is used or is made available for the landing and takeoff of aircraft, the use of which shall, except in case of emergency, be only as provided from time to time by the Commission.
Subd. 9. "Air navigation facility" means any facility other than one owned or controlled by the Federal Government, used in, available for use in, or designed for use in, aid of air navigation, including airports, restricted landing areas, and any structures, mechanisms, lights, beacons, marks, communicating systems, or other instrumentalities or devices used or useful as an aid, or constituting an advantage or convenience, to the safe taking-off, navigation, and landing of aircraft, or the safe and efficient operation or maintenance of an airport or restricted landing area, and any combination of any or all of such facilities.
Subd. 10. "Air navigation" means the operation or navigation of aircraft in the air space over this State, or upon any airport or restricted landing area within this State.
Subd. 11. "Operation of aircraft" or "operate aircraft" means the use of aircraft for the purpose of air navigation, and includes the navigation or piloting of aircraft. Any person who causes or authorizes the operation of aircraft, whether with or without the right of legal control (in the capacity of owner, lessee, or otherwise) of the aircraft, shall be deemed to be engaged in the operation of aircraft within the meaning of the statutes of this State.
Subd. 12. "Airman" means any individual who engages, as the person in command, or as pilot, mechanic, or member of the crew, in the navigation of aircraft while under way and (excepting individuals employed outside the United States, any individual employed by a manufacturer of aircraft, aircraft engines, propellers, or appliances to perform duties as inspector or mechanic in connection therewith, and any individual performing inspection or mechanical duties in connection with aircraft owned or operated by him) any individual who is directly in charge of the inspection, maintenance, overhauling, or repair of aircraft engines, propellers, or appliances; and any individual who serves in the capacity of aircraft dispatcher or air-traffic control-tower operator.
Subd. 13. "Air instruction" means the imparting of aeronautical information by any aeronautics instructor or in or by any air school or flying club.
Subd. 14. "Air School" means any person engaged in giving, or offering to give, instruction, in aeronautics, either in flying or ground subjects, or both, for or without hire or reward, and advertising, representing, or holding himself out as giving or offering to give such instruction. It does not include any public school or university of this State, or any institution of higher learning duly accredited and approved for carrying on collegiate work.
Subd. 15. "Aeronautics instructor" means any individual engaged in giving instruction, or offering to give instruction, in aeronautics, either in flying or ground subjects, or both, for hire or reward, without advertising such occupation, without calling his facilities an "air school" or anything equivalent thereto, and without employing or using other instructors. It does not include any instructor in any public school or university of this State, or any institution of higher learning duly accredited and approved for carrying on collegiate work, while engaged in his duties as such instructor.
Subd. 16. "Flying club" means any person other than an individual, which, neither for profit nor reward, owns, leases, or uses one or more aircraft for the purpose of instruction or pleasure or both.
Subd. 17. "Person" means any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, joint stock association, or body politic; and includes any trustee, receiver, assignee, or other similar representative thereof.
Subd. 18. "State airway" means a route in the navigable air space over and above the lands or water of this State, designated by the Commission as a route suitable for air navigation.
Subd. 19. "Navigable air space" means air space above the minimum altitudes of flight prescribed by the laws of this State or by regulations of the Commission consistent therewith.
Subd. 20. "Municipality" means any county, city, village, town, or borough of this State and any other political subdivision, public corporation, authority, or district in this State which is or may be authorized by law to acquire, establish, construct, maintain, improve, and operate airports and other air navigation facilities.
Subd. 21. "Airport protection privileges" means easements through or other interests in air space over land or water, interests in airport hazards outside the boundaries of airports or restricted landing areas, and other protection privileges, the acquisition or control of which is necessary to insure safe approaches to the landing areas of airports and restricted landing areas and the safe and efficient operation thereof.
Subd. 22. "Airport hazard" means any structure, object of natural growth, or use of land, which obstructs the air space required for the flight of aircraft in landing or taking off at any airport or restricted landing area or is otherwise hazardous to such landing or taking off.
Subd. 23. The singular shall include the plural, and the plural the singular.
Section 2. Declaration.
It is hereby declared that the purpose of this act is to further the public interest and aeronautical progress by providing for the protection and promotion of safety in aeronautics; by cooperating in effecting a uniformity of the laws relating to the development and regulation of aeronautics in the several states; by revising existing statutes relative to the development and regulation of aeronautics so as to grant to a state agency such powers and impose upon it such duties that the state may properly perform its functions relative to aeronautics and effectively exercise its jurisdiction over persons and property within such jurisdiction, may assist in the promotion of a statewide system of airports, may cooperate with and assist the political subdivisions of this State and others engaged in aeronautics, and may encourage and develop aeronautics; by establishing uniform regulations, consistent with federal regulations and those of other states, in order that those engaged in aeronautics of every character may so engage with the least possible restriction, consistent with the safety and the rights of others; and by providing for cooperation with the federal authorities in the development of a national system of civil aviation and for coordination of the aeronautical activities of those authorities and the authorities of this State by assisting in accomplishing the purposes of federal legislation and eliminating costly and unnecessary duplication of functions properly in the province of federal agencies.
Section 3. Aeronautics Commission -- Creation --Membership.
There is hereby created and established an aeronautics commission to be known as the "Delaware Aeronautics Commission," to consist of five members, who shall be appointed by the Governor, two of whom shall continue in office as designated by the Governor at the time of appointment through the last day of the second calendar year, two of whom shall continue in office as designated by the Governor at the time of appointment through the last day of the third calendar year, and one of whom shall continue in office as designated by the Governor at the time of appointment through the last day of the fourth calendar year, respectively, following the passage of this Act. The successors of the members initially appointed shall be appointed for terms of three years in the same manner as the members originally appointed under this Act, except that any person appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of such term. Each member shall serve until the appointment and qualification of his successor. No more than three of the members shall be appointed from the same political party, and any person appointed to fill a vacancy shall be from the same political party as his predecessor. All members of the Commission shall be citizens and bona fide residents of the State. No member shall receive any salary for his services, but each shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred by him in the performance of his duties. The members of the Commission may be removed by the Governor for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office in the manner provided by law for the removal of other public officers for like causes.
Section 4. Organization, Meetings, Reports.
The Commission shall, within 30 days after its appointment, organize, adopt a seal, and make such rules and regulations for its administration, not inconsistent herewith, as it may deem expedient and may from time to time amend such rules and regulations. At such organization meeting it shall elect from among its members a chairman, a vice-chairman, and a secretary, to serve for one year, and annually thereafter shall elect such officers; all to serve until their successors are appointed and qualified. It shall at its initial meeting fix the date and place for its regular meetings. Three members shall constitute a quorum, and no action shall be taken by less than a majority of the Commission. Special meetings may be called as provided by its rules and regulations. All regular and special commission meetings shall be open to the public. It shall report in writing to the Governor on or about December 1st of each year. Said report shall contain a summary of its proceedings during the preceding fiscal year, a detailed and itemized statement of all revenue and of all expenditures made by or in behalf of the Commission, such other information as it may deem necessary or useful, and any additional information which may be requested by the Governor. The fiscal year of the Commission shall conform to the fiscal year of the State.
Section 5. Office and Expense--Employees.
Suitable offices and office equipment shall, if and when required, be provided by the State for the Commission in the City of Wilmington, and it may maintain offices in any other city in the State that it may designate, and may incur the necessary expense for office furniture, stationery, printing, incidental expenses, and other expenses necessary for the enforcement of this Act and the general promotion of aeronautics within the State. Regular meetings shall be held at its offices at Wilmington, but, whenever the convenience of the public or of the parties may be promoted, or delay or expense may be prevented, it may hold hearings or proceedings at any other place designated by it. It may employ such clerical and other employees and assistants as it may deem necessary for the proper transaction of its business and shall fix their salaries.
Section 6. General Powers and Duties of Commission.
Subdivision 1. The Commission shall have general supervision over aeronautics within this State. It is empowered and directed to encourage, foster, and assist in the development of aeronautics in this State and to encourage the establishment of airports and other air navigation facilities.
Subd. 2. Cooperation with Federal Government:--It shall cooperate with and assist the federal government, the political subdivisions of this State, and others engaged in aeronautics or the promotion of aeronautics, and shall seek to coordinate the aeronautical activities of these bodies. To this end, the Commission is empowered to confer with or to hold joint hearings with any federal aeronautical agency in connection with any matter arising under this Act, or relating to the sound development of aeronautics, and to avail itself of the cooperation, services, records, and facilities of such federal agencies, as fully as may be practicable, in the administration and enforcement of this Act. It shall reciprocate by furnishing to the federal agencies its cooperation, services, records and facilities, in so far as may be practicable.
It shall report to the appropriate federal agency all accidents in areonautics in this State of which it is informed and preserve, protect and prevent the removal of the component parts of any aircraft involved in an accident being investigated by it until a federal agency institutes an investigation, and shall report to the appropriate federal agency all refusals by it to register federal licenses, certificates or permits and all revocations of certificates of registration, and the reasons therefor, and all penalties of which it has knowledge imposed upon airmen for violations of the rules, regulations or orders of the Commission.
Subd. 3. Rules, Regulations and Standards:--It may perform such acts, issue and amend such orders, and make, promulgate, and amend such reasonable general or special rules, regulations, and procedure, and establish such minimum standards, consistent with the provisions of this Act, as it shall deem necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act and to perform its duties hereunder; all commensurate with and for the purpose of protecting and insuring the general public interest and safety, the safety of persons receiving instruction concerning, or operating, using or traveling in aircraft, and of persons and property on land or water, and to develop and promote aeronautics in this State. No rule or regulation of the Commission shall apply to airports or other air navigation facilities owned or controlled by the federal government within this State.
Subd. 4. Conformity to Federal Legislation and Rules:--All rules and regulations prescribed by the Commission under the authority of this Act shall be kept in conformity, as nearly as may be, with the then current federal legislation governing aeronautics and the regulations duly promulgated thereunder and rules and standards issued from time to time pursuant thereto.
Subd. 5. Filing of Rules:--It shall keep on file with the Secretary of State, and at the principal office of the Commission, a copy of all its rules and regulations, for public inspection.
Subd. 6. State Airways System:--It may designate, design, and establish, expand, or modify a state airways system which will best serve the interests of the State. It may chart such airways system and arrange for publication and distribution of such maps and charts and notices and bulletins relating to such airways as may be required in the public interest. The system shall be supplementary to and coordinated in design and operation with the federal airways system. It may include all types of air navigation facilities, whether publicly or privately owned, provided that such facilities conform to federal safety standards.
Subd. 7. Technical Services to Municipalities:--It may, in so far as is reasonably possible, offer the engineering or other technical services of the Commission, without charge, to any municipalitity desiring them in connection with the construction, maintenance or operation or proposed construction, maintenance, or operation of an airport or restricted landing area.
Subd. 8. Legislation:--It may draft and recommend necessary legislation to advance the interest of the State in aeronautics and represent the State in aeronautical matters before federal agencies and other State agencies.
Subd. 9. Intervention:--It may participate as party plaintiff or defendant, or as intervenor on behalf of the State or any municipality or citizen thereof in any controversy having to do with any claimed encroachment by the federal government or any foreign state upon any state or individual rights pertaining to aeronautics.
Subd. 10. Enforcement of Aeronautics Laws:--It shall be the duty of the Commission, its members and employees, the director of aeronautics, and every state, county and municipal officer charged with the enforcement of state and municipal laws to enforce and assist in the enforcement of this Act and of all rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto, and of all other laws of this State relating to aeronautics, and, in the aid of such enforcement, general police powers are hereby conferred upon the Commission, each of its members, the director of aeronautics, and such of the officers and employees of the commission as may be designated by it to exercise such powers. The Commission is further authorized, in the name of this State, to enforce the provisions of this Act and the rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto by injunction in the courts of this State. Municipalities are authorized to cooperate with the Commission in the development of aeronautics and aeronautics facilities in this State. The Commission may use the facilities and services of other agencies of the State to the utmost extent possible, and such agencies are authorized and directed to make available such facilities and services.
Subd. 11. Investigations:--The Commission, any member thereof, the director of aeronautics, or any officer or employee of the Commission designated by it shall have the power to hold investigations, inquiries, and hearings concerning matters covered by the provisions of this Act and orders, rules, and regulations of the Commission, and concerning accidents in aeronautics within this State. All hearings so conducted shall be open to the public. Each Commissioner, the director of aeronautics, and every officer or employee of the Commission designated by it to hold any inquiry, investigations, or hearing shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations, certify to all official acts, issue subpoenas, and compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses, and the production of papers, books, and documents. In case of failure to comply with any subpoena or order issued under authority of this Act, the Commission, or its authorized representative, may invoke the aid of any court of this State of general jurisdiction. The court may thereupon order the witness to comply with the requirements of the subpoena or order or to give evidence touching the matter in question. Any failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt thereof.
Subd. 12. Reports of Investigations--Limitations on Use:--In order to facilitate the making of investigations by the Commission, in the interest of public safety and promotion of aeronautics, the public interest requires, and it is, therefore, provided that the reports of investigations or hearings, or any part thereof, shall not be admitted in evidence or use for any purpose in any suit, action, or proceeding, growing out of any matter referred to in said investigation, hearing, or report thereof, except in case of criminal or other proceedings instituted in behalf of the Commission or this State under the provisions of this Act and other laws of this State relating to aeronautics, nor shall any commissioner, the director of aeronautics,_ or any officer or employee of the Commission be required to testify to any facts ascertained in, or information gained by reason of, his official capacity, or be required to testify as an expert witness in any suit, action, or proceeding involving any aircraft. Subject to the foregoing provisions, the Commission may in its discretion make available to appropriate federal and state agencies information and material developed in the course of its hearings and investigations.
Subd. 13. Financial Assistance to Municipalities:--The Commission may render assistance in the acquisition, development, operation, or maintenance of airports owned, controlled or operated, or to be owned, controlled or operated, by municipalities in this State, out of appropriations made by the Legislature for that purpose.
Subd. 14. Authority to Contract:--It may enter into any contracts necessary to the execution of the powers granted it by this Act.
Subd. 15. No Exclusive Rights Granted:--It shall grant no exclusive right for the use of any airway, airport, restricted landing area, or other air navigation facility under its jurisdiction. This subdivision shall not prevent the making of leases in accordance with other provisions of this Act.
Section 7. Federal Aid.
Subd. 1. Cooperation with Government:--The Commission is authorized to cooperate with the Government of the United States, and any agency or department thereof, in the acquisition, construction, improvement, maintenance and operation of airports and other air navigation facilities in this State, and to corn-ply with the provisions of the laws of the United States and any regulations made thereunder for the expenditure of federal. moneys upon such airports and other navigation facilities.
Subd. 2. Authority to Receive Federal Monies for State and Municipalities:--It is authorized to accept, receive, and receipt for federal moneys and other moneys, either public or private, for and in behalf of this State, or any municipality thereof, for the acquisition, construction, improvement, maintenance, and operation of airports and other air navigation facilities, whether such work is to be done by the State or by such municipalities, or jointly, aided by grants of aid from the United States, upon such terms and conditions as are or may be prescribed by the laws of the United States and any rules or regulations made thereunder, and it is authorized to act as agent of any municipality of this State upon the request of such municipality, in accepting, receiving, and receipting for such moneys in its behalf for airports or other air navigation facility purposes, and in contracting for the acquisition, construction, improvement, maintenance, or operation of airports or other air navigation facilities, financed either in whole or in part by federal moneys, and the governing body of any such municipality is authorized to designate the Commission as its agent for such purposes and to enter into an agreement with it prescribing the terms and conditions of such agency in accordance with federal laws, rules, and regulations and with this Act. Such moneys as are paid over by the United States Government shall be retained by the State or paid over to said municipalities under such terms and conditions as may be imposed by the United States Government in making such grants.
Subd. 3. Contracts--Law Governing:--All contracts for the acquisition, construction, improvement, maintenance, and operation of airports, or other air navigation facilities made by the Commission, either as the agent of this State or as the agent of any municipality, shall be made pursuant to the laws of this State governing the making of like contracts; provided, however, that, where the acquisition, construction, improvement, maintenance, and operation of any airport, landing strip, or other air navigation facility is financed wholly or partially with federal moneys, the commission, as agent of the State or of any municipality thereof, may let contracts in the manner prescribed by the federal authorities, acting under the laws of the United States, and any rules or regulations made thereunder, notwithstanding any other State law to the contrary.
Subd. 4. Disposition of Federal Funds:--All moneys accepted for disbursement by the Commission pursuant to Subdivision 2 of this Section shall be deposited in the State Treasury, and, unless otherwise prescribed by the authority from which the money is received, kept in separate funds, designated according to the purposes for which the moneys were made available, and held by the State in trust for such purposes. All such moneys are hereby appropriated for the purposes for which the same were made available, to be expended in accordance with federal laws and regulations and with this Act. The Commission is authorized, whether acting for this State or as the agent of any of its municipalities, or when requested by the United States Government or any agency or department thereof, to disburse such moneys for the designated purposes, but this shall not preclude any other authorized method of disbursement.
Section 8. Director of Aeronautics.
Subd. 1. Appointment--Qualifications--Compensation:--A director of aeronautics may be appointed by the Commission, who shall serve for an indefinite term at the pleasure of the Corn-mission. He shall be appointed with due regard to his fitness, by aeronautical education and by knowledge of and recent practical experience in aeronautics, for the efficient dispatch of the powers and duties vested in and imposed upon him by this Act. He shall receive such compensation as the Commission may determine and shall be reimbursed for all traveling and other expenses incurred by him in the discharge of his official duties.
Subd. 2. Powers and Duties:--The director shall be the executive officer of the Commission and under its supervision shall administer the provisions of this Act and the rules, regulations, and orders established thereunder and all other laws of the State relative to aeronautics. He shall attend, but not vote at, all meetings of the Commission. He shall, subject to the approval of the Commission, appoint such experts, field and office assistants, clerks, and other employees as may be required and authorized for the proper discharge of the functions of the Commission and for whose services funds have been appropriated. He shall be in charge of the offices of the Commission and responsible to the Commission for the preparation of reports and collection and dissemination of data and other public information relating to aeronautics. At the direction of the Commission, he shall, together with the chairman of the Commission, execute all contracts entered into by the Commission which are legally authorized and for which funds are provided in any appropriation act.
Subd. 3. Delegation of Powers:--The Commission may, by written order filed in its office, delegate to the director any of the powers or duties vested in or imposed upon it by this Act. Such delegated powers and duties may be exercised by such director in the name of the Commission.
Section 9. Regulation of Aircraft, Airmen, Airports and Air Instruction.
Subd. 1. The general public interest and safety, the safety of persons receiving instruction concerning or operating, using, or traveling in aircraft and of persons and property on the ground, and the interest of aeronautical progress requiring that aircraft operated within this State should be airworthy, that airmen and those engaged in air instruction should be properly qualified, and that airports, restricted landing areas, and navigation facilities should be suitable for the purposes for which they are designed; the purposes of this Act requiring that the Commission should be enabled to exercise the powers of supervision herein granted; and the advantages of uniform regulation making it desirable that aircraft operated within this State should conform with respect to design, construction, and air-worthiness to the standards prescribed by the United States Government with respect to civil aircraft subject to its jurisdiction and that persons engaging in aeronautics within this State should have the qualifications necessary for obtaining and holding appropriate airman certificates of the United States; the Commission is authorized:
(1) To require the registration, annually, of federal licenses, permits, or certificates of civil aircraft engaged in air navigation within this State, of airmen engaged in aeronautics within this State, and of aeronautics instructors giving instruction in flying subjects, and to issue certificates of such registration. Such certificates of registration shall constitute licenses of such aircraft, airmen and instructors for operations within this State to the extent permitted by the federal licenses, certificates or permits so registered. It may charge a fee for the registration of each federal license, certificate or permit not exceeding one dollar. It may accept as evidence of the holding of a federal license, certificate or permit the verified application of the owner of the aircraft, the airman or the instructor, which application shall contain such information as the Commission may by rule, regulation, or order prescribe.
(0) To license the operation of air schools and aeronautics instructors giving instruction in ground subjects in accordance with rules and regulations to be adopted by the commission, and annually to renew such licenses. It may charge for the original licensing of an air school not more than $250.00, and for the renewal of any such- license, not more than $50.00, and for the original licensing of an aeronautics instructor, not more than $25.00, and for each renewal of such license, not more than $5.00.
(1) To approve airport and restricted landing area sites and to license airports, restricted landing areas, or other air navigation facilities, in accordance with rules and regulations to be adopted by the Commission, and annually to renew such license. Licenses granted under this subdivision or under any prior law shall be annually renewed upon payment of the fee therefor. and licenses shall be granted for airports and restricted landing areas which were being operated on or before the effective date of this Act, without the requirement of a certificate of approval, unless the Commission shall reasonably determine, after a public hearing to be called by it and held in the same manner and upon the same notice as is provided for hearings upon certificates of approval or original licenses, that the operation of such airport or restricted landing area is hazardous to persons operating, using or traveling in aircraft or to persons and property on the ground. It shall make no charge for approval certificates of proposed property acquisition for airport or restricted landing area purposes. It may charge for the issuance of each original license for an airport or restricted landing area not to exceed $500.00, and for each annual renewal of such license, not to exceed $100.00.
(4) To revoke temporarily or permanently any license or certificate of registration of an aircraft, airman, air school, or aeronautics instructor, issued by it, or to refuse to issue any such license or certificate of registration, when it shall reasonably determine that any aircraft is not airworthy, or that any airman, air school, or aeronautics instructor is not qualified, has willfully violated the provisions of this Act, the rules and regulations prescribed pursuant thereto, or any other statute of this State relating to aeronautics, or any Act of Congress or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto, is addicted to the use of narcotics or other habit-forming drug, or to the excessive use of intoxicating liquor, has made any false statement in any application for registration of a federal license certificate or permit, or has been guilty of other conduct, acts, or practices dangerous to the public safety and the safety of those engaged in aeronautics, any person to operate or cause or authorize to be operated any civil aircraft within this State unless such aircraft has an appropriate effective license, certificate or permit issued by the United States Government which has been registered with the Commission and such registration with the Commission is in full force and effect, and it shall be unlawful for any person to engage in aeronautics as an airman in this State unless he has from the Commission an effective certificate of registration of an appropriate effective airman's license, certificate or permit issued by the United States Government authorizing him to engage in the particular class of aeronautics in which he is engaged.
Subd. 3. Exceptions to Registration Requirements:--The provisions of paragraph (1) of Subdivision 1 and Subdivision 2 of this Section shall not apply to:
(1) An aircraft which has been licensed by a foreign country with which the United States has a reciprocal agreement covering the operations of such licensed aircraft;
(2) An aircraft which is owned by a nonresident of this State who is lawfully entitled to operate such aircraft in the state of his residence;
(3) An aircraft engaged principally in commercial flying constituting an act of interstate or foreign commerce;
(4) Au airman operating military or public aircraft, or any aircraft licensed by a foreign country with which the United States has a reciprocal agreement covering the operation of such licensed aircraft;
(5) Persons operating model aircraft nor to any person piloting an aircraft which is equipped with fully functioning dual controls when a licensed instructor is in full charge of one set of said controls and such flight is solely for instruction or for the demonstration of said aircraft to a bone fide prospective purchaser;
(6) A nonresident operating aircraft in this State who is lawfully entitled to operate aircraft in the State of residence;
(7) An airman while operating or taking part in the operation of an aircraft engaged principally in commercial flying constituting an act of interstate or foreign commerce.
Subd. 4. Exhibition of Licenses and Certificates:--The federal license, certificate, or permit, and the evidence of registration is this or another state, if any, required for an airman shall be kept in the personal possession of the airman when he is operating within this State and must be presented for inspection upon the demand of any passenger, or any peace officer of this State, any authorized member, official, or employee of the Commission, or any official, manager or person in charge of any airport in this State upon which he shall land, or upon the reasonable request of any other person. The federal aircraft license, certificate, or permit, and the evidence of registration in this or another state, if any, required for aircraft must be carried in every aircraft operating in this State at all times and must be conspicuously posted therein where it may readily be seen by passengers or inspectors and must be presented for inspection upon the demand of any passenger, any peace officer of this State, any member, authorized official, or employee of the Commission, or any official manager, or person in charge of any airport in this State upon which it shall land, or upon the reasonable request of any person.
Subd. 5. Air Instruction Without License or Certificate Unlawful:--It shall be unlawful for any person to operate an air school or to give instructions in flying or ground subjects in this State unless such person, if an air school or aeronautics instructor in ground subjects, is the holder of an annual license issued by the Commission, or if an aeronautics instructor in flying subjects has an appropriate effective license certificate or permit issued by the United States Government authorizing him to engage in the particular class of flight instruction in which he is engaged, which has been registered with the Commission and such registration with the Commission is in full force and effect.
Subd. 6. Licensing of Airports and Other Air Navigation:--All proposed airports, restricted landing areas, and other air navigation shall be first licensed by the Commission before they, or any of them, shall be used or operated. Any municipality or person acquiring property for the purpose of constructing or establishing an airport or restricted landing area shall, prior to such acquisition, make application to the Commission for a certificate of approval of the site selected and the general purpose or purposes for which The property is to be acquired, to insure that the property and its use shall conform to minimum standards of safety and shall serve public interest. It shall be unlawful for any municipality or officer or employee thereof, or for any person, to operate an airport, restricted landing area, or other air navigation facility for which an annual license has not been issued by the Commission.
Subd. 7. Hearings on Applications for Certificates and Licenses:--Whenever the Commission makes an order granting or denying a certificate of approval of an airport or a restricted landing area, or an original license to use or operate an airport, restricted landing area or other air navigation facility, and the applicant or any interested municipality, within 15 days after notice of such order has been sent the applicant by registered mail, demands a public hearing, or whenever the commission desires to hold a public hearing before making an order, such a public hearing in relation thereto shall be held in the municipality applying for the certificate of approval or license, or in case the application was made by anyone other than a municipality, at the county seat of the county in which the proposed airport, restricted landing area or other air navigation facility is proposed to be situated, at which hearing parties in interest and other persons shall have an opportunity to be heard. Notice of the hearing shall be published by the Commission in a legal newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the hearing is to be held, at least twice, the first publication to be at least 15 days prior to the date of hearing. After a proper and timely demand has been made the order shall be stayed until after the hearing, when the commission may affirm, modify or reverse it, or make a new order. If no hearing is demanded as herein provided, the order shall become effective upon the expiration of the time permitted for making a demand. Where a certificate of approval of an airport or restricted landing area has been issued by the commission, it may grant a license for operation and use, and no hearing may be demanded thereon.
Subd. 8. Standards for Issuing Certificates of Approval and Licenses:--In determining whether it shall issue a certificate of approval or license for the use or operation of any proposed airport or restricted landing area, the Commission shall take into consideration its proposed location, size and layout, the relationship of the proposed airport or restricted landing area to a comprehensive plan for state-wide and nation-wide development, whether there are safe areas available for expansion purposes, whether the adjoining area is free from obstructions based on a proper glide ratio, the nature of the terrain, the nature of the uses to which the proposed airport or restricted landing area will be put, and the possibilities for future development.
Subd. 9. Exceptions--Personal Use:--The provisions of Subdivisions 6, 7 and 8 shall not apply to restricted landing areas designed for personal use.
Subd. 10. Revocation of Certificate of Approval and Licenses:--The Commission is empowered to revoke temporarily or permanently any certificate of approval or license issued by it when it shall determine that an airport, restricted landing area, or other navigation facility is not being maintained or used in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules and regulations lawfully promulgated pursuant thereto.
Subd. 11. Exceptions--Federal Government:--The provisions of Subdivision 6 to 9, both inclusive, shall not apply to any airport, restricted landing area or other air navigation facility owned or operated by the Federal Government within this State.
Section 10. Orders of Commission. Review.
Subd. 1. In any case where the Commission refuses to issue a certificate of approval of or license or renewal of license for an airport, restricted landing area or other air navigation facility, or refuses to permit the registration of any license, certificate or permit, or refuses to grant a license to an air school or to an aeronautics instructor in ground subjects, or in any case where it shall issue any order requiring certain things to be done, or revoking any license or certificate, it shall set forth its reasons therefor and shall state the requirements to be met before such approval will be given, registration permitted, license granted or order modified or changed. Any order made by the Commission pursuant to the provisions of this Act shall be served upon the interested persons by registered mail or in person. To carry out the provisions of this Act the Commission, any member thereof, the director or officers, employees of the Commission and any officers, state or municipal, charged with the duty of enforcing this Act may inspect and examine at reasonable hours any premises, and the buildings and other structures thereon, where airports, restricted landing areas, air schools, flying clubs or other air navigation facilities or aeronautical activities are operated or carried on.
Subd. 2. Any person aggrieved by an order of the Commission, or by the granting or denial of any license, certificate, or registration may have the action of the Commission reviewed by the courts of this State in the manner provided for the review of the orders of other administrative bodies of the State, and rules of law applicable to such reviews shall apply.
Section 11. Acquisition and Operation of State Airports.
Subd. 1. Authority to Establish State Airports:--The Commission is authorized and empowered, on behalf of and in the name of this State, within the limitation of available appropriations, to acquire by purchase, gift, devise, lease, condemnation proceedings, or otherwise, property real or personal, for the purpose of establishing and constructing airports, restricted landing areas, and other air navigation facilities, and to acquire in like manner, own, control, establish, construct, enlarge, improve, maintain, equip, operate, regulate, and police such airports, restricted landing areas, and other air navigation facilities, either within or without this State; to make, prior to any such acquisition, investigations, surveys, and plans; to erect, install, construct, and maintain at such airports facilities for the servicing of aircraft and for the comfort and accommodation of air travelers, and to dispose of any such property, airport, restricted landing area, or any other air navigation facility, by sale, lease, or otherwise, in accordance with the laws of this State governing the disposition of other like property of the State. It may not, however, acquire or take over any airport, restricted landing area or other air navigation facility owned or controlled by a municipality of this State without the consent of such municipality. It may erect, equip, operate, and maintain on any airport buildings and equipment necessary and proper to establish, maintain, and conduct such airport and air navigation facilities connected therewith.
Subd. 2. Airport Protection Privileges:--Where necessary, in order to provide unobstructed air space for the landing and taking off of aircraft utilizing airports and restricted landing areas acquired or operated under the provisions of this Act, it is hereby granted authority to acquire, in the same manner as is provided for the acquisition of property for airport purposes, easements through or other interests in air space over land or water, interests in airport hazards outside the boundaries of the airports or restricted landing areas, and such other airport protection privileges as are necessary to insure safe approaches to the landing areas of said airports and restricted landing areas, and the safe and efficient operation thereof. It is also hereby authorized to acquire, in the same manner, the right or easement, for a term of years or perpetually, to place or maintain suitable marks for the daytime marking and suitable lights for the nighttime marking of airport hazards, including the right of ingress and egress to or from such airport hazards for the purpose of maintaining and repairing such lights and marks. This authority shall not be so construed as to limit the right, power, or authority of the State or any municipality to zone property adjacent to any airport or restricted lauding area pursuant to any law of this State.
Subd. 3. Joint Operations:--It may engage in all such activities jointly with the United States, other states, and with municipalities or other agencies of this State.
Subd. 4. Condemnation:--The Commission may exercise the right of eminent domain, in the name of the State, for the acquisition of real property for public purposes, for the purpose of acquiring any property which it is herein authorized to acquire by condemnation. In such cases, whenever the Commission cannot agree with the owner or owners of any land, building, franchise, easement, or other property necessary to be taken for the purpose thereof, the said Commission may apply to the Superior Court sitting in and for the county in which said land, building, franchise, easement or other property may be located or to any Judge of said court for the appointment of five freeholders of said county, who shall go upon said lands and assess the damage of such owner or owners fairly and impartially, and the said freeholders shall certify their findings and award to all known parties in interest, and make a report of their findings to be filed in said Superior Court or with the said Judge, as the case may be, appointing them. The said Commission, before making the said application, shall give the owner or owners of the property involved, at least ten days' notice in writing of the intent of application, if such owner is within the State, and if such owner is unknown or without the State, or if under legal disability and having no legal representative in the State, then such notice shall be published in some newspaper in the county in which such property shall be located at least ten days prior to the intended application, and such publication shall be deemed to be sufficient notice. The said freeholders appointed as aforesaid shall be sworn or affirmed before some officer authorized to administer oaths or affirmations before entering upon the premises faithfully and impartially to perform the duties assigned them. They shall give five days' notice in writing to the owner or owners of the premises or property so proposed to be condemned, or to their guardian or guardians duly appointed if within the State, and to the said Commission of the time of their meeting to view the premises or ascertain the easement or franchise; if the owner or owners be unknown, or are without the State, or if under legal disability, and having no legal representative in the State, publication of such last mentioned notice shall be made in some newspaper in the county in which such property shall be located at least ten days prior to the said meeting, and such publication shall be sufficient notice thereof. The said freeholders shall keep a record of their proceedings with their findings and awards and return the same to the Superior Court or Judge, as the case may be, and shall certify their findings and awards to the owner or owners of the property and to the Commission; if the Commission or any known party in interest is dissatisfied with such findings or awards, it or he may, on application to the said Court or Judge, within fifteen days after such findings and awards have been made and filed, require the appointment of a Commission of Review, which shall consist of five freeholders appointed in like manner and with like instructions as were contained in the first commission, provided that if a review be granted upon the application of a person or persons in interest the review shall extend only to the assessment of damages made in respect to the person or persons making such application. If the return of the Commission of Review varies in the damages assessed from the return of the original commission, the said Court or Judge shall, upon application of the Commission or any party in interest, appoint a second Commission of Review within ten days after the filing of such return. If a review be not applied for in due time, the return of the original commission shall be conclusive as to the amount of damages; if the return of any two commissions corresponds as to the amount of damages, such amount shall be conclusive, but if there be more than one return and none conclusive under the foregoing provisions, the said Superior Court or said Judge shall confirm such one of them as it or he shall deem most just and the return so confirmed shall be conclusive. The said Superior Court or said Judge may set aside a return for gross inequality or inequity, in which case it or he shall issue another Commission in its place, and the said Court or Judge shall have power to fill any vacancies in a Commission.
The right of eminent domain herein granted shall extend to and include the right to acquire the fee simple title to land, or an easement, or a right of way in, to, over or above such land or property as the Commission may deem necessary in making adequate and practical provisions for the removal of obstructions of any nature whatsoever in approaches to the said airport or landing field.
Upon the institution of condemnation proceedings by petition and notice aforesaid, the said Commission may, in its discretion, state in said petition that the possession, right to enter, or occupancy of said land or interest therein is necessary to the project without delay, and the title to said land in fee simple absolute, or such less estate or interest therein, as may be specified, shall immediately pass and vest to the said Commission, and said lands or interest therein shall be deemed to be condemned and taken for the use of said Commission, and the right to just compensation therefor shall vest in and to the person or persons entitled thereto. In the determination of the compensation to be paid in any condemnation proceeding under this subsection, there shall be paid either the value of the property and facilities taken or the cost of any changes in or relocation of such property and facilities, whichever is higher. In the event of an immediate taking as herein specified, the said Court or Judge shall have power to fix the time within which and the terms upon which the parties in possession shall be required to surrender possession to the petitioner, and to make such orders in respect to in-cumbrances, leases, taxes, rights, assessments, insurance, or other charges, if any, as shall be just and equitable. The right to take possession and title in advance of final order or judgment in condemnation proceedings as provided herein shall be in addition to any right, power or authority conferred by the laws of the State of Delaware under which such proceedings may be conducted, and shall not be construed as limiting or modifying any such right, power or authority.
The fact that the property so needed has been acquired by the owner under power of eminent domain shall not prevent its acquisition by such Commission by the exercise of the right of eminent domain herein conferred. For the purpose of making surveys and examinations relative to any condemnation proceeding, it shall be lawful to enter upon any land, doing no unnecessary damage.
Subd. 5. Leases and Sales:--It may lease for a term not exceeding ten years, such airports, or other air navigation facilities or real property acquired or set apart for airport purposes, to private parties, any municipal or state government or the national government, or any department of either thereof, for operation; and may lease or assign for a term not exceeding ten years to private parties, any municipal or state government or the national government, or any department of either for operation or use consistent with the purposes of this Act, space, area, improvements, or equipment on such airports; may sell any part of such airports, other air navigation facilities or real property to any municipal or state government, or to the United States or any department or instrumentality thereof, for aeronautical purposes or purposes incidental thereto; and may confer the privilege of concessions of supplying upon the airports goods, commodities, things, services and facilities; provided that in each case in so doing the public is not deprived of its rightful, equal and uniform use thereof.
Subd. 6. Charges and Rentals:--It shall have the authority to determine the charges or rental for the use of any properties and the charges for any service or accommodations, under its control and the terms and conditions under which such properties may be used; provided that in all cases the public is not deprived of its rightful, equal, and uniform use of such property. Charges shall be reasonable and uniform for the same class of service and established with due regard to the property and improvements used and the expenses of operation to the State. The State shall have and the Commission may enforce liens, as provided by law for liens and the enforcement thereof, for repairs to or improvement or storage or care of any personal property, to enforce the payment of any such charges.
Section 12. Aeronautics Functions Governmental--No Liability for Torts.
Subd. 1. The acquisition of any lands for the purpose of establishing airports or other air navigation facilities; the acquisition of any airport protection privileges; the acquisition, establishment, construction, enlargement, improvement, maintenance, equipment, and operation of airports and other air navigation facilities, whether by the State separately or jointly with any municipality or municipalities thereof, the assistance of this State in any such acquisition, establishment, construction, enlargement, improvement, maintenance, equipment, and operation; and the exercise of any other powers herein granted to the Commission are hereby declared to be public and governmental functions, exercised for a public purpose, and matters of public necessity, and such lands and other property and privileges acquired and used by the State in the manner and for the purposes enumerated in this Act shall and are hereby declared to be acquired and used for public and governmental purposes and as a matter of public necessity.
Subd. 2. No action or suit sounding in tort shall be brought or maintained against the State or any municipality thereof, or the officers, agents, servants, or employees of the State or any municipality thereof, on account of any act done in or about the construction, maintenance, enlargement, operation, superintendence, or management of any airport or other air navigation facility.
Section 13. Penalties.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this Act, or any of the rules, regulations, or orders issued pursuant thereto, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or by imprisonment of not more than one year, or both.
Section 14. Separability.
If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the provisions or application of this Act which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are declared to be severable.
Section 15. Repeal.
All acts or parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of this act are hereby repealed.
This Act may be cited as the "State Aeronautic Department Act."
Approved April 24, 1945.