SD – South Dakota

Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota features the sculptures of four US presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln; it towers over the Avenue of Flags near the visitor center.

Photo courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

South Dakota government website just for reference.

The SDDOT has a SDDOT Aviation Page.

South Dakota Legislature in case more laws were written since this book was published.

Map courtesy of Wikipedia

Google Earth

Last updated on June 6, 2024

Airspace

In addition to checking the FAA UAS Facility Map or B4UFLY or SkyVector or Google Maps one should consider also FAA JO 7400.10F – Special Use Airspace which is an order, published yearly, providing a listing of all regulatory and non-regulatory special use airspace areas, as well as issued but not yet implemented amendments to those areas established by the FAA.

Special Use Airspace consists of airspace of defined dimensions identified by an area on the surface of the earth wherein activities must be confined because of their nature, or wherein limitations are imposed upon aircraft operations that are not a part of those activities, or both. The vertical limits of special use airspace are measured by designated altitude floors and ceilings expressed as flight levels or as feet above MSL. Unless otherwise specified, the word “to” (an altitude or flight level) means “to and including” (that altitude or flight level). The horizontal limits of special use airspace are measured by boundaries described by geographic coordinates or other appropriate references that clearly define their perimeter. The period of time during which a designation of special use airspace is in effect is stated in the designation. All bearings and radials in this part are true from point of origin. Unless otherwise specified, all mileages in this part are stated as statute miles.

Restricted Areas: No person may operate an aircraft within a restricted area between the designated altitudes and during the time of designation, unless they have the advance permission of:

(a) The using agency described in § 73.15; or

(b) The controlling agency described in § 73.17.

These using agencies may be the agency, organization, or military command whose activity within a restricted area necessitated the area being so designated. Upon the request of the FAA, the using agency shall execute a letter establishing procedures for joint use of a restricted area by the using agency and the controlling agency, under which the using agency would notify the controlling agency whenever the controlling agency may grant permission for transit through the restricted area in accordance with the terms of the letter. The using agency shall:

(1) Schedule activities within the restricted area;

(2) Authorize transit through, or flight within, the restricted area as feasible; and

(3) Contain within the restricted area all activities conducted therein in accordance with the purpose for which it was designated.

For the purposes of this part, the controlling agency is the FAA facility that may authorize transit through or flight within a restricted area in accordance with a joint-use letter issued under § 73.15.

Prohibited Areas: No person may operate an aircraft within a prohibited area unless authorization has been granted by the using agency. For the purpose of this subpart, the using agency is the agency, organization or military command that established the requirements for the prohibited area.

Military Operations Areas: A Military Operations Area (MOA) is airspace established outside of Class A airspace to separate/segregate certain nonhazardous military activities from IFR traffic and to identify for VFR traffic where these activities are conducted. Activities. MOA’s are established to contain certain military activities such as air combat maneuvers, air intercepts, acrobatics, etc.

Alert Areas:  Airspace which may contain a high volume of pilot training activities or an unusual type of aerial activity, neither of which is hazardous to aircraft.

Warning Areas: A non regulatory warning area is airspace of defined dimensions designated over international waters that contains activity which may be hazardous to nonparticipating aircraft. The purpose of such warning areas is to warn nonparticipating pilots of the potential danger. Activities may be hazardous.

National Security Areas: A national security area (NSA) consists of airspace of defined vertical and lateral dimensions established at locations where there is a requirement for increased security of ground facilities. The purpose of such national security areas is to request pilot cooperation by voluntarily avoiding flight through the NSA. When circumstances dictate a need for a greater level of security, flight in an NSA may be temporarily prohibited by regulation under the provisions of 14 CFR Section 99.7, Special Security Instructions. Such prohibitions will be issued by FAA Headquarters and disseminated via the US NOTAM System.

 

 

 

Crewed Aircraft in your Airspace

CREWED AIRCRAFT

Lastly, if you want to be informed about crewed aircraft flying in the vicinity of your drone operation, you can always check with apps like FlightAware or ADS-B Exchange

 

 

South Dakota Statute 41-8-39

41-8-39

Use of aircraft in hunting prohibited–Exception–Violation as misdemeanor.

It is a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person to:

(1) Kill or attempt to kill any wild bird or animal from an aircraft, except as otherwise provided for in § 41-8-39.1; or

(2) Use an aircraft for the purpose of hunting, taking, concentrating, driving, rallying, stirring up, locating, or spotting any wild bird or animal, except that the prohibition in this subdivision does not apply to a person who uses a drone for the purpose of locating or spotting a predator or varmint, if:

(a) The activity occurs only on or over land that is privately owned;

(b) The person operating the drone is the landowner or has permission from the landowner or a lessee;

(c) The activity does not occur during the months of September, October, or November; and

(d) The operation of the drone is in full compliance with all applicable FAA regulations.

South Dakota Statute 50-1-1

50-1-1

Definitions.

Terms as used in this title mean:

(1) “Air traffic control,” a service operated by an authority under FAA oversight to promote the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic in the US;

(2) “Aircraft,” a device that is used, intended to be used, or designed for flight in the air. The term includes any airplane, balloon, drone, glider, and helicopter;

(3) “Aircraft dealer,” any person, manufacturer, or distributor engaged in the business of buying, selling, exchanging, or acting as a broker for three or more aircraft in any twelve consecutive months, other than a business liquidation of used aircraft;

(4) “Airport,” any area of land or water used, or intended to be used, for landing and take-off of aircraft, and any appurtenant area, structure, facility, or right of way to facilitate that use;

(5) “Airport authority,” a government entity created under this chapter for the purpose of acquiring, establishing, contracting, maintaining, improving and operating airports and other navigation facilities;

(6) “Airport facility,” any property, structure, mechanism, machinery, light, beacon, communicating system, or other equipment or device used as an aid to the safe taking off and landing of aircraft, or the safe and efficient operation or maintenance of an airport;

(7) “Airport hazard,” any existing or potential condition that can endanger the life or property of a user of an airport, any airport facility, or any occupant of land in the vicinity of an airport;

(8) “Airport sponsor,” a public agency, private owner, state entity, or other political subdivision that is associated with a public use airport facility and is a recipient of any federal airport improvement grant;

(9) “Anemometer tower,” a structure, including any guy wire or accessory facility, on which an anemometer is mounted;

(10) “Aviation facility,” any facility that supports aviation activities, including any airport, heliport, and navigational aid;

(11) “Balloon,” an aircraft that is not engine-driven, is lighter than air, and sustains flight through the use of gas buoyancy or an airborne heater;

(12) “Commercial purpose,” an aviation activity for profit that includes flight instruction, charter, air taxi, or rental, but does not include the substitution of a commercial use stamp for regular aircraft registration for the promotion of a business or other purpose that does not involve aviation;

(13) “Commission,” the South Dakota Aeronautics Commission;

(14) “Controlled airspace,” any airspace of specific and defined classifications and dimensions inside of which air traffic control services are provided;

(15) “Department,” the Department of Transportation;

(16) “Drone,” an unmanned aircraft (UA);

(17) “Heliport,” an area of land, water, or a structural surface, used or intended for use as a landing and take-off area for helicopters;

(18) “Military airport,” any military air base, air station, airfield, or other area, publicly or privately owned, that is designed, set aside, and operated by the state, a political subdivision of the state, or the United States, for civil or national defense, or for any federal program relating to flight, or for the operation of military aircraft, and used in the interest of the public for those purposes;

(19) “Navigational aid,” an aviation facility which is external to an aircraft specifically intended to assist a pilot in determining the aircraft’s position and safe course;

(20) “Obstruction,” any structure or obstacle, or use of land, that obstructs an aerial approach of an airport or is otherwise hazardous to the use of an airport by aircraft for landing or taking off;

(21) “Place of business,” a permanent enclosed structure at which a permanent business of bartering, trading, or selling aircraft is carried out in good faith. The term does not include any residence, tent, stand, or any other temporary structure;

(22) “Prescribed adjusted height,” a height adjusted upward seventeen feet for an interstate highway, fifteen feet for any other public road, ten feet or the height of the highest mobile object that would normally traverse the road, whichever is greater, for a private road, and twenty-three feet for a railroad;

(23) “Private airport,” any privately-owned airport that is available for use only by the owner and the owner’s invitees;

(24) “Public airport,” any airport, whether publicly or privately owned, that is available for use by the public;

(25) “Small unmanned aircraft,” a UA that weighs not more than fifty-five pounds, (twenty-five kilograms) including everything that is onboard or otherwise attached to the aircraft;

(26) “Small unmanned aircraft system” or “sUAS,” any SUA and its associated elements including communication links and the components that control the UA that are required for the safe and efficient operation of the UA;

(27) “Temporary airport,” any airport established and set aside for the operation of aircraft for transitory or impermanent purposes;

(28) “Unmanned aircraft” or “UA,” an aircraft operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.

South Dakota Statute 50-15-2

50-15-2

Operation of drone–Compliance with federal law–Exemption.

Any operation of a drone in the state shall comply with all applicable FAA regulations. Any drone operating under the authority of the Armed Forces of the United States, including the National Guard, is exempt from this chapter.

South Dakota Statute 50-15-3

50-15-3

Authorization required to operate drone over certain facilities–Violation as misdemeanor.

No person may operate a drone over the grounds of a prison, correctional facility, jail, juvenile detention facility, or any military facility unless expressly authorized by the administrator thereof. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

South Dakota Statute 50-15-4

50-15-4

Prohibited delivery of contraband or controlled substance–Felony.

Any person who uses a drone to deliver contraband or controlled substances to a state prison or other correctional facility is guilty of a Class 6 felony in addition to the penalty for the principal offense.

South Dakota Statute 50-15-5

50-15-5

Eavesdropping–Violation of privacy–Misdemeanor.

No person may, except as authorized by law, intentionally use a drone to photograph, record, or otherwise observe another person in a private place where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

This section does not apply to:

(1) Law enforcement officers, or to those acting under the direction of a law enforcement officer, while engaged in the performance of the officer’s lawful duties;

(2) A drone operator operating a drone for bona fide business or bona fide government purposes who unintentionally or incidentally photographs, records, or otherwise observes another person in a private place; or

(3) A designated emergency management worker operating a drone within the scope of the worker’s duties.

South Dakota Statute 50-15-6

50-15-6

Trespassing–Drone–Misdemeanor.

No person may, except as authorized by law, land a drone on the real property or the waters of a landowner who owns the real property beneath the water body, without the landowner’s consent. It is an affirmative defense if the landing was a forced landing, but in the case of forced landing, the owner or lessee of the drone remains liable for any damage resulting from a forced landing. A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Aberdeen Ordinance 10-2

Aberdeen Ordinance 10-2

Operating regulations.

The airport manager authorizes limited drone operation in city airspace for hobby or recreational purposes only, except that it shall be unlawful to exceed such authorization by operating a drone:

(1) Within one mile of the city regional airport and within the 10,000-foot non-precision approach areas to its runways. The protected airspace hereafter shall be referred to as the “airport drone no fly zone.” A map of such airport drone no fly zone shall be displayed at the airport and filed with the finance office;

(2) Over any person who is not involved in the operation of the drone, without such person’s consent;

(3) Over vehicular traffic;

(4) Over property that the operator does not own, unless the property owner consents and subject to any restrictions that the property owner may place on such operation;

(5) Over property owned, leased, or operated by the city, including, but not limited to, airports, parks, lakes, public swimming pools, trails, parking lots, and buildings, except drones may be operated in conformity with this section:

a. To temporarily cross from one authorized property to another authorized property over streets, roads, and alleys outside the airport drone no fly zone via the most direct route; and

b. Over the following city properties, subject to any restrictions thereon imposed by the city:

i. Northwestern holding pond and nature area near 24th Avenue Northwest and 387th Avenue;

ii. Baird Park;

iii. Riverside Memorial Park holding pond area;

iv. Kuhnert Arboretum; and

v. Moccasin Creek Soccer Complex from Melgaard Road north to the lateral line of 12 th Avenue Southeast and from South Cochrane Street west to Moccasin Creek;

(6) By a child under 13 years of age when not accompanied by the child’s parent or guardian or an adult designated by the child’s parent or guardian. The failure of a parent or designated adult to supervise an underage child’s operation of a drone shall be a violation by the parent or designated adult;

(7) At an altitude higher than 400 feet above ground level;

(8) Outside the visual line of sight of the operator. The operator shall use his or her own natural vision, which includes vision corrected by standard eyeglasses or contact lenses, to maintain at all times an unobstructed view of the drone, without the use of vision-enhancing devices, such as binoculars, night vision goggles, powered vision magnifying devices, and goggles designed to provide a first person view from the model or similar devices;

(9) In a manner that interferes with, or fails to give way to, any manned aircraft or moving vehicle;

(10) During the period between sunset and sunrise;

(11) Whenever weather conditions impair the operator’s ability to operate the drone safely;

(12) Over any open air assembly unit, school, school yard, hospital, swimming pool, place of worship, or law enforcement building, without the property owner’s consent, and subject to any restrictions that the property owner may place on such operation;

(13) Within 500 feet of any electric generating facility, substation, or control center, or within 100 feet of any electric transmission facility, or within 25 feet of any electric distribution facility or of any overhead wire, cable, conveyor, or similar equipment for the transmission of sounds or signal, or of heat, light or power, or data, upon or along any public way within the city, without the facility or equipment owner’s consent, and subject to any restrictions that the facility or equipment owner may place on such operation;

(14) For the purpose of conducting surveillance, unless expressly permitted by law;

(15) With 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in that person’s blood or while under the influence of alcohol, any drug, any intoxicant, or any combination thereof, as set forth in SDCL 32-23-1, which renders that person incapable of safely operating such drone;

(16) That is equipped with a firearm or other weapon;

(17) With intent to use such drone or anything attached to it to cause harm to persons or property; or

(18) In a reckless or careless manner.

Deadwood Ordinances

Deadwood Ordinance 8.21.010

As used in this chapter:

“Aircraft” means any contrivance invented, used, or designated to navigate or fly in the air as defined by SDCL 50-1-1.

“Altitude” means the height of an aircraft above the surface of the land or water below it.

“City airspace” means the space on a vertical plane perpendicular to and above the land, water, and waterways within the jurisdiction of the City of Deadwood.

Drone” means an aircraft that: (1) is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft, and (2) weighs less than 55 pounds at the time of the operation, including the weight of any payload or fuel. The term “drone” does not include “toy aircraft” or “public aircraft” as defined herein and in SDCL 50-13-3.

“Firearm” has the meaning ascribed to the term in SDCL 22-1-2 (16).

“Hobby or recreational purposes” means a pursuit engaged in for relaxation, and not for business purposes, and not for compensation or hire.

“Open air assembly unit” means any structure, enclosed area, or other demarcated space used for the assembly of persons in the open air, including, but not limited to, amusement parks, stadiums, athletic fields, bandstands, grandstands, observation platforms, street festivals, outdoor theaters, or parade routes.

“Operate” means to pilot, steer, direct, fly, or manage an aircraft through the air, whether from within the aircraft or remotely. The term “operate” includes managing or initiating a computer system that pilots, steers, directs, flies, or manages an aircraft.

“Surveillance” means the gathering, without permission and in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person, of visual images, physical impressions, sound recordings, data, or other information involving: (1) an active crime, accident, or fire scene or investigation; or (2) the private, personal, business, or familial activities of another person, business, or entity, or that otherwise intrudes upon the privacy, solitude, or seclusion of another person, business, or entity, regardless of whether a physical trespass onto real property owned, leased, or otherwise lawfully occupied by such person, business or other entity, or into airspace above real property owned, leased, or otherwise lawfully occupied by such other person, business, or other entity, occurs in connection with such surveillance.

“Toy aircraft” means: (1) a glider or hand-tossed aircraft that is not designed for and is incapable of sustained flight; or (2) an aircraft that is capable of sustained flight and is controlled by means of physical attachment, such as a string or wire.

“Weapon” means any instrument, chapter, or substance that, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used, or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing harm or damage to any person or property, including, but not limited to, firing a bullet, projectile or laser.

(Ord. 1260, 2017)

 

Deadwood Ordinance 8.21.020

The city commission authorizes limited drone operation in city airspace for hobby or recreational purposes only, except that it shall be unlawful to exceed such authorization by operating a drone:

A. In a protected airspace located within the area designated by the 1961 National Historic Landmark District, Planning Unit 4 or the Deadwood Event Complex Property (see maps attached to Ordinance 1260). This protected airspace hereafter shall be referred to as the “Deadwood Drone No Fly Zone”;

B. Over any person who is not involved in the operation of the drone, without such person’s consent;

C. Over vehicular traffic;

D. Over property that the operator does not own, unless the property owner consents and subject to any restrictions that the property owner may place on such operation;

E. By a child under 13 years of age when not accompanied by the child’s parent or guardian or an adult designated by the child’s parent or guardian. The failure of a parent or designated adult to supervise an underage child’s operation of a drone shall be a violation by the parent or designated adult;

F. At an altitude higher than 400 feet above ground level;

G. Outside the visual line of sight of the operator. The operator shall use his or her own natural vision, which includes vision corrected by standard eyeglasses or contact lenses, to maintain at all times an unobstructed view of the drone, without the use of vision-enhanced devices, such as binoculars, night vision goggles, powered vision magnifying devices and goggles designated to provide a “first person view” from the model or similar devices;

H. In a manner that interferes with, or fails to give way to, any manned aircraft or moving vehicle or conveyance;

I. Whenever weather conditions impair the operator’s ability to operate the drone safely;

J. During the period between sunset and sunrise;

K. Over any open air assembly unit, school, school yard, hospital, water treatment facility, cemetery, water storage facility, law enforcement building or place of worship, without the property owner’s consent, and subject to any restrictions that the property owner may place on such operation;

L. For the purpose of conducting surveillance, unless expressly permitted by law;

M. With 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in that person’s blood, or while under the influence of alcohol, any drug, any intoxicant, or any combination thereof, as set forth in SDCL 32-23-1, which renders that person incapable of safely operating such drone;

N. That is equipped with a firearm or other weapon;

O. With intent to use such drone or anything attached to it to cause harm to persons or property; or

P. In a reckless or careless manner.

(Ord. 1260, 2017)

 

Deadwood Ordinance 8.21.030

Construction.

A. Operations authorized by FAA and city. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit any person who is permitted by the FAA, the city commission, the chief of police, the public works director, or the fire chief to operate a drone in city airspace from conducting such operations in accordance with the terms of such authorization and, if applicable, in accordance with this chapter.

B. Governmental operations authorized. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the use of a drone by a law enforcement agency or to conduct governmental operations by or on behalf of the city, the county, the state, or the federal government.

C. Operations prohibited by federal or state regulation. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize the operation of any drone in city airspace in violation of any federal or state law, or rule promulgated thereunder, including, but not limited to, any temporary flight restrictions or notices to airmen issued by the FAA. This chapter shall not be construed to permit interference by any drone operation with air traffic or in a manner less restrictive than Federal Aviation Administration guidelines regarding unmanned aerial systems and regulations regarding air space obstructions;

D. Negligence per se. Chapter 8.21 is enacted to protect the health and safety of all persons lawfully within the city or city airspace and to prevent damage to persons and property. A violation of Chapter 8.21 without legal excuse is negligence as a matter of law.

(Ord. 1260, 2017)

 

Deadwood Ordinance 8.21.040

A. A violation of this chapter by an adult is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Any adult who violates this chapter shall be fined not less than one hundred twenty dollars ($120,00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each offense, nor jailed for more than thirty (30) days, or both. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense;

B. A violation of this chapter by a minor is a petty offense;

C. A law enforcement office may seize a drone as evidence of a violation of this chapter. The drone thereafter shall be disposed of in accordance with state law for disposition of seized property.

(Ord. 1260, 2017)

 

University Drone Policies

Augustana College

Dakota State University

South Dakota Board of Regents

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

South Dakota State University

Note: This list is just a sample… many more could be added.

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)

 

 

Short Essay Questions

Question 1

You have been hired by a Drone Startup Company. Your boss has immediately assigned this job to you.

They need you to prepare a one-page memo detailing the legalities of inspecting the presidents’ faces for weather damage at Mount Rushmore, pictured above.

They need you to mention any state laws and local ordinances.

They specifically want to know what airspace you will be operating in, and whether or not you need an airspace authorization, with or without LAANC capability.

Lastly, there is a bonus for you if, as you scroll through this chapter, you find any typos or broken links!

Question 2

Do the state drone laws implicate the First Amendment? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 3

Do the state drone laws implicate the Fourth Amendment? Or involve law enforcement officers obtaining warrants? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 4

Do the state drone laws contain a preemption clause? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 5

Does the state have UAM/AAM laws? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 6

Are you aware of any new laws or policies not mentioned above? If so, describe, citing the exact law or policy.

 

 

 

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Drones Across the World Copyright © 2023 by Sarah Nilsson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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