WV – West Virginia

Flag courtesy of Wikipedia

Aerial view of downtown Morgantown.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

West Virginia government website just for reference.

WVDOT website just for reference.

West Virginia Legislature in case more laws were written since this book was published.

Map courtesy of Wikipedia

Google Earth

Last updated on June 7, 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

 

 

West Virginia Code §5B-2M-2

West Virginia Code §5B-2M-2

Definitions.

For purposes of this article, “vertiport” means infrastructure or a system with supporting services and equipment intended for landing, ground-handling, and take-off of manned or unmanned vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.

West Virginia Code §11-13Q-10a

West Virginia Code §11-13Q-10a

Credit allowed for specified high technology manufacturers.

(a) High technology manufacturing business defined. –

For purposes of this section, the term “high technology manufacturing business” means and is limited to only those businesses engaged in a business enumerated in subdivision (1) of this subsection: Provided, That for tax years beginning on and after January 1, 2022, the term “high technology manufacturing business” means and is limited to only those businesses engaged in a business enumerated in subdivision (1) or subdivision (2), or both, of this subsection.

(1) “High technology manufacturing business” means a manufacturing activity properly classified as having one or more of the following six-digit North American Industry Classification System code numbers.

North American Industry

Classification System Code

Manufacturing Activity
Computer & Peripheral Equipment
334111 Electronic Computers
334112 Computer Storage Devices
Electronic Components
334411 Electron Tubes
334414 Electronic Capacitors
Semiconductors
334413 Semiconductor & Related Devices
333295 Semiconductor Machinery

(2) “High technology manufacturing business” means, in addition to those activities enumerated in subdivision (1) of this subsection:

(A) The activity of manufacturing drones, target drones, unmanned aircraft or unmanned robotic aircraft,

(B) The activity of manufacturing autonomous motor vehicles,

(C) The activity of manufacturing robots, robotic medical machines or equipment or robotic surgical machines or equipment,

(D) The activity of manufacturing machines, equipment and products predominantly operated by and incorporating artificial intelligence.

(E) The activity of manufacturing biotechnology products.

(F) The activity of manufacturing medical devices.

(3) Definitions – For purposes of this section.

(A) Artificial Intelligence — For purposes of this section “artificial intelligence” means computers and computer systems that, by design and function, perform tasks that would typically require human intelligence, including decision-making, visual perception, speech recognition, or translation of one human language into another human language.

(B) Autonomous — For purposes of this section “autonomous” means that set of characteristics of a machine which taken as a whole cause the machine to be capable of performing designated tasks without immediate direct or explicit human control or intervention beyond initial programming and preliminary set up and initiation.

(C) Autonomous Motor Vehicle — For purposes of this section, The term “autonomous motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle that conforms to Level 3, level 4 or level 5 of the Society of Automotive Engineers automation level definitions specified in SAE International Standard J3016.

(D) Biotechnology

(i) “Biotechnology” means scientific invention, processes and methods, or industrial invention, processes and methods, based on the science of biology, microbiology, molecular biology, cellular biology, biochemistry, or biophysics, or any combination thereof. Biotechnology includes, but is not limited to, recombinant DNA techniques, genetics and genetic engineering, cell fusion techniques, and bioprocesses, using living organisms, or parts of organisms.

(ii) Biotechnology does not include farming, agriculture, or animal or apiary husbandry, or the production of any crop or agricultural product by traditional growing processes or by hydroponic growing processes, or fish farming, or the raising or growing or production of fish or any aquatic animal or product.

(iii) Biotechnology does not include zymurgy, wine making, brewing, preparation of yeast used in food production or preparation, or any food or drink preparation or production.

(E) “Biotechnology product” means any virus, therapeutic serum, antibody, protein, toxin, antitoxin, vaccine, blood, blood component or derivative, allergenic product, or analogous product produced through the application of biotechnology that is used in the prevention, treatment, or cure of diseases or injuries to humans, animals, or plants.

(F) Drone – For purposes of this section “drone” means an unmanned aircraft that may be controlled either remotely or by an autonomous system, which may work with internal systemic sensors or ground positioning satellite systems, or both.

(G) “Medical device” means an instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant, in vitro reagent, or other similar or related article, including any component, part, or accessory, that is:

(i) Recognized in the national formulary or any supplement thereof, or the United States pharmacopeia, or any supplement thereof;

(ii) Intended for use in the diagnosis of disease, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease or other conditions in human beings or animals; or

(iii) Intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of human beings or animals, and which does not achieve any of its primary intended purposes through chemical action within or on the body of human beings or animals and which is not dependent upon being metabolized for the achievement of any of its principal intended purposes.

(H) Program – For purposes of this section “program” means a set of instructions that can be executed by a computer, or other machine or device to perform calculations, processes or operations, or a combination thereof, to execute a specific task or series of tasks.

(I) Robot – For purposes of this section “robot” means a programmable machine, for which operating instructions are typically derived from computer programming, which machine is: (i) Capable of performing operations and processes involving physical movement; (ii) designed to operate with a degree of autonomy; (iii) capable of processing data and information, including data or information derived from visual perception or other physical perceptions; and (iv) capable of engaging in intelligent behavior derived from artificial intelligence.

(b) Amount of credit allowed.

(1) Credit allowed. — An eligible high technology manufacturing business taxpayer is allowed a credit against the portion of taxes imposed by this state that are attributable to and the direct consequence of the eligible high technology manufacturing business taxpayer’s qualified investment in a new or expanded high technology manufacturing business in this state which results in the creation of at least 20 new jobs within 12 months after placing qualified investment into service. The amount of this credit is determined as provided in this section.

(2) Amount of credit. — The annual amount of credit allowable under this subsection is 100 percent of the tax attributable to qualified investment, for each consecutive year of a 20-year credit period.

(3) Application of credit. — The annual credit allowance shall be taken beginning with the taxable year in which the taxpayer places the qualified investment into service or use in this state, unless the taxpayer elects to delay the beginning of the 20-year credit period until the next succeeding taxable year. This election is made in the annual income tax return filed under this chapter by the taxpayer for the taxable year in which the qualified investment is first placed in service or use. Once made, this election cannot be revoked. The annual credit allowance shall be taken and applied against the taxes enumerated in §11-13Q-7 of this code. The credit shall offset 100 percent of tax attributable to qualified investment and shall be applied for a period of 20 consecutive years without carryover.

(c) New jobs. — The term “new jobs” has the meaning ascribed to it in §11-13Q-3 of this code.

(1) The term “new employee” has the meaning ascribed to it in §11-13Q-3 of this code: Provided, That this term does not include employees filling new jobs who:

(A) Are related individuals, as defined in subsection (i), section 51 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or a person who owns 10 percent or more of the business with such ownership interest to be determined under rules set forth in subsection (b), section 267 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or

(B) Worked for the taxpayer during the six-month period ending on the date the taxpayer’s qualified investment is placed in service or use and is rehired by the taxpayer during the six-month period beginning on the date taxpayer’s qualified investment is placed in service or use.

(2) When a job is attributable. — An employee’s position is directly attributable to the qualified investment if:

(A) The employee’s service is performed or his or her base of operations is at the new or expanded business facility;

(B) The position did not exist prior to the construction, renovation, expansion, or acquisition of the business facility and the making of the qualified investment;

(C) But for the qualified investment, the position would not have existed; and

(D) The median compensation of the new jobs attributable to the qualified investment is greater than $45,000 per year: Provided, That this median compensation amount shall be adjusted for inflation each year in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(3) Median compensation adjusted for inflation. — The median compensation requirements applicable to high technology manufacturing business taxpayers for purposes of this section, shall be adjusted for inflation by application of a cost-of-living adjustment. The adjusted median compensation amount shall be applicable, as adjusted, each year throughout the 20-year credit period. Failure of a taxpayer entitled to credit under this section to meet the median compensation requirement for any year will result in forfeiture of the credit for that year. However, if in any succeeding year within the original 20 year credit period, the taxpayer pays a median compensation to its employees which exceeds the inflation adjusted median compensation amount for that year, the taxpayer shall regain entitlement to take the credit for that year only. No credit forfeited in a prior year shall be taken, and the tax year or years to which the forfeited credit would have been applied shall be forfeited and deducted from the remainder of the years over which the credit can be taken.

(A) Cost-of-living adjustment. — For purposes of this section, the cost-of-living adjustment for any calendar year is the percentage, if any, by which the consumer price index for the preceding calendar year exceeds the consumer price index for the calendar year 2007.

(B) Consumer price index for any calendar year. — For purposes of this section, the consumer price index for any calendar year is the average of the federal consumer price index as of the close of the 12-month period ending on August 31 of such calendar year.

(C) Consumer price index. — For purposes of this section, the term “Federal Consumer Price Index” means the last consumer price index for all urban consumers published by the United States Department of Labor.

(D) Rounding. — If any increase in the median compensation amount under this section is not a multiple of $50, such increase shall be rounded to the next lowest multiple of $50.

(d) Credit exclusion. —

(1) Any taxpayer that has taken the credit against tax authorized under this section shall not be eligible for application of the credit allowed under any other section of this article during the twenty year credit period authorized by this section for the same qualified investment on which credit allowed by this article was taken.

(2) Any taxpayer that has taken the credit against tax authorized under this section may not take the credit authorized under any other provision of this code for the same qualified investment on which credit allowed by this article was taken.

(e) Rules. — The commissioner may prescribe such rules as he or she determines necessary in order to determine the amount of credit allowed under this section to a taxpayer; to verify a taxpayer’s continued entitlement to claim the credit; and to verify proper application of the credit allowed.

(f) Notices and reports. — The commissioner may require a taxpayer intending to claim credit under this section to file with the commissioner a notice of intent to claim this credit before the taxpayer begins reducing his or her monthly or quarterly installment payments of estimated tax for the credit provided in this section.

West Virginia Code §15-12-2

West Virginia Code §15-12-2

Registration.

(a) The provisions of this article apply both retroactively and prospectively.

(b) Any person who has been convicted of an offense or an attempted offense or has been found not guilty by reason of mental illness, mental retardation, or addiction of an offense under any of the following provisions of this code or under a statutory provision of another state, the United States Code or the Uniform Code of Military Justice which requires proof of the same essential elements shall register as set forth in §15-12-2(d) of this code and according to the internal management rules promulgated by the superintendent under authority of §15-2-25 of this code:

(13) Any identifying information, including make, model, serial number, and photograph, regarding any unmanned aerial vehicle owned or operated by a registrant.

West Virginia Code §17-16F-3

West Virginia Code §17-16F-3

Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context indicates another or different meaning or intent:

“Aeronautics” means the art and science of flight, including, but not limited to, transportation by aircraft; the operation, construction, repair, or maintenance of aircraft, aircraft power plants, and accessories, including the repair, packing, and maintenance of parachutes; and the design, establishment, construction, extension, operation, improvement, repair, or maintenance of airports or other air navigation facilities.

“Aircraft” means any contrivance now known, or hereafter invented, used, or designed for navigation of or flight in the air whether manned or unmanned.

West Virginia Code §20-2-5

West Virginia Code §20-2-5

Unlawful methods of hunting and fishing and other unlawful acts; Sunday hunting.

(a) Except as authorized by the director or by law, it is unlawful at any time for any person to:

(1) Shoot at any wild bird or wild animal unless it is plainly visible;

(2) Dig out, cut out, smoke out, or in any manner take or attempt to take any live wild animal or wild bird out of its den or place of refuge;

(3) Use or attempt to use any artificial light or any night vision technology, including image intensification, thermal imaging, or active illumination while hunting, locating, attracting, taking, trapping, or killing any wild bird or wild animal: Provided, That it is lawful to hunt or take coyote, fox, raccoon, opossum, or skunk by the use of artificial light or night vision technology, including image intensification, thermal imaging, or active illumination. Any person violating this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall for each offense be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500, and shall be confined in jail for not less than 10 days nor more than 100 days;

(4) Hunt, take, kill, wound, harass, or shoot at wild animals or wild birds from an airplane or other airborne conveyance, a drone or other unmanned aircraft, an automobile, or other land conveyance, or from a motor-driven water conveyance;

(5) Use a drone or other unmanned aircraft to hunt, take, wound, harass, transport, or kill a wild bird or wild animal, or to use a drone or other unmanned aircraft to drive or herd any wild bird or wild animal for the purposes of hunting, trapping, or killing;

(6) Take any beaver or muskrat by any means other than a trap;

West Virginia Code §20-5-2

West Virginia Code §20-5-2

Powers of the director with respect to the section of parks and recreation.

(a) The Director of the Division of Natural Resources is responsible for the execution and administration of the provisions in this article as an integral part of the parks and recreation program of the state and shall organize and staff the section of parks and recreation for the orderly, efficient and economical accomplishment of these ends. The authority granted in the year 1994 to the Director of the Division of Natural Resources to employ up to six additional unclassified personnel to carry out the parks’ functions of the Division of Natural Resources is continued.

(b) The Director of the Division of Natural Resources shall:

 

(16) Permit the use of drones within State Parks, Forests and Rail Trails.  Persons who intend to operate an UAS shall register at the area superintendent’s office prior to engaging or participating in the operation of any UAS and specify where the activity will take place. A superintendent may only prohibit, issue directives, or implement time and place restrictions on unmanned aircraft system use in areas or portions thereof in order to: (i) protect the safety and privacy of other park users, (ii) protect area facilities, (iii) protect the peaceful and quiet atmosphere of the area, or (iv) prevent harassment of wildlife. Upon registration the superintendent shall provide a list and map to the unmanned aircraft system operator of any prohibited areas within the park. Participants in drone operation activities assume full responsibility and liability for any risk or injury related to using an UAS.

West Virginia Code §61-16-1

West Virginia Code §61-16-1

Definitions.

As used in this article:

(1) “Aircraft” means any device now known or subsequently invented, used, or designed for flight in the air, including, but not limited to, unmanned aircraft vehicles or systems;

(2) “unmanned aircraft system” or “system” means an aircraft that is operated without direct human intervention from inside or on the aircraft and includes the crewmember, the associated support equipment, the control station, data links, telemetry, communications, and navigation equipment necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft, including, but not limited to, drones;

(3) “unmanned aircraft system operator” or “operator” means a person exercising control over an unmanned aircraft system during flight.

West Virginia Code §61-16-2

West Virginia Code §61-16-2

Prohibited use of an UAS; criminal penalties.

(a) Except as authorized by the provisions of this article, a person may not operate an unmanned aircraft system:

(1) To knowingly and intentionally capture or take photographs, images, video, or audio of another person or the private property of another, without the other person’s permission, in a manner that would invade the individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, capturing, or recording through a window;

(2) To knowingly and intentionally view, follow, or contact another person or the private property of another without the other person’s permission in a manner that would invade the individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, viewing, following, or contacting through a window;

(3) To knowingly and intentionally harass another person;

(4) To violate a restraining order or similar judicial order;

(5) To act with a willful wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property; or

(6) To knowingly and intentionally operate an UAS in a manner that interferes with the official duties of law enforcement personnel or emergency medical personnel.

(b) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or confined in jail for not more than one year, or both fined and confined.

(c) Any person who equips an UAS with any deadly weapon or operates any UAS equipped with any deadly weapon, other than for military in an official capacity, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 or imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.

(d) Any person who operates an UAS with the intent to cause damage to or disrupt in any way the flight of a manned aircraft is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 imprisoned for not less than one nor more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.

(e) A person that is authorized by the FAA to operate UAS for commercial purposes may operate an UAS in this state for such purposes if the UAS is operated in a manner consistent with federal law.

University Drone Policies

West Virginia University

 

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

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)

2022 – House Bill 4667

2023 – Vertx Partners presents Advanced Air Mobility in Appalachia

2023 – Rural Advanced Air Mobility and its effect on West Virginia healthcare

 

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 filming a promotional video for Morgantown, 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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