Municipality of Bethel Park, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 9-11-2017 by Ord. No. 9-11-17]
14.1.1. 
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AIRCRAFT
Any contrivance invented, used, or designed to navigate or fly in the air.
AIRPORT
The Allegheny County Airport.
AIRPORT AUTHORITY
The Allegheny County Airport Authority, which is the operator of the airport.
ENFORCEMENT ACTION
Any action taken under this article for alleged violations of the same.
FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration.
INCOMPATIBLE LAND USE
Use of land within the Municipality limits that poses an undue hazard to manned aircraft departing or arriving at the airport, and to persons or property on the ground.
MANNED AIRCRAFT
Any aircraft operated by the input of a person who is onboard the aircraft.
OPERATE
To takeoff or land an unmanned aircraft or otherwise manipulate the flight controls of an unmanned aircraft.
PERSON
An individual person or a company, or other duly organized and authorized entity, but not including the Municipality, the State of Pennsylvania, the United States, or an individual person acting in an official capacity thereof.
RESTRICTED LAND
The land within the boundaries reflected on the map appended to this article designated "restricted land" or which has been later designated as "restricted land" via notice issued by the Municipality or the Authority.[1]
SAFETY CRITICAL LAND
The land within the boundaries reflected on the map appended to this article designated "safety critical land" or which has been later designated as "safety critical land" via notice and official action by the Municipality or the Authority.[2]
SMALL NONCOMMERCIAL UA
An unmanned aircraft which:
1. 
Is capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere;
2. 
Is flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft;
3. 
Is flown for hobby or recreational use; and
4. 
Weighs 55 pounds or less.
UNMANNED AIRCRAFT ("UA")
An aircraft operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said map and any additional designations are on file in the municipal offices.
[2]
Editor's Note: Said map and any additional designations are on file in the municipal offices.
14.2.1. 
No person may operate a small noncommercial UA from a ground-based location within municipal limits and that is situated within safety critical land.
14.2.2. 
No person may operate a small noncommercial UA from a ground-based location within the Municipality that is situated within restricted land but is not situated within safety critical land unless:
1. 
The Airport Authority is provided with notice of the proposed operation and the Airport Authority approves of such operation; or
2. 
The small noncommercial UA is being operated during a day and/or time when operation is allowed as indicated by a notice issued by the Municipality or the Authority.
14.2.3. 
No person may operate an unmanned aircraft within the geographical limits of the Municipality in violation of:
1. 
An agreement between that person and the Municipality, the Airport Authority, or the FAA; or
2. 
Any term, condition, directive, or applicable regulation imposed by the FAA, including, but not limited to, 14 CFR Part 111, Subpart E; 14 CFR Part 107; or the terms of any waiver or special authorization issued by the FAA.
14.2.4. 
No person may operate an unmanned aircraft that weighs in excess of 55 pounds, including everything that is onboard or otherwise attached to the unmanned aircraft, unless the unmanned aircraft is marked and registered in accordance with 14 CFR Part 47 or 48.
14.2.5. 
Use over private property.
1. 
Except as provided in Subsections 2 and 3, an individual may not operate an unmanned aircraft above private property between zero feet and 400 feet in altitude from the ground.
2. 
Notwithstanding Subsection 1, an individual may operate an unmanned aircraft between zero feet and 400 feet in altitude above private property if they:
a. 
Are the owner of that private property; or
b. 
Have the express permission of the owner of that private property.
3. 
Notwithstanding Subsection 1, an employee or contractor of the Municipality may operate an unmanned aircraft without the express permission of the owner of private property if either of the following conditions are met:
a. 
The operation is in connection with the resolution of an emergency situation as determined by the Municipal Manager, the Chief of Police or their designees; or
b. 
The operation is by law enforcement personnel executing a valid warrant.
14.2.6. 
Use on public property.
1. 
A person may not operate an unmanned aircraft on public property unless the person has a permit issued by the Municipality for that use. However, no permit shall be required for operation of an unmanned aircraft within the following public parks maintained by the Municipality:
Birch Tree Park
Brookeside Park
Elm Tree Park
Miners Memorial Park
Oak Tree Park
Peter J. Page Park
Shamrock Park
Simmons Park
2. 
The Municipality may, by resolution, add or remove other public land or parks where operation of unmanned aircraft is permitted.
14.2.7. 
General prohibitions. An individual may not operate an unmanned aircraft:
1. 
Which has a weapon attached to any portion of the unmanned aircraft;
2. 
To harass or annoy another;
3. 
For the purpose of surveillance, when the target of surveillance would have an expectation of privacy;
4. 
In a reckless or careless manner that causes a real or reasonably perceived threat to persons or property or actually causes damage to persons or property;
5. 
Above 400 feet in altitude from the ground; or
6. 
Within 25 feet of a utility.
14.3.1. 
The Municipality of Bethel Park police shall have the authority to enforce this article by issuance of citations.
14.3.2. 
Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a summary offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000.
14.3.3. 
Each violation hereunder shall constitute a separate offense, subject to the penalties provided in the preceding subsections.
14.3.4. 
After conferring with the Airport Authority, the Municipality of Bethel Park police or the Airport Authority may:
1. 
Refer the matter to the FAA for investigation and enforcement action under applicable laws and regulations;
2. 
Refer the matter to the United States Attorney's Office or the Federal Bureau of Investigation for investigation and enforcement under applicable laws and regulations; and/or
3. 
Refer the matter to the Allegheny County District Attorney for prosecution under applicable state laws.
14.4.1. 
This Chapter 14 is intended to be a lawful exercise of the Municipality's police and regulatory powers available to it under applicable state and federal law. Nothing in this Chapter 14 is intended to, nor does it actually, impede or conflict with any federal law, FAA-issued restrictions or powers of the FAA to bring any action to enforce any applicable federal law or regulation or issue penalties or take any other action that the FAA is authorized to take under federal law and applicable regulations.
14.4.2. 
In the event that the FAA initiates an enforcement action against any person who is also in violation of this Chapter 14, the Municipality shall suspend any pending enforcement action for a period of not less than 60 days upon written request from the FAA. After the expiration of the suspension of enforcement proceedings, the Municipality may proceed with any appropriate actions, including issuance of penalties authorized by this section. Such penalties shall be in addition to any action taken by the FAA.
14.4.3. 
To the extent that any portion of this Chapter 14 is found to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining portions shall remain in full force and effect.