Sarah Nilsson JD, PhD, MAS
Sarah NilssonJD, PhD, MAS



UAS in the State of Maryland Report


Md. Economic Development Code Ann. § 14-301


§ 14-301. UAS

(a)  Definitions. -- 
(1)  In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2)  "UA" means the flying portion of a UAS, flown by a pilot via a ground control system, or autonomously through use of an onboard computer, a communication link, and any additional equipment that is necessary for the UA to operate safely.
(3)  "UAS" means a UA and all the associated support equipment, control stations, data links, telemetry, communications and navigation equipment, and other equipment necessary to operate the UA.
(b)  Regulation. --  Only the State may enact a law or take any other action to prohibit, restrict, or regulate the testing or operation of UAS in the State.
(c)  Preemption of other State authorities. --  Subsection (b) of this section:
(1)  preempts the authority of a county or municipality to prohibit, restrict, or regulate the testing or operation of UAS; and
(2)  supersedes any existing law or ordinance of a county or municipality that prohibits, restricts, or regulates the testing or operation of UAS.
(d)  Federal preemption. --  This section does not affect federal preemption of State law.
Drones in the news

Bill History


Where just the name of the bill or resolution is hyperlinked in black that means that it is not yet law!

Note that bills that are now law are changed to blue font


HB 351

HB 8

HB 88

SB 126

In 2013, Maryland's Legislature, through House Bill (HB) 100, appropriated $500,000 for the state's UAS test site.


House Bill (HB) 620 (download below) was introduced and read for the first time on February 12, 2015. It is a bill entitled, An Act Concerning Crimes – UAS – Unauthorized Surveillance. (Not yet law!)

Adobe Acrobat document [2.4 MB]
Adobe Acrobat document [89.1 KB]

The governor of Maryland signed Senate Bill (SB) 370 (download below) into law, Chapter 164, which went into effect on July 1, 2015. This is a bill entitled, An Act concerning UAS Research, Development, Regulation, and Privacy Act of 2015.

SB 370 specifies that only the state can enact laws to prohibit, restrict, or regulate the testing or operation of UAS. This preempts county and municipal authority. The bill also requires a study on specified benefits. 

Adobe Acrobat document [102.8 KB]

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