Florida Senate - 2023                                    SB 1122
       By Senator Harrell
       31-00173-23                                           20231122__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to vertiports; creating s. 332.15,
    3         F.S.; providing legislative intent; defining terms;
    4         requiring the Department of Transportation to take
    5         certain actions regarding vertiports; providing
    6         applicability; providing design and layout plan
    7         requirements for vertiport owners; providing
    8         limitations regarding the exercise of a political
    9         subdivision’s zoning and land use authority in
   10         regulating vertiports; providing construction;
   11         providing an effective date.
   13  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   15         Section 1. Section 332.15, Florida Statutes, is created to
   16  read:
   17         332.15Vertiports.—
   18         (1) It is the intent of the Legislature to promote the
   19  development of a network of vertiports which will provide
   20  residents of this state with equitable access to advanced air
   21  mobility operations for passenger and cargo services.
   22         (2)As used in this section, the term:
   23         (a) “Advanced air mobility” means an air transport system
   24  that integrates new, transformational aircraft designs,
   25  including vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, and
   26  flight technologies to transport passenger and cargo to
   27  locations not traditionally served by current modes of air
   28  transportation, including rural areas and challenging and
   29  complex urban environments.
   30         (b) “Department” means the Department of Transportation.
   31         (c)Vertiport” means an infrastructure or a system with
   32  supporting services and equipment intended for landing, ground
   33  handling, and takeoff of manned or unmanned VTOL aircraft.
   34         (3)To increase public access to advanced air mobility
   35  operations and to avoid vertiport monopolization or
   36  discrimination, the department shall do all of the following:
   37         (a)Subject to the appropriation of funds for such purpose
   38  by the Legislature, fund the planning and construction of
   39  public-use vertiports.
   40         (b) Encourage local zoning boards and other land use
   41  authorities to ensure that an adequate number of vertiports are
   42  constructed in this state and are strategically placed to
   43  provide equitable access for all residents.
   44         (c) Promote competition and equitable access by prohibiting
   45  the granting of an exclusive right to one or more vertiport
   46  owners or operators or to vertiport operators at one or more
   47  vertiports.
   48         (4)This section applies to any vertiport in this state
   49  which is available for public use by any advanced air mobility
   50  operator authorized by the United States Department of
   51  Transportation or the Federal Aviation Administration to engage
   52  in passenger or cargo services in scheduled or nonscheduled
   53  service in or affecting interstate commerce.
   54         (5) To operate in this state, the owner of each vertiport
   55  subject to this section must do all of the following:
   56         (a) Ensure that the vertiport complies with Federal
   57  Aviation Administration’s regulations and guidance relating to
   58  vertiport design and performance standards.
   59         (b)Submit a vertiport layout plan to the administrator of
   60  the Federal Aviation Administration in the form and manner
   61  determined by the administrator. Aircraft operations may not be
   62  conducted at the vertiport until the plan is approved.
   63         (6) A political subdivision as defined in s. 333.01 may not
   64  exercise its zoning and land use authority to grant or allow an
   65  exclusive right to one or more vertiport owners or operators but
   66  may use such authority to promote reasonable access to advanced
   67  air mobility operators at vertiports.
   68         (7) This section is intended to supplement any provision of
   69  federal law pertaining to the design, construction, operation,
   70  or maintenance of a vertiport designed or constructed with a
   71  grant under 49 U.S.C. ss. 47101 et seq. If any provision of this
   72  section is found to be in conflict with federal law, federal law
   73  supersedes this section to the extent of the conflict.
   74         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.