33 U.S. Code § 576c. Corps of Engineers operation of unmanned aircraft systems

(a) In generalThe Secretary shall designate an individual, within the headquarters office of the Corps of Engineers, who shall serve as the coordinator and principal approving official for developing the process and procedures by which the Corps of Engineers—
(1)
operates and maintains small unmanned aircraft (as defined in section 331 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101[1] note)) systems in support of civil works and emergency response missions of the Corps of Engineers; and
(2)
acquires, applies for, and receives any necessary Federal Aviation Administration authorizations for such operations and systems.
(b) Requirements

A small unmanned aircraft system acquired, operated, or maintained for carrying out the missions specified in subsection (a) shall be operated in accordance with regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration as a civil aircraft or public aircraft, at the discretion of the Secretary, and shall be exempt from regulations of the Department of Defense, including the Department of the Army, governing such system.

(c) Limitation

A small unmanned aircraft system acquired, operated, or maintained by the Corps of Engineers is excluded from use by the Department of Defense, including the Department of the Army, for any mission of the Department of Defense other than a mission specified in subsection (a).

References in Text

Section 331 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), is section 331 of Pub. L. 112–95, which was set out in a note under section 40101 of Title 49, Transportation, and was transferred and is now set out in a note under section 44802 of Title 49.

“Secretary” Defined

Secretary means the Secretary of the Army, see section 1002 of Pub. L. 114–322, set out as a note under section 2201 of this title.



[1]  See References in Text note below.