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 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to the regulation of aircraft on water.
 1-3           BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
 1-4           SECTION 1.  Title 3, Transportation Code, is amended by
 1-5     adding Chapter 26 to read as follows:
 1-6                        CHAPTER 26.  AQUATIC AIRCRAFT
 1-7           Sec. 26.001.  DEFINITIONS.  In this chapter:
 1-8                 (1)  "Aquatic aircraft" means a seaplane, floatplane,
 1-9     or similar aircraft that is capable of taking off and landing on
1-10     water.
1-11                 (2)  "Department" means the Texas Department of
1-12     Transportation.
1-13           Sec. 26.002.  APPLICATION.  This chapter applies to all
1-14     navigable bodies of water of this state other than a navigable body
1-15     of water that the federal government owns, controls, or has
1-16     jurisdiction over.
1-17           Sec. 26.003.  REGULATION PROHIBITED.  (a)  Except as provided
1-18     by Subsection (b), a governmental entity that owns, controls, or
1-19     has jurisdiction over a navigable body of water may not in an area
1-20     in which motorized boats are permitted:
1-21                 (1)  prohibit the takeoff, landing, or operation of an
1-22     aquatic aircraft; or
1-23                 (2)  regulate or require a permit or fee for the
1-24     operation of an aquatic aircraft.
 2-1           (b)  A governmental entity described by Subsection (a) may
 2-2     apply to the department to prohibit or limit the operation of
 2-3     aquatic aircraft on a navigable body of water.  The department
 2-4     shall approve the prohibition or limitation if the department
 2-5     determines that safety concerns justify the prohibition or
 2-6     limitation.  The prohibition or limitation may apply to the entire
 2-7     body of water or only to a specified area.
 2-8           (c)  In making a determination under Subsection (b), the
 2-9     department shall consider:
2-10                 (1)  the topography of the body of water or specified
2-11     area;
2-12                 (2)  the depth of the water and any obstacles that are
2-13     under the water;
2-14                 (3)  the amount of boat or individual traffic on the
2-15     body of water or in the specified area;
2-16                 (4)  the interests of persons owning homes that are
2-17     located on or around the body of water; and
2-18                 (5)  any other factors that relate to the safe
2-19     operation of aquatic aircraft.
2-20           Sec. 26.004.  RULES.  The department shall adopt rules to
2-21     implement and administer this chapter, including rules specifying
2-22     how notice shall be given of a prohibition or limitation approved
2-23     under this chapter.
2-24           SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1999.
2-25           SECTION 3.  The importance of this legislation and the
2-26     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
2-27     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
 3-1     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
 3-2     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.
         _______________________________     _______________________________
             President of the Senate              Speaker of the House
               I certify that H.B. No. 1620 was passed by the House on May
         5, 1999, by a non-record vote; that the House refused to concur in
         Senate amendments to H.B. No. 1620 on May 21, 1999, and requested
         the appointment of a conference committee to consider the
         differences between the two houses; and that the House adopted the
         conference committee report on H.B. No. 1620 on May 28, 1999, by a
         non-record vote.
                                             _______________________________
                                                 Chief Clerk of the House
               I certify that H.B. No. 1620 was passed by the Senate, with
         amendments, on May 19, 1999, by a viva-voce vote; at the request of
         the House, the Senate appointed a conference committee to consider
         the differences between the two houses; and that the Senate adopted
         the conference committee report on H.B. No. 1620 on May 29, 1999,
         by a viva-voce vote.
                                             _______________________________
                                                 Secretary of the Senate
         APPROVED:  _____________________
                            Date
                    _____________________
                          Governor