HB 1481

84(R) - 2015
House Criminal Jurisprudence
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Law Enforcement

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Jim Murphy


Abel Herrero

Bill Caption

Relating to prohibiting the operation of an unmanned aircraft over certain facilities; creating a criminal offense.

Fiscal Notes

No fiscal implication to the State or units of local government is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

HB 1481 would amend the chapter entitled “Use of Unmanned Aircraft” within the Government Code to create a new offense related to the operation of an unmanned aircraft over a critical infrastructure facility that is not higher than 400 feet above ground level. Critical infrastructure facilities includes any one of the following facilities that are "obviously designed to exclude intruders" including;

  • a petroleum or alumina refinery
  • electrical power generating facility
  • an above ground oil, gas, or chemical pipeline
  • a water intake structure
  • natural gas compressor
  • liquid gas terminal
  • port, railroad switching yard, trucking terminal
  • gas processing plant
  • transmission facility used by federally licensed radio or television station
  • a steel-making facility
  • a dam that is classified as a high hazard

This offense is not applicable to anyone who is a government employee, an owner of the critical infrastructure facility, or a contractor employed either by the government or the critical infrastructure facility. This can be subjected to be a Class A misdemeanor that could lead to a fine of $4000 and/or confinement in jail for up to one year.

Vote Recommendation Notes

HB 1481 addresses a contentious new technological development of private companies and citizens operating drones. Critical infrastructure facilities should be weary as the security of these facilities can be at risk due to an unmanned drone being used to assess vulnerabilities within these type of facilities. This is within the confines of protecting our national interests and would be aligned with our limited government principle. We support this bill for preserving liberty within Texas.

Organizations Supporting

Brazos River Authority
Breitling Energy
Dow Chemical Company
Exxon Mobil
Huntsman Corps
Marathon Petroleum Corporation
Texas Association of Business
Texas Association of Manufacturers
Texas Chemical Council
Texas Oil and Gas Association