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Legislative Year: 2024 Change

Bill Detail: HB24-1309

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Title Use of Aircraft in Search and Rescue Operations
Status Governor Signed (05/03/2024)
Bill Subjects
  • Civil Law
  • Health Care & Health Insurance
  • Insurance
  • Local Government
  • Military & Veterans
  • Natural Resources & Environment
House Sponsors E. Velasco (D)
R. Taggart (R)
Senate Sponsors D. Roberts (D)
J. Rich (R)
House Committee Agriculture, Water and Natural Resources
Senate Committee Agriculture and Natural Resources
Date Introduced 02/14/2024

The bill extends immunity from civil liability for damage or injury,
other than that which arises from gross negligence or willful misconduct,
to an individual, nonprofit organization, for-profit corporation, private
organization, or other person (person) that voluntarily operates or
arranges for the use of a helicopter during backcountry search and rescue
operations (search and rescue operations), if the person:
  • Arranges or operates the helicopter on behalf of the
governmental entity that is leading the search and rescue
  • Has an agreement with the governmental entity;
  • Is, employs, or otherwise contracts with a pilot that is
properly licensed to operate the helicopter; and
  • Meets certain safety and training certifications and
The bill also establishes criteria that volunteer helicopter pilots and
the helicopters used in search and rescue operations must satisfy in order
for the volunteer helicopter owner or operator to qualify for immunity
under the bill.
The bill requires the office of emergency management, the
department of military and veterans affairs, and relevant county sheriffs
to establish safety, notification, and airspace deconfliction guidelines
during search and rescue operations.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
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Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (02/27/2024) (most recent)  
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