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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XXIV
VESSELS
Chapter 327
VESSEL SAFETY
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F.S. 327.462
327.462 Temporary protection zones for spaceflight launches and recovery of spaceflight assets.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Launch services” means the conduct of a launch and activities involved in the preparation of a launch vehicle, payload, government astronaut, commercial astronaut, or spaceflight participant for such launch.
(b) “Reentry services” means the conduct of a reentry and activities involved in the preparation of a reentry vehicle, payload, government astronaut, commercial astronaut, or spaceflight participant for such reentry.
(c) “Spaceflight assets” means any item, or any part of an item, owned by a spaceflight entity which is used in launch services or reentry services, including crewed and uncrewed spacecraft, launch vehicles, parachutes and other landing aids, and any spacecraft or ancillary equipment that was attached to the launch vehicle during launch, orbit, or reentry.
(d) “Spaceflight entity” has the same meaning as provided in s. 331.501.
(2) The head of a law enforcement agency or entity identified in s. 327.70(1), or his or her designee, may, upon waters of this state within the law enforcement agency’s or entity’s jurisdiction, when necessary for preparations in advance of a launch service or reentry service or for the recovery of spaceflight assets before or after a launch service or reentry service, temporarily establish a protection zone requiring vessels to leave, or prohibiting vessels from entering, water bodies within:
(a) Five hundred yards of where launch services, reentry services, or spaceflight asset recovery operations are being conducted; or
(b) A distance greater than provided in paragraph (a) if the head of such law enforcement agency or entity, or his or her designee, determines such greater distance is in the best interest of public safety.
(3) A protection zone established under subsection (2) may remain in effect only as long as necessary to ensure security around the launch and recovery areas and to recover spaceflight assets and any personnel being transported within a spacecraft following the launch or reentry activity. Such protection zone may not be in place more than 72 hours before or 72 hours after the launch. The head of a law enforcement agency or entity identified in s. 327.70, or his or her designee:
(a) May also restrict vessels from operating within up to 500 yards of any vessel transporting recovered spaceflight assets following a spaceflight launch or reentry while such vessel is continuously underway transporting such assets to a location for removal from the waters of this state; and
(b) May not restrict vessel movement within the Florida Intracoastal Waterway, except as necessary during the transport of spaceflight assets to or from port or during exigent circumstances.
(4) The head of a law enforcement agency or entity establishing a protection zone under this section, or his or her designee, must report the establishment of such protection zone via e-mail to the commission’s Division of Law Enforcement, Boating and Waterways Section, and to the appropriate United States Coast Guard Sector Command having responsibility over the water body, at least 72 hours before establishment of the protection zone. Such report must include the reasons for the protection zone, the portion of the water body or water bodies which will be included in the protection zone, and the duration of the protection zone. No later than 72 hours after the end of the protection zone period, the head of the law enforcement agency or entity, or his or her designee, must report via e-mail to the commission’s Division of Law Enforcement, Boating and Waterways Section, the details of all citations issued for violating the protection zone.
(5) This section applies only to launch services, reentry services, or the recovery of spaceflight assets occurring or originating within spaceport territory, as defined in s. 331.304, and to federally licensed or federally authorized launches and reentries occurring or transiting to an end destination upon waters of this state.
(6) A person who violates this section or any directive given by a law enforcement officer relating to the establishment of a protection zone under this section after being advised of the establishment of the protection zone commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 5, ch. 2021-184.