"Operation of aircraft" or "operate aircraft" means the use, navigation or piloting of aircraft in the airspace over this state or upon any airport within this state.
"Person" means any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, joint stock association or body politic; and includes any trustee, receiver, assignee or other similar representative thereof.
Any privately owned airport used for public purposes and determined by the secretary of the U.S. department of transportation to enplane annually 2,500 or more passengers and receive scheduled passenger service of aircraft.
"State airway" means a route in the navigable airspace over and above the lands or waters of this state, designated by the department as a route suitable for air navigation.
"Unairworthy aircraft" means an aircraft that is in a severely damaged condition or in a state of major deterioration as determined under s. 114.20 (5)
State airport system.
The department is directed to cooperate with and assist any federal aeronautical agency in the preparation and annual revision of the national airport plan and to lay out a comprehensive state system of airports adequate to provide for the aeronautical needs of the people of all parts of the state. Such state system shall include every airport on the national system and such additional airports as may be deemed necessary. In selecting the general location of the airports on the system and determining their capacity, due regard shall be given to aeronautical necessity as evidenced by the population of the locality to be served, its commerce and industry and such other factors as the department deems pertinent. In selecting the specific sites, due regard shall be given to general suitability for service and economy of development as evidenced by convenience of access, adequacy of available area, character of topography and soils, freedom from hazards and obstructions to flight and other pertinent consideration.
Sovereignty in the space above the lands and waters of this state is declared to rest in the state, except where granted to and assumed by the United States.
Landowner's rights skyward.
The ownership of the space above the lands and waters of this state is declared to be vested in the several owners of the surface beneath, subject to the right of flight described in s. 114.04
Flying and landing, limitations.
Flight in aircraft over the lands and waters of this state is lawful, unless at such a low altitude as to interfere with the then existing use to which the land or water, or the space over the land or water, is put by the owner, or unless so conducted as to be imminently dangerous or damaging to persons or property lawfully on the land or water beneath. The landing of an aircraft on the lands or waters of another, without the person's consent, is unlawful, except in the case of a forced landing. For damages caused by a forced landing, however, the owner or lessee of the aircraft or the aeronaut shall be liable, as provided in s. 114.05
History: 1993 a. 492
Since federal laws and regulations preempt local control of aircraft flights, s. 114.04 cannot be invoked to make unlawful flights which are in accordance with federal laws and regulations. Luedtke v. County of Milwaukee, 521 F (2d) 387.
Damages by aircraft.
The liability of the owner, lessee and pilot of every aircraft operating over the lands or waters of this state for injuries or damage to persons or property on the land or water beneath, caused by the ascent, descent or flight of such aircraft, or the dropping or falling of the aircraft or of any object or material therefrom, shall be determined by the law applicable to torts on land, except that there shall be a presumption of liability on the part of the owner, lessee or pilot, as the case may be, where injury or damage is caused by the dropping or falling of the aircraft or of any object or material therefrom, which presumption may be rebutted by proof that the injury or damage was not caused by negligence on the part of the owner, lessee or pilot and the burden of proof in such case shall be upon such owner, lessee or pilot to show absence of negligence on his or her part.
History: 1993 a. 492
The liability of the owner of one aircraft, to the owner of another aircraft, or to aeronauts or passengers on either aircraft, for damage caused by collision on land or in the air shall be determined by the rules of law applicable to torts on land.
This section does not make ch. 346 (rules of the road) applicable to airplanes. Air Wisconsin, Inc. v. North Cent. Airlines, Inc. 98 W (2d) 301, 296 NW (2d) 749 (1980).
All crimes, torts and other wrongs committed by or against an aeronaut or passenger while in flight over this state shall be governed by the laws of this state; and the question whether damage occasioned by or to an aircraft while in flight over this state constitutes a tort, crime or other wrong by or against the owner of such aircraft, shall be determined by the laws of this state.
Contracts made in flight.
All contractual and other legal relations entered into by aeronauts or passengers while in flight over this state shall have the same effect as if entered into on the land or water beneath.
Reckless flying; penalty. 114.09(1)(b)
No person may operate an aircraft in the air or on the ground or water while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or controlled substances or controlled substance analogs under ch. 961
or a combination thereof, under the influence of any other drug to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely operating an aircraft, or under the combined influence of intoxicating liquor and any other drug to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely operating an aircraft, nor operate an aircraft in the air or on the ground or water in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another. In determining whether the operation was careless or reckless the court shall consider the standards for safe operation of aircraft prescribed by federal statutes or regulations governing aeronautics. The court shall make a written report of all convictions, including bail or appearance money forfeitures, obtained under this section to the department, which shall send the report to the proper federal agency.
Any person violating any provision of this section shall be fined not less than $10 nor more than $100 for the first offense and for a subsequent offense not less than $100 nor more than $500, or imprisoned not less than 6 months, or both.
Dropping objects prohibited.
No operator of an aircraft and no passenger therein shall drop any object therefrom except loose water or loose sand ballast; provided, however, that this section shall not prohibit the dusting or spraying of vegetation with insecticides dropped from airplanes, or the sowing of seeds, or the depositing of fish in lakes or streams, or the delivery of packages or mail by dropping from airplanes, or other similar practices, when such is done in accordance with the federal regulations applicable thereto.
Killing birds or animals.
Any aeronaut or passenger, who, while in flight within this state, intentionally kills or attempts to kill any birds or animals or who shoots at any bird or animal from an airplane is subject to the penalties provided under s. 29.99 (7)
History: 1981 c. 243
Private security personnel; report to a law enforcement authority. 114.103(1)(c)
"Private security person" has the meaning given in s. 440.26 (1m)
, but does not include any law enforcement officer.
Effective date note
Par. (c) is amended eff. 7-1-97 by 1995 Wis. Act 461
Effective date text
(c) "Private security person" has the meaning given in s. 440.26 (1m) (h), but does not include any law enforcement officer.
If any private security person acting in the course of his or her employment at an airport believes, on the basis of personal observation, that someone possesses a controlled substance or a controlled substance analog, without a prescription or an authorization for that possession, or possesses $10,000 or more in cash or that a shipment contains a controlled substance or controlled substance analog or $10,000 or more in cash, the private security person shall report, as soon as practicable and by telephone or in person, to the county sheriff's office or the police department of the municipality in which the airport is located.
A report under par. (a)
shall contain all of the following information, unless the information is unobtainable by the person making the report:
The name, business address and business telephone number of the person submitting the report.
The name, address and telephone number of any person who is the subject of the report.
The date, time and location of the conduct or shipment that is the subject of the report.
A description of the conduct or shipment being reported, including personal observations and all other factors leading to the reporter's conclusion that the conduct or shipment has occurred.
Any private security person who violates sub. (2)
may be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than 30 days or both.
History: 1991 a. 269
; 1995 a. 448
Any county, town, city or village may adopt any ordinance in strict conformity with the provisions of this chapter and impose the same penalty for violation of any of its provisions except that such ordinance shall not provide for the suspension or revocation of pilot or aircraft licenses or certificates and shall not provide for imprisonment except for failure to pay any fine which may be imposed. No local authority shall enact any ordinance governing aircraft or aeronautics contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter or federal law. Every court in which a violation of such ordinance is prosecuted shall make a written report of any conviction (including bail or appearance money forfeiture) to the federal aviation administration.
History: 1983 a. 151
Local airports; interstate reciprocity. 114.11(1)
The governing body of any county, city, village or town in this state is hereby authorized to acquire, establish, construct, own, control, lease, equip, improve, maintain and operate airports or landing fields or landing and take-off strips for the use of airplanes and other aircraft either within or without the limits of such counties, cities, villages and towns, and may use for such purpose or purposes any property suitable therefor that is now or may at any time hereafter be owned or controlled by such county, city, village or town, and may regulate the same, provided, such regulation shall not be in conflict with such rules and regulations as may be made by the federal government. The governing body of each and every county and municipality owning an airport or landing field or landing and take-off strip in the state of Wisconsin shall cause the surroundings of such airport, landing field or landing and take-off strip to be marked for aeronautical purposes, and maintain such marking, subject to and in accordance with law and such rules and regulations as may from time to time be made by the federal government and in so doing may cooperate with other states and subdivisions thereof and acquire rights and easements in property outside of the state.
The governing body of any county, city, village or town of this state is authorized to acquire, establish, construct, own, control, lease, equip, improve, maintain and operate airports or landing fields or landing and take-off strips or other aeronautical facilities in an adjoining state whose laws permit, subject to the laws of such state, but subject to the laws of this state in all matters relating to financing such aeronautical project.
The governing body of any municipality or other political subdivision of an adjoining state whose laws permit, is hereby authorized to acquire, establish, construct, own, control, lease, equip, improve, maintain and operate airports, or landing fields, or landing and take-off strips or other aeronautical facilities in this state, subject to all laws, rules and regulations of this state applicable to its municipalities or other political subdivisions in such aeronautical project, but subject to the laws of its own state in all matters relating to financing such project. Such municipality or other political subdivision of an adjoining state shall have all privileges, rights and duties of like municipalities or other political subdivisions of this state, including the right to exercise the right of eminent domain. This subsection shall not apply unless the laws of such adjoining state shall permit municipalities or other political subdivisions of this state to acquire, establish, construct, own, control, lease, equip, improve, maintain, operate and otherwise control such airport, landing field or landing and take-off strips or other aeronautical facilities therein with all privileges, rights and duties applicable to the municipalities or other political subdivisions of such adjoining state in such aeronautical projects.
The governing body of any county, city, village or town is authorized to appropriate money to any town, city, village or other county, for the operation, improvement or acquisition of an airport by such town, city, village or other county or any combination of such municipalities.
The governing body of any county, city, village or town in this state may, together with any municipality or other political subdivision of an adjoining state if, under the laws of that state, such municipality or other political subdivision is similarly authorized, jointly sponsor an airport project located in this state or in the adjoining state.
If the project is located in this state, the secretary of transportation shall act as agent on behalf of the joint sponsors. If the project is located in the adjoining state, the proper public official or agency of that state shall act as agent on behalf of the joint sponsors.
All matters relating to financing of the joint project shall be governed by the laws of the jurisdiction which furnishes the specific moneys. All other matters relating to the joint project shall be governed by the laws of the state in which the project is located.
History: 1973 c. 148
Condemnation of lands for airports.
Any lands acquired, owned, controlled or occupied by such counties, cities, villages and towns for the purposes enumerated in s. 114.11
shall and are hereby declared to be acquired, owned, controlled and occupied for a public purpose, and as a matter of public necessity, and such cities, villages, towns or counties shall have the right to acquire property for such purpose or purposes under the power of eminent domain as and for a public necessity including property owned by other municipal corporations and political subdivisions and including any street, highway, park, parkway or alley, provided that no state trunk highway shall be so acquired without the prior consent of the department. Whenever the county, city, village or town as the case may be shall own all land or access rights on both sides of such street, highway, park, parkway or alley, it may, within the limits where it has ownership or access rights on both sides, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, vacate and close such public way by resolution of the governing body of the county, city, village or town acquiring it and no damages shall be assessed against such county, city, village or town by reason of such closing, except as may be allowed in a particular condemnation action where the lands or rights in lands necessary for such airport are so acquired. If such closing shall leave any part of such street, highway, parkway or alley without access to another public street or highway, the county, town, city or village effecting such closing shall immediately provide such access at its expense.
History: 1977 c. 29
s. 1654 (8) (a)
Purchase of land for airports.
Private property needed by a county, city, village or town for an airport or landing field or landing and take-off strip, or property or rights for the protection of the aerial approaches thereof, shall be acquired by purchase if the city, village, town or county is able to agree with the owners on the terms thereof, and otherwise by condemnation, as provided in s. 32.05
. The purchase price or award for real property acquired for an airport or landing field or landing and take-off strip, or property or rights for the protection of the aerial approaches thereof, may be paid for the appropriation of moneys available therefor, or wholly or partly from the proceeds of the sale of bonds of the city, village, town or county, as the governing body of such city, village, town or county determines, subject to ch. 67
. Such property or rights may be acquired by gift, which the respective governing bodies are authorized to accept.
Airport standards and approval. 114.134(1)
Public airport information.
No person shall operate an airport within this state that is open to the general public unless effective runway and landing strip lengths are properly reported, published and marked in accordance with applicable federal aviation regulations and federal obstruction standards.
(2) Traverse way clearance.
No person shall operate an airport within this state unless all runways and landing strips are so located that approaching and departing aircraft clear all public roads, highways, railroads, waterways or other traverse ways by a height which complies with applicable federal standards.
(3) Airport site approval.
No person shall construct or otherwise establish a new airport or activate an airport within this state unless the secretary of transportation issues a certificate of approval for the location of the proposed airport. No charge shall be made for application or approval. The secretary may issue a certificate of approval if the secretary determines that the location of the proposed airport is compatible with existing and planned transportation facilities in the area.
(4) Public hearings, notice and review. 114.134(4)(a)(a)
The secretary may hold a public hearing before the issuance of a certificate of approval.
The secretary shall grant a hearing at the request of any applicant after any refusal to issue a certificate. Upon receipt of a request for hearing, the matter shall be referred to the division of hearings and appeals which shall hear and decide the matter.
At least 15 days before the date of the hearing a class 1 notice of any public hearing shall be published, under ch. 985
, in the official state newspaper and in a paper of general circulation printed and published near the location of the proposed airport.
Any order or decision of the secretary or division of hearings and appeals is subject to review under ch. 227
Each day on which any person violates any provision of this section shall be considered a separate violation in determining penalties under s. 114.27
It is declared to be in the public interest that the navigable airspace over the state and the aerial approaches to any airport be maintained in a condition best suited for the safe operation of aircraft and to that end the bulk, height, location and use of any building or structure, or any other object, and the use of land, may be regulated, or any building, structure or other object may be removed. It is the legislative intent that this section shall not supersede s. 59.69 (4)
, but that it shall be supplemental to such section.
(1) Procedure to obtain protection privileges.
The aerial approaches to any airport owned and operated by corporations organized to provide aeronautic facilities to the general public may be protected in the following manner: The owner of the airport shall prepare and record with the register of deeds plans and specifications showing the land affected, the owner of each parcel or interest therein, whether public or private, the regulations to be imposed on each parcel and the structures, buildings or other objects to be removed. The owner or managing body of the airport may negotiate and acquire from the owners of the various parcels or interest therein, whether public or private, by deeds the protection privileges shown by the plans and specifications. Referring in the deed to the plans and specifications, and briefly describing the plans and specifications, shall be considered sufficient legal description to convey the protection privileges set forth in the plans and specifications in the property of the grantor. In case the owner of the airport is unable to obtain by negotiation the desired protection privileges, he or she may acquire the protection privileges by eminent domain in the manner set forth in ch. 32
, except as to lands and buildings of railway companies that are necessary to, or are used in connection with the operation of the railway. In case the protection privileges sought extend into more than one county the plans and specifications shall be recorded with the register of deeds of each county. In case any parcel of land lies in more than one county, eminent domain proceedings may be instituted in the circuit court of any county in which the parcel is situated, provided a certified copy of the final judgment with a description of the property involved is recorded with the register of deeds of all counties in which the parcel of land or interest therein lies.
(2) Notice; claim for damages.
In case of any airport landing field or landing and take-off strip owned by any city, village, town or county or any union of them, the commission or other body in charge of the operation and control of the airport, landing field or landing and take-off strip may prepare and record without charge with the register of deeds plans and specifications showing the protection privileges sought as described in sub. (1)
. The commission or other body in charge shall send by registered mail with return receipt to each owner at his or her last-known address a notice stating that the plans and specifications have been recorded with the register of deeds' office, stating the county, time of recording, the record number, and a brief description of the parcel of land or interest therein affected. If the address of the owner cannot be ascertained or the registered letter is returned unclaimed, notice shall be sent by registered mail to the person in possession of the premises. If no person is in possession, then the notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the land involved and published as a class 3 notice, under ch. 985
, in the area affected. The right of the owner to claim for damages for the protection regulations imposed in the plans and specifications, or the removal of obstructions shall be forever barred, unless the owner files a claim for damages with the commission or other body in charge within 6 months from the receipt of the notice from the commission, or other body in charge, or the posting and last publication. The claim shall be verified and shall state the amount of damages claimed. The commission or other body in charge may pay the damages, if it has available funds, and the payment shall operate as a conveyance. If no claims for payment are filed or if payment is made, the commission or other body in charge shall file an affidavit for each parcel involved setting forth the rights acquired which shall be recorded by the register of deeds without charge and when so recorded has the same effect as any recorded instrument. If any owner is a minor or incompetent, the notice may be sent by registered mail to the owner's guardian, if he or she has one, and if there is none the circuit court of the county in which the land, or a larger part, is located shall upon application of the commission or other body in charge appoint a guardian to receive the notice, and to protect the rights of the owner. Any funds payable to the owner shall be cared for in the manner provided in ch. 880
. If the commission or other body in charge determines that the damages claimed are excessive, it shall so report to the governing body that established the airport, landing field or landing and take-off strip in question and with its consent may acquire in the name of the governmental body the protection privilege desired in the manner set forth in sub. (1)
or it may deposit with the county clerk an award and notify the owner of the land involved in the method specified in this subsection. The landowner may accept the award without prejudice to his or her right to claim and contest for a greater sum. The landowner may, within a period of 6 months after notice of the award, proceed as provided in ch. 32
to have the damages appraised.
(3) Exercise of power and authority.
The power and authority to protect airports conferred in subs. (1)
may be exercised from time to time; amended plans and specifications may be recorded in the register of deeds' office, and new protection privileges acquired from time to time in the methods provided by this section.
The duty to prevent encroachments by growth of trees or other vegetation, or otherwise, upon the protection privileges acquired by any airport, landing field, landing and take-off strip, shall be upon the owner or owners of the parcel of land affected by the protection privilege only in cases where the owner or owners have received compensation for the protection privilege. Any such encroachment is declared to be a private nuisance and may be abated in the manner prescribed in ch. 823
. In cases where no compensation has been paid for the protection privilege, encroachments shall be removed by the owner or the authority in charge of the airport, landing field, or landing and take-off strip and shall be, in case of a publicly owned airport, landing field or landing and take-off strip, a city, village, town or county charge as the case may be. In removing such encroachments, the owner or authority in charge of the airport, landing field or landing and take-off strip in question, may go upon the land and remove the encroachment without being liable for damages in so doing.
(5) Encroachments a private nuisance.
It shall be unlawful for any one to build, create, cause to be built or created, any object, plant, or cause to be planted, any tree or trees or other vegetation, which shall encroach upon any acquired protection privilege. In addition to the penalty set forth in s. 114.27
, such encroachment is declared to be a private nuisance and may be removed in the manner prescribed in ch. 823
(6) Permit for erection of high structures required.
No person shall erect anywhere in this state any building, structure, tower or any other object the height of which exceeds the limitations set forth in sub. (7)
without first filing an application and procuring a permit from the secretary of transportation.
(7) Power to control erection of high structures.
For the purposes of sub. (6)
the power and authority to control the erection of buildings, structures, towers and other objects by the secretary of transportation shall be limited to those objects that would either extend to a height of more than 500 feet above the ground or surface of the water within one mile of the location of the object, or above a height determined by the ratio of one foot vertical to 40 feet horizontal measured from the nearest boundary of the nearest public airport within the state; however, this power and authority shall not extend to objects of less than 150 feet in height above the ground or water level at the location of the object or to objects located within areas zoned under s. 114.136
or to objects located within areas zoned under s. 62.23 (7)
where the zoning ordinance enacted under said subsection controls the height of structures.
(8) Rules, regulations, standards and criteria.
In carrying out sub. (6)
the secretary of transportation may perform such acts, issue and amend such orders and make, promulgate and amend and enforce such reasonable rules, regulations and procedures and establish such minimum standards and criteria governing erection of buildings, structures, towers and hazards in the interest of the safe operation of aircraft as it deems necessary in the public interest and safety.
(9) Conflicting authority.
Wherein conflicting jurisdiction arises over the control of the erection of a building, structure, tower or hazard between the secretary of transportation and any political subdivision of the state, the secretary of transportation may overrule rules and regulations adopted by any political subdivision under the laws of this state after a public hearing wherein all parties thereto have been given an opportunity to be heard. The secretary may refer such matters to the division of hearings and appeals which shall hear and decide the matter after notice and hearing.
(10) Violations and penalties.
Each day that any person violates any of the provisions of subs. (6)
may be considered as a separate violation in determining penalties under s. 114.27
History: 1971 c. 41
; Sup. Ct. Order, 67 W (2d) 585, 774 (1975); 1977 c. 29
; 1979 c. 32
; 1981 c. 347
; 1993 a. 16
; 1995 a. 201
The 500 feet specified in sub. (7) is to be measured from the lowest point within one mile from the base of the tower. The commission (now secretary of transportation) may hold a hearing on whether to issue a permit for a tower even though an application is not made or is withdrawn. State v. Chippewa Cable Co. 48 W (2d) 341, 180 NW (2d) 714.
The jurisdiction of the secretary of transportation with respect to control over the erection of high structures is limited by the provisions contained in (7) to those structures that either extend to a height of more than 500 feet above the ground or surface of the water within one mile of the location of the object, or a height determined by the ratio of one foot vertical to 40 feet horizontal measured from the nearest boundary of the nearest public airport in the state. If a local zoning ordinance, rule or regulation permits the erection of structures, which exceed these heights, a conflict of jurisdiction would arise and the secretary could invoke (9) to resolve the conflict. 62 Atty. Gen. 232.
Airport approach protection.