On July 24, the New Hampshire House of Representatives passed House Bill 1182, which, among other things, defines and establishes inspection and registration requirements for roadable aircraft. It was signed into law by Governor Sununu that same day.
That’s right. New Hampshire is ready for you, flying cars.
The bill, which originated in the House’s Transportation Committee defies the term “roadable aircraft” as being “any aircraft capable of taking off and landing from a suitable airfield which is also designed to be driven on public roadways as a conveyance”.
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It also defines a process for the registration and collection of fees associated with that registration. The piece of legislation states that upon receiving an application for registration of a roadable aircraft and the payment of applicable state and municipal registration permit fees, the department shall issues a certificate of registration, provided that the person filing the application meets the requirements – proof of valid and unexpired aircraft registration issued by the New Hampshire department of transportation and a copy of an annual aircraft inspection completed within the 12 calendar months immediately preceding the date of application.
Each roadable aircraft will be identified by a registration number that is assigned to it. Traditionally, airplanes have similar registration numbers. The registration number and the registration certificate will expire at the same time – no longer than 16 months after issuance, and to coincide with the birth month of the registration holder. The roadable aircrafts will not be required to display an additional license plate or decal.
There will be a fee associated with each registration. While the exactly total isn’t defined by the bill, the legislation states that the fees will be at least $2,000, which will be payable to the city or town where the roadable aircraft resides.
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Unlike traditional roadworthy vehicles, the roadable aircrafts will not have to be inspected annually. The bill makes this distinction alongside provisions for snowmobiles, mopeds, or off-highway recreational vehicles. However, new roadable aircraft must be inspected within 20 days of purchase as new and 10 days if the sale is the result of a used vehicle purchase.
The bill also takes into consideration how the roadable aircraft will be traded on the roadways. There, it is considered a motor vehicle, where it must obey the traditional laws of the road, just like any other motor vehicle would.
When using its airborne functionality, the roadable aircraft must “take off and land from a suitable airstrip and shall be prohibited from taking off and landing from any public roadway, unless under conditions of an emergency.”, which means allow flying away from a traffic jam isn’t allowed.
There are no self-driving cars or roadable aircrafts driving on America’s streets today. But, it never hurts to plan for the future. The section of the bill that contains the sections relating to roadable aircrafts went into effect on July 24.