Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 1163

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




     Your Committees on Judiciary and Labor and Transportation and Energy, to which was referred S.B. No. 1163 entitled:




beg leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to impose civil penalties, rather than criminal penalties, for violating certain safety measures, practices, or requirements with respect to the operation or use of airports and airport facilities, and certain licensing and regulatory requirements for commercial activities at airports.


     Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; East West Avionics, Inc.; General Aviation Council of Hawaii; and forty-one individuals.  Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Department of Transportation and one individual.  Your Committees received comments on this measure from one individual.


     Your Committees find that existing law imposes criminal penalties for violations of certain categories of airport rules relating to safety measures, practices, or requirements; airport security measures or requirements; or licensing and regulation of persons engaged in commercial activities at public airports.  Written testimony in support of this measure indicates that the criminal penalties imposed are extreme and disproportionate to the acts.  The criminal penalties for certain airport offenses can result in significant consequences for pilots, including the loss of the pilots' license or necessary security clearance.  This measure decriminalizes certain airport offenses while maintaining the Department of Transportation's authority to enforce laws and rules relating to the operation of the airports, including airport security offenses.


     Your Committees note that this measure imposes a civil penalty for any violation of a safety measure, practice, or requirement, and imposes a criminal penalty for any violation of an airport security measure or requirement.  Your Committees believe that distinguishing between a safety measure and security measure merits further discussion as this measure moves through the legislative process due to the different types of penalties imposed as well as determining whether safety measures should conform with Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration regulations.  Your Committees further note that the Department of Transportation is engaged in discussions with stakeholders in developing a general aviation handbook to set forth standards and rules.


     Your Committees have amended this measure by:


     (1)  Amending the severability clause under section 3 to:


          (A)  Delete language that authorizes the Governor to modify the strict provisions of this measure and report any modifications to the Legislature only to the extent necessary to not jeopardize the receipt of any federal aid nor impair the obligation of the State to the holders of any state issued bond; and


          (B)  Add language that clarifies if any provision of this measure conflicts with any federal law, jeopardizes receipt of federal aid, or impairs the obligation of the State with respect to holders of state issued bonds, that provision is void and all other provisions of this measure will remain in effect and enforceable;


     (2)  Inserting an effective date of January 7, 2059, to encourage further discussion; and


     (3)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


     As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Judiciary and Labor and Transportation and Energy that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1163, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1163, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Judiciary and Labor and Transportation and Energy,