§ 1-4-10.3. Abandoned aircraft.
(a) Authority to take. The director, chief aeronautics inspector, aeronautical inspectors, or any police officer of the Rhode Island airport corporation, upon discovery of any aircraft or aircraft parts apparently abandoned, or of any aircraft without a currently effective state of Rhode Island or federal registration certificate, whether situated within any public or private airfield open for public use for a period in excess of one year, may take such aircraft or aircraft component into his or her custody and may cause the same to be taken away and stored in some suitable place out of public view.
(b) Lien. All charges necessarily incurred by such custodian in the performance of carrying out the provisions of this chapter shall be a lien upon such aircraft or aircraft component in accordance with § 34-47-1. The custodian or manager of any hangar, airport facility or other place where such aircraft or aircraft component may be stored shall have a lien upon such aircraft or aircraft component for his or her storage charges.
(c) Owner may reclaim. The owner of an aircraft or aircraft component so placed in storage may reclaim the same before any sale by paying the charges incurred.
(d) Sale authorized. If such aircraft or aircraft component shall have been so stored for a period of ninety (90) days, the Rhode Island airport corporation may sell the same, at public auction, for cash or may otherwise dispose of such aircraft or aircraft component. No sale under the provisions herein shall be valid unless the notice required by subsection (e) of this section has been given.
(e) Notice of sale. Notice of such sale shall be given by publishing a notice in a newspaper of state circulation at least fourteen (14) days before the sale. If the last place of abode of the owner of such aircraft or aircraft component is known to, or may be ascertained by, such custodian or manager by the exercise of reasonable diligence, a notice of the time and place of such sale shall be given to said owner by registered mail, at least fourteen (14) days prior to said sale.
(f) Application of proceeds. The balance of the proceeds of sale, if any, after payment of the amount of liens and the reasonable expenses incident to the sale, shall be paid to the owner of such aircraft or aircraft component or his or her legal representative, if claimed at any time within one year from the date of such sale. If such balance shall not be claimed within said period, it shall be paid to the Rhode Island airport corporation.
(g) Exemption from liability.
No employee of the Rhode Island airport corporation or any officer empowered to enforce the provisions of §§ 1-4-10.2 1-4-14, inclusive, and any other applicable section of the uniform air regulatory act, shall be liable for any act performed under the provisions of this section.
(P.L. 2004, ch. 27, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 179, § 1.)