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General Laws

Section 40. The Massachusetts aeronautics commission, in sections thirty-five to fifty-two, inclusive, called the commission, shall foster air commerce and private flying within the commonwealth and for such purpose shall: (a) encourage the establishment of airports and air navigation facilities and the development of education in aeronautics; (b) make recommendations to the governor and to the general court as to necessary legislation or action pertaining thereto; (c) consult with the civil aeronautics administration and other agencies of the federal government in carrying forward research and development in aeronautics; (d) exchange with the said civil aeronautics administration and with other state governments through existing governmental channels information pertaining to civil air navigation.

The commission may: (1) Co-operate with the federal government, and with any agency or department thereof, in the acquisition, establishment, construction, enlargement, improvement, protection, equipment, maintenance and operation of airports and other air navigation facilities within the commonwealth, and comply with the provisions of federal law, and any rules and regulations made thereunder, for the expenditure of federal funds for or in connection with such airports or other navigation facilities; (2) accept, receive and receipt for federal funds, and also other funds, public or private, for and in behalf of the commonwealth or as agent for any subdivision thereof, for the acquisition, establishment, construction, enlargement, improvement, protection, equipment, maintenance and operation of airports and other air navigation facilities within the commonwealth or such subdivisions, or jointly; provided that, if federal funds are received for such work, such funds shall be accepted upon such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by federal law and any rules and regulations made thereunder; (3) advise and co-operate with any political subdivision of this state or of any other state in all or any matters relating to aeronautics. For such purpose the commission may confer with, or hold joint hearings with, any federal or state aeronautical agency in connection with any provision of sections thirty-five to fifty-two, inclusive.

The commission shall enforce sections thirty-five to fifty-two, inclusive, and all orders, rules and regulations made pursuant thereto and other laws of the commonwealth relating to aeronautics, and shall have and may exercise for any or all of such purposes such powers and authority as may be reasonably necessary therefor. Every state, county and municipal officer charged with the enforcement of laws in their respective jurisdiction shall assist and co-operate with the commission in such enforcement.

Persons employed as inspectors under the provisions of section fifty-nine of chapter six shall have and exercise throughout the commonwealth all the powers of constables, except the service of civil process, and of police officers, including the power to arrest any person who, in the presence of the inspector making the arrest, commits a breach of the peace which violates any provision of the aviation law as contained in this chapter or the rules and regulations established by the commission and they may serve all process issued by the courts with respect to the enforcement of such laws. Any officer authorized to make arrests, providing such officer is in uniform or displaying his badge of office conspicuously on his outer coat or garment, may arrest without a warrant any person who operates an aircraft and who does not have in his possession a license to operate an aircraft, granted by federal authority; or who violates any statute or regulation relating to the operation or control of aircraft; or who operates said aircraft while under the influence of intoxicating liquor; or who refuses to produce a pilot or aircraft license or registration upon request; or who uses an aircraft without authority; or who is a non-resident operator violating any statute or regulation relating to the control of aircraft.

The pilot in command of any aircraft carrying passengers for hire may take such action as is reasonably necessary to restrain any person who interferes with, or threatens to interfere with, the operation of the aircraft.

The person so restrained may be placed in charge of a police officer in the city or town where the aircraft next lands within the commonwealth, to be taken to a lawful place of detention. Complaint shall be made against the person arrested, by the officer taking him to the place of detention, to a district court having jurisdiction over such offenses committed in the city or town where such person is detained, and such court shall have jurisdiction of the case.

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