Archives: Drones

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Police Foundation Releases New Infographic and Tips for Law Enforcement Agencies Use of Drones

The Police Foundation, a non-profit organization for policing across the United States, recently released a new infographic for law enforcement agencies seeking to establish a program for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones). The infographic, “UAS and Public Safety” accessible here, includes an overview of operational, training, and legal and regulatory compliance considerations for … Continue Reading

OIG to Audit FAA Drone Waiver Processes

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced an audit of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) “approval and oversight processes” for Part 107 waivers for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations. The audit will begin before month’s end and will assess the FAA’s processes for granting waivers and … Continue Reading

FAA to Release New UAS Airspace Maps

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans to release a set of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) facility maps on April 27, 2017. These maps will help drone operators improve their Part 107 airspace authorization requests, and in turn, hopefully help the FAA process these requests more quickly. The maps will include specific areas and altitudes near … Continue Reading

FAA Publishes Notice to Airmen Restricting UAS Flights Over 133 Military Facilities

On April 7, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a Notice to Airmen (Notice) that becomes effective on April 14, 2017. The Notice prohibits the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) over 133 military facilities to an altitude of 400 feet. The FAA is relying on its authority and ability to address national security … Continue Reading

Sense-and-Avoid Software Tests Successfully in Recent Drone Flights

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Northrop Grumman, and Aviation & Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS) recently announced a series of successful drone flights testing sense-and-avoid systems. One of the key issues with flying a drone beyond-visual-line-of-sight is that the sense-and-avoid technology is slow to come to market. While it is certainly out there and being … Continue Reading

Commercial Drone Alliance Speaks Out Against Drone Privacy Legislation

The Commercial Drone Alliance (CDA) voiced its opinion on the drone privacy legislation that was recently reintroduced by U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey and U.S. Representative Peter Welch. The Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act, seeks to ensure transparency and privacy of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations. However, the CDA argues that this bill would … Continue Reading

FAA Releases New Forecast on Hobbyist and Commercial Drone Operations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a new report predicting tremendous growth over the next five years, in “nearly every aspect of air transportation” including unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Specifically, the FAA predicts that the model hobbyist drone fleet will triple from 1.1 million in 2016 to 3.55 million by 2021. For commercial drones, the … Continue Reading

DJI Releases Report on Lifesaving Drone Operations

DJI, market leader in drones and aerial systems, released a new report, “Lives Saved: A Survey of Drones in Action,” on lifesaving drone operations using data collected from around the world. DJI reports that drones have helped rescue at least 59 people from life-threatening conditions in 18 separate incidents. The notable take away from this … Continue Reading

Maryland Sheriff’s Office Recovers Stolen Construction Goods Through Drones

Last week, Maryland’s Cecil County Sheriff’s Office used an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to recover nearly $400,000 worth of stolen construction equipment, which also led to the arrest of the culprit. The New Jersey State Police, Pennsylvania State Police and Delaware Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police were all investigating this case—the construction equipment had … Continue Reading

UAS, A Growing Part of the Oil and Gas Industry

As the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS or as they are more commonly called, drones) continues to rapidly increase as technology continues to develop, more and more industries will utilize UAS in their day-to-day operations, including the oil and gas industry. Initially, UAS were mainly used in the oil and gas industry for conducting … Continue Reading

An Update on Part 107 Waivers for Night Operations

Back in August 2016, when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced its final small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) rule (or Part 107) FAA administrator, Michael Huerta said, “Our focus is to make this as streamlined as possible [. . .] We do not envision this being a very burdensome process.” However, Part 107 limits flights … Continue Reading

New Drone Sighting Report Released by FAA

On February 23, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released an updated drone sighting report containing data covering February through September 2016. The report includes pilot, air traffic controller, law enforcement, and citizen reports of potential encounters with drones. The reports of drones has continued to increase –there were 1,274 such reports from February through … Continue Reading

UPS Tests Drones for Autonomous Package Delivery

On February 20, 2017, UPS and Workhorse Group, an Ohio-based battery-electric truck and drone developer, successfully conducted a test that launched a drone from the top of a UPS truck, which then autonomously delivered a package to a home in Lithia, Florida, and returned to the vehicle –as the UPS truck driver continued along his … Continue Reading

The Story Behind the Swarming Drones at Super Bowl LI

If you were one of the 111 million viewers to watch Super Bowl LI, you may have seen the half-time show which featured not only a performance by Lady Gaga, but over 300 swarming drones performing an intricate light show. However, because of Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 107 small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) rule, … Continue Reading

Orlando Issues New Drone Ordinance to ‘Balance the Need to Protect the Privacy of its Citizens’

The city of Orlando, Florida recently issued a new drone ordinance aiming to “promote hobbyists and commercial use of unmanned aircraft” while “balancing the paramount need to protect the well-being, tranquility and privacy of its citizens.” The ordinance restricts the use of drones (i.e., the launch, landing or operation) at or near city property: 500 … Continue Reading

Commercial Drone Pilot Alert: FAA Policy Changes

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently made some Section 333 policy changes that may have slipped under some commercial pilots’ radars. Back in November, the FAA posted a document in the Federal Register that revoked closed-set drone operations over people for those operators who had previously been approved for this type of flight under Section … Continue Reading

AUVSI Remote Pilots Council Announced

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) has announced the formation of a Remote Pilots Council which aims to promote education and dialog between commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones), operators, industry stakeholders and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The council will discuss opportunities and challenges related to the safe and responsible use … Continue Reading

L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Begins Use of UAS for Dangerous, Hostile and Life-Saving Operations

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s (LASD) use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for “dangerous, hostile and life-saving operations.” LASD Sheriff, Jim McDonnell, explained in a press release that the drones will be used in situations like search and rescue, explosive ordnance detection, hazardous … Continue Reading

Seattle Jury Convicts Man of Reckless Endangerment for Drone Operation

A Seattle Municipal Court jury convicted a man of reckless endangerment for losing control of his drone at the Gay Pride Parade in Seattle in 2015. The jury deliberated for approximately two hours and reached a unanimous verdict against defendant, Paul M. Skinner. According to police reports, a 25-year-old woman was “knocked unconscious” by Skinner’s … Continue Reading

SkyPan and FAA Settle UAS Enforcement Cases

SkyPan International, Inc. (SkyPan), based in Chicago, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) agreed upon a comprehensive settlement to resolve the enforcement cases where the FAA alleged that the SkyPan operated unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) in airspace over New York City and Chicago in violation of airspace regulations and operating rules. SkyPan will … Continue Reading
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