Archives: Drones

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Amazon Prime Air’s Drone Design

Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, announced Amazon Prime Air, a delivery-by-drone initiative more than five years ago, and last week, Amazon revealed more information about its delivery system–the design. The Amazon delivery drone will use vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) technology that is aerodynamic and “fully shrouded for safety.” Additionally, the drone features artificial intelligence to … Continue Reading

FAA Grants Waiver for Drone Use Over People

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued Hensel Phelps Construction Co. a Part 107 unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone) waiver to operate a parachute-equipped drone over people. However, the FAA clarified that while it granted the wavier for the use it did not certify or approve the parachute or the parachute system itself. … Continue Reading

U.S. Senators Push for Remote Drone I.D.

U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and John Thune (R-SD) called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to publish a proposed rule for the remote identification of unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones). The request was issued through a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). According to the Senators’ letter, remote identification … Continue Reading

Drone Delivers Human Kidney for Transplant

Last month, a University of Maryland unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone) delivered a donor kidney to surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) in Baltimore for an ultimately successful transplant to a patient with kidney failure. The drone flew 2.6 miles in approximately 10 minutes. This University of Maryland project is important … Continue Reading

FAA’s UAS Growth Predictions

In the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) latest aerospace forecast, it noted the “phenomenal growth” of the small unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone) industry. The FAA reported that at the end of 2018 there were 277,000 UAS registered with the FAA. In the FAA’s 2017 report and predictions, that number was expected to be only … Continue Reading

FAA Announces Certification of Commercial Package Delivery

We recently posted about the status of delivery by drone. Now, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded the first air carrier certification to a drone delivery company, Wing Aviation. Wing Aviation will begin commercial package delivery in Blacksburg, Virginia. U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine L. Chao, said, “This is an important step forward for … Continue Reading

UAS Industry Stakeholders Provide Feedback on FAA’s Proposed Rules

Several industry leaders and stakeholders in the unmanned aircraft system (UAS or drone) industry have provided feedback on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) proposed rules for flying drones at night and over people, as well as for drone safety and security issues. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) argued in its comments that … Continue Reading

FAA Set to Approve First Drone Airline License

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected to award its first license to operate a drone airline in May. Last year, the FAA determined that large-scale commercial package delivery drone operations would require certain safety and economic certification standards like other licensed U.S. airlines. The FAA has not yet announced which company will receive that … Continue Reading

UPS and Matternet Team Up for Medical Supply Delivery Program

Last week, UPS formed a new partnership with drone developer Matternet to deliver medical samples via drone. The delivery program will take place in Raleigh, North Carolina at WakeMed’s hospital, with program oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). Currently, medical samples and specimens are transported by … Continue Reading

Delivery by Drone: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?

Last year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone) delivery operations would be required to obtain a commercial air operator certificate issued under 14 CFR Part 119, as required by 14 CFR Part 135. This certification requires “economic authority” from the Department of Transportation (DOT) which can be given … Continue Reading

FAA Issues New National Policy—Greater Oversight of Drone Operators

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drone) operators will now face stricter oversight and inspections by local Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO) under the new National Policy issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Policy requires FSDOs to immediately update their 2019 National Work Program Guidelines to include new Required Surveillance Work Activities. Before the … Continue Reading

Drone Stakeholders Discuss UAS Integration

More than 40 unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) stakeholders from 20 global companies met with the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance to discuss goals and objectives of the UAS industry. During a two-day conference in Syracuse, New York, the group discussed which tests will help to advance the integration of UAS into the national airspace … Continue Reading

NASA Selects Hosts for Final Drone Technical Testing

This week, NASA selected the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems in Las Vegas and the Lone Star UAS Center for Excellence and Innovation in Corpus Christi, Texas to host the final phase of its four-year series of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technical demonstrations. Both of these organizations will host demonstrations to confirm whether NASA’s UAS … Continue Reading

New FAA Requirements for Drone Owners

This week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released an updated interim rule in the Federal Register which requires drone owners to display their FAA-issued registration number on the external surface of the drone. Owners and operators may no longer place or write registration numbers in an interior compartment.  However, the final rule does not change … Continue Reading

Super Bowl Intel Drone Light Show

Intel won’t disclose exactly how it was able to participate in the Super Bowl LIII halftime show, but it did disclose that it used 150 Intel Shooting Star drones to spell out the words “ONE” and “LOVE” during the musical performance. As Maroon 5 began singing “She Will be Loved,” Intel initiated its software directing … Continue Reading

Technology Boost Helps Protect Super Bowl LIII

The biggest sporting event of the year is now over— and the Patriots, with the help of NFL super duo Tom Brady (the oldest quarterback to ever win the Super Bowl) and Bill Belichick (the oldest head coach to ever win the Super Bowl) took the title—New England’s sixth since 2002. Over 100 million people … Continue Reading

Drone Activity Halts Newark Airport Flights

Last week, reports of “drone activity” temporarily halted flights at the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had to briefly hold arrivals due to “reports of drone activity north of the airport earlier that evening.” The airport had to coordinate with the FAA and federal law enforcement authorities to … Continue Reading

Successful Flight, Boeing’s Autonomous Passenger Aircraft

Last week, Boeing completed the first test flight of its autonomous passenger aircraft prototype in Manassas, Virginia. The prototype is 30-feet long and 28-feet wide, powered by an electric propulsion system with a flight range of about 50 miles. The flight was successful, completing a controlled takeoff, hover and landing. Boeing hopes to test forward, … Continue Reading

Drone Flights Over People and at Night—Draft Regulations Released

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been busy even in the midst of the government shutdown. Last week, Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao unveiled a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) flights over people and at night. For flights over people, the regulation breaks UAS into three categories: … Continue Reading

Standard CGL Aircraft Exclusion Barred Liability Coverage

A California federal judge held that a standard comprehensive general liability (CGL) aircraft exclusion barred liability coverage for injuries suffered as a result of drone operations. The injuries occurred when a wedding photographer used a drone to capture images at a wedding reception and the drone hit a guest who sustained serious injuries, including loss … Continue Reading

OSHA Safety Inspections by Drones

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a memorandum last year announcing that its inspectors were now authorized to use camera-equipped unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) to collect evidence during inspections. This means that OSHA inspectors are authorized to conduct in-person inspections of the workplace as well as remote-controlled aircraft inspections above the … Continue Reading
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