Archives: Drones

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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

Update on the Drone Flights-Over-People Rule

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to work on its proposed rule which would allow the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, over people, expected (hopefully) to be released before the end of the Obama Administration next week. For the final rule, of course, there is no set timeline. FAA Administrator, Michael Huerta, … Continue Reading

FAA Approves Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight Operations at North Dakota UAS Test Site

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drone) operations at a test site in North Dakota. With this approval, operators can now develop, test, and evaluate new applications for UAS technology at the Northern Plains UAS Test Site. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven said, “This authorization will … Continue Reading

The Drone Market: 2016 Year in Review

The biggest news of 2016 for the commercial drone market was surely the finalization of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 107 regulations. And even better news for the commercial drone market was that the Part 107 regulations are not as onerous as they could have been! In 2017, we will surely see the regulatory … Continue Reading

FAA Drone Registration Systems Marks its One-Year Anniversary

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) drone registration system marked its one year anniversary on December 21, 2016. Since then, 616,000 drone owners have registered their drones. The FAA sees this as a great achievement in safety; upon registration each applicant receives “basic safety information” so over 600,000 drone owners now have “basic aviation knowledge to … Continue Reading

How Can You Mitigate Risks When Flying a Drone Beyond Visual Line of Sight?

Precisionhawk, one of the leaders in the drone market, released a report this week outlining operational risks when flying drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). Precisionhawk’s research comes from its participation in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Pathfinder program, which was created to explore incremental expansion of drone operations in the national airspace. Precisionhawk’s … Continue Reading

Amazon’s First Drone Delivery

Amazon’s Prime Air took off on its first fully autonomous package delivery flight. While there have been many hurdles for Amazon’s drone package delivery initiative in the United States, that has not stopped them in other countries around the world. Amazon’s website included a post about its first flight, writing, “We’re excited about Prime Air–a … Continue Reading

Tips for Implementing Drones in Public Safety

The Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) National Institute of Justice (NIJ) released a report this week examining issues related to the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) for public safety purposes. “Considerations and Recommendations for Implementing an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program” concludes that while drones are beneficial in assisting law enforcement in … Continue Reading

FAA’s Drone Efforts Audited by the OIG

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its recent audit of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), “FAA Lacks A Risk-Based Oversight Process For Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” stating that while the FAA has taken continuous steps to advance the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or ‘drones’) into the national airspace, … Continue Reading

Medical Disaster Drones and the Telemedical Drone Project

Two disaster drones delivered telemedical packages to disaster victims and rescue personnel via the John Bell Airport in Bolton, Mississippi in a simulated mass casualty event last week. This marks the first time this type of technology hit the skies. These drones are part of the Telemedical Drone Project (also known as HiRO or Health … Continue Reading

Individual Charged with Unsafe and Dangerous Drone Operation in Canada

Last week, the Edmonton, Alberta Police Services (EPS) of Canada charged an individual with what they are calling “unsafe and dangerous operation” of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or drone). The drone was seen operating in a dangerous manner in the downtown Edmonton area, over buildings, roadways, and public transportation stations. The drone was also … Continue Reading

The ‘Silicon Valley’ for UAS: From New York’s Griffiss International Airport to Hancock International Airport, UAS are Welcome

From the Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York to the Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, New York, unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) may freely fly the 50-mile stretch in an effort to increase technological advancement for developers of UAS. Executive Director of the NUAIR Alliance, Larry Brinker, says that “companies are going to … Continue Reading

2017: New President, New Transportation Secretary—Where Do Drones Fit?

The Drone Manufacturers Alliance (DMA) has voiced approval of President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Elaine Chao as the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation in its November 9 letter to Trump and the Trump-Pence Transition Team. But with that approval comes a request for Trump to “pursue a balanced legal and regulatory framework for unmanned aircraft systems … Continue Reading
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