Archives: Drones

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U.S. Army Issues Memorandum Banning Use of DJI Products Due to Cybersecurity Issues

Last week, the U.S. Army issued a memorandum discontinuing the use of DJI drone products due to cybersecurity concerns. The memorandum said, “Due to increased awareness of cyber vulnerabilities associated with DJI products, it is directed that the U.S. Army halt use of all DJI products. This guidance applies to all DJI UAS and any … Continue Reading

North Carolina Introduces New Drone Bills

North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper, signed two bills this week to regulate the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones). First, House Bill 337 revises existing state drone law to make that existing state drone law applicable to model aircraft. House Bill 128 prohibits drone use near prisons –with the term “near” being defined … Continue Reading

Contraband Drone Crashes Near Prison in Washington State

Last week, a drone carrying 16 individual bags of marijuana, cell phones and chargers, two bags of tobacco, and 31 oxycodone pills crashed into the ground near the Washington State Prison yard. A corrections department spokeswoman, Joan Heath, said that the drone crashed into the ground near the prison around 10:45 p.m. Drones carrying contraband … Continue Reading

Part 107 Waivers: Does Your Waiver Stand a Chance?

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 107 waiver process for the operation of unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) in certain restricted airspace or beyond the limitations of the Part 107 UAS regulations, was originally designed to streamline approval. However, for many drone operators who have had their Part 107 waivers denied, the process can … Continue Reading

50 Airports Across the U.S. to Adopt Automated Airspace Authorizations for Drones

By Fall 2017, 50 U.S. airports will start allowing unmanned aircraft systems’ (UAS or drone) operators apply for automated authorizations to fly in controlled airspace around those airports. Specifically, these airports will roll out a Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) with all other airports following that lead in 2018. Normally, UAS airspace authorization requests … Continue Reading

Record Breaking Drone Flight Shows Promise for More Commercial Success

Taking off from the Blackpool airport in England, a drone owned by a private company called FlyLogix, set a British record last week after successfully completing a 50-mile offshore beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) round trip. On its trip, the Condor drone inspected an unmanned platform in Morecambe Bay operated by one a British utility company. While drone … Continue Reading

Meeting on Capitol Hill Provokes More Discussion on Expanding Drone Operations in our National Airspace

In Washington, D.C. last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Unmanned Systems Caucus and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) held a briefing for congressional staff on technologies that enable unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to operate longer distances and at higher altitudes in the U.S. national airspace. The briefing included two panels of … Continue Reading

Texas Utility Company Sends in the Drones to Inspect 5-Miles of Power Lines

More and more utility companies are finding drones (or more formally, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)) useful, and cost effective, to inspect power lines in lieu of sending up their employees to carry out the dangerous task. This month, New Braunfels Utilities (NBU), a community-owned non-profit utility company in New Braunfels, Texas, will begin sending drones … Continue Reading

Virginia Opens the First UAS-Dedicated Runway

Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, recently cut the ribbon on a new runway in Virginia dedicated solely to unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones). The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s UAS Airfield is a 3,000-foot runway for UAS (of course, also capable of accommodating larger aerial vehicles, too), and is the first of its kind. After the … Continue Reading

Canada Revises its Recreational Drone Use Rules

On June 16, 2017, Transport Canada, the department within the government of Canada which is responsible for developing regulations, policies and services of transportation in the country, issued an Interim Order (“the Order”) under the Aeronautics Act and Canadian Aviation Regulations, to regulate recreational drone use. The order applies to all aircraft between 250 g … Continue Reading

Drones to Track Adults and Children that Suffer from Alzheimer’s and Autism

While police departments and law enforcement have been using drones for some time now, a police department in southern Minnesota, the Rochester Police Department, has recently acquired a new drone for a new purpose – to find missing (or wandering) persons who suffer from Alzheimer’s, autism and other related conditions and disorders. The drone was … Continue Reading

U.S. Senators Introduce the Safe DRONE Act of 2017

Yet another piece of drone legislation is in circulation; the Safe DRONE Act of 2017 was recently introduced by U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner, John Hoeven, Catherine Cortez Masto, and Dean Heller. The Act proposes the following for unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) in the U.S.: Develop a trained UAS workforce: Directs the U.S. … Continue Reading

Facebook Completes Successful Testing of Drones for Getting the Internet to the World’s Remotest Locations

Facebook announced last week that it successfully completed a second test of an unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone) designed to carry internet access to remote parts of the world. Unlike Facebook’s first test for this task back in June 2016, the drone did not crash in this second test. Facebook plans to develop an … Continue Reading

DOJ Reports on Drones Flying Contraband to Prisons

While drone delivery services are certainly on the agendas of large retailers like Amazon, inmates in jails across the U.S. are already using drones to receive their own aerial contraband shipments. Through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed that there have been many attempts over the past five … Continue Reading

New Statistics Predict Drone Production Will Soar to $73.5 Billion Over Next 10 Years

According to recent studies and statistics, unmanned aerial systems (or drones) promise to have the most dynamic growth of any sector in the aerospace industry. With the ease of airspace regulations and operational limitations set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (for the most part), the flood of investments, and the introduction of new drone … Continue Reading

NJ Law Restricting Drones Will Have to Be Rewritten

The town of Garfield, New Jersey has introduced new regulations related to hobbyist drone operation—or better yet, the non-operation of drones above residences other than your own, commercial zones, roadways, government or public buildings and specific property and parks that the city designates. Hobbyist drone operators may only fly their drones over their own residences. … Continue Reading

Drone Federalism Act, Seeking Regulation of Drones at the Local Level

The Drone Federalism Act of 2017, introduced by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein, Mike Lee, Richard Blumenthal, and Tom Cotton, seeks to “establish a process for federal, state, local and tribal governments to work together to manage the use of recreational and commercial drones.” This bill would allow “communities to create low-altitude speed limits, local no-drone … Continue Reading
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