Department of Transportation

The mixture of sheltering-in-place, warm weather, and increasing drone usage creates a combustible situation – literally. Drone shootings are on the rise as property owners seek to combat perceived trespass, nuisance and invasions of privacy.

These were some of the legal issues discussed during a webinar presented by the American Bar Association’s Section on Real Property Trusts and Estates (ABA RPTE) at its 32nd Annual Conference (held virtually for the first time) on May 15, 2020. The webinar focused on the legal landscape and issues to consider in counseling real estate and construction businesses on the commercial use of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS). The panel included attorneys as well as an engineer, who presented drone video footage and computer graphics used to collect data more efficiently during land use evaluation, mid-construction and post-construction.
Continue Reading Balancing New Technology and Privacy When Using Drones in Land Use and Construction

In light of the rise in use of drones in the national airspace, there has been some confusion regarding the Federal Aviation  Administration’s (FAA) authority over navigable airspace and federal preemption for state and local drone laws. In response, the FAA released a statement regarding federal versus local drone rulemaking authority. In that statement, the

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) and state officials are currently building plans to use drones to deliver emergency supplies across the state; however, several hurdles need to be overcome first. Basil Yap, program manager of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems of the North Carolina Division of Aviation, says, “How do drones safely fly beyond

President Donald Trump has directed the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to launch an initiative which will safely test and validate advanced operations for drones in partnership with state and local governments in select jurisdictions. According to the DOT, the results of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program will be used to speed up the safe assimilation of drones into national airspace, which will in turn showcase the benefits of this emerging technology in the U.S. economy.
Continue Reading DOT Announces Drone Pilot Program to Encourage Local and National Collaboration

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, the FAA is still however taking a “reactive approach to UAS oversight.” The audit reveals that while the FAA has taken steps to identify and detect UAS operations and increase awareness and education of operators (like requiring registration), “the agency has taken action primarily after incidents occur.”

Additionally, the OIG criticized the FAA’s processes for UAS operations because they do not verify that operators actually meet or understand the conditions and limitations in their exemptions. Further, while the FAA has taken steps to advance UAS technology, they have yet to establish a risk-based safety oversight process, or a robust data reporting and tracking system for UAS activity according to the OIG.


Continue Reading FAA’s Drone Efforts Audited by the OIG

In a previous post, we discussed the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) proposed drone regulations, and now, on August 3, 2015, the first drone privacy stakeholder meeting ensued in Washington, D.C., led by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). NTIA director, John Verdi, told media that the goal of this first meeting was to