Tag Archives: Federal Aviation Administration

FAA Issues Guidance on Enforcement for UAS Violators

Drone pilots who interfere with those fighting wildfires, conducting law enforcement tasks, or other first responders (such as medical flights) are now more likely to face serious civil penalties. Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued guidance for agency personnel who handle drone violations to refer all such cases to the FAA’s Chief Counsel’s … Continue Reading

FAA Approves Nine New LAANC Service Providers

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced new partners in its Low Altitude and Notification Capability (LAANC) initiative. LAANC is the system created by the FAA and industry stakeholders that provides near real-time processing of airspace authorizations for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations under the FAA’s Part 107 regulations. Now, after a five-month onboarding process (which … Continue Reading

“Drones are the Next Internet” Says the FAA

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) administrator, Dan Elwell, said last week, “Drones are going to do for aviation what the internet did for information,” and called on the industry to work with the FAA to fully integrate drones into the National Airspace System. Elwell made this statement at the InterDrone conference held last week in Las … Continue Reading

Close to 2,000 FAA UAS Waivers in Two Years

Last week, on the two-year anniversary of the small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) rule (or Part 107), a report was released by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) stating that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted approximately 2,000 waivers since the inception of Part 107. Part 107 sets forth certain parameters and … Continue Reading

FAA Investigates Near Drone-Helicopter Collision

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began investigating a YouTube video that shows a helicopter almost colliding with a drone right off the coast of Hollywood Beach, Florida. In the video, the drone is heading west towards the coast before its camera turns south and the helicopter is seen in the distance; the helicopter … Continue Reading

New Milestone in U.S. Drone Delivery

Last week, in Blacksburg, Virginia, two-year old, Jack Smith—made history. Only six minutes after a technician from Alphabet Inc.’s Wing clicked the “Confirm Order” button on a smartphone app, a drone operated by the company flew from a simulated store about a mile away, hovered over Jack’s lawn and lowered the popsicle he had ordered … Continue Reading

Using Drones For Business? Don’t Forget About Insurance

The use of drones use has grown rapidly in recent years, especially in the commercial sector, where the Federal Aviation Administration projects that the number of units in the commercial small drone fleet will exceed 420,000 units by 2021. As businesses continue to incorporate drones into their everyday operations, they also will want to set … Continue Reading

100,000 Remote Pilot Certificates Issued

As of last week, more than 100,000 Remote Pilot Certifications have been issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for individuals to fly commercial and recreational (those not qualifying as “model aircraft”) drones. This number of remote pilots is only after the final Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) rule went into effect on August 29, … Continue Reading

FAA Issues Statement Clarifying its Authority

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 … Continue Reading

Uniform Law Commission Proposes New Drone Legislation

New model legislation introduced by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (Uniform Law Commission) seeks to give property owners the right to the airspace above their property from 200 feet and below. In 1946, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the airspace belonged to the federal government; in 1962, a court decision … Continue Reading

FAA Questionnaire Seeking Input of Drone Operators

A few weeks ago the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sent a questionnaire to each person who has registered a commercial drone—that is, for purposes other than recreational or hobby use. The survey also included those registered under government departments and first responders. The FAA’s goal is to collect information on drone flight activities under Part … Continue Reading

Drone Regulations Withstand Challenge

The United States government’s ability to police hobbyist drone use was upheld by an appellate court last week. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected arguments by John Taylor, a drone hobbyist, who successfully overturned the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) system for registering unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) last year. Judge … Continue Reading

New Report Says FAA Should Revise its Drone Risk Assessment Processes

A new report issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine says that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) should revise its approach for safety risk assessments for the technology associated with implementation of drones into the national airspace. Specifically, the report says that the FAA’s overly conservative approach to safety risk assessments can … Continue Reading

FAA to Require Recertification for Commercial Drone Pilots

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it will require recertification for those who receive a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate under Part 107 small unmanned aircraft system (UAS or drone) regulations. The certification will only have a 24 month shelf life, and then the pilot needs to recertify their knowledge through additional testing. … Continue Reading

FAA’s LAANC Expands to Western North United States

As planned, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched its next wave of its beta Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system, in the western north region of the United States. LAANC helps to support the integration of drones into the national airspace. LAANC allows drone operators to obtain real-time airspace authorizations from air … Continue Reading

UAS Integration Pilot Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will now fund double the number of unmanned aircraft system (UAS or drone) integration projects as it previously has, due to a strong response from organizations and companies wishing to participate. The DOT’s UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) was set to launch five projects in the initial round, but … Continue Reading

LAANC Beta Test Launched this Week

As of April 30, 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has begun its beta test of the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) in the South Central United States. For the list of those facilities in South Central, click here. The system will continue incremental deployment at nearly 300 air traffic facilities covering about … Continue Reading

Xcel Energy Receives FAA Waiver for Beyond Visual Line of Sight

Last week, Xcel Energy (Xcel), Colorado’s largest utility company, received a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for drone operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). Xcel will use drones to conduct routine inspections of electronic transmissions lines, making it the first utility company to receive such an authorization. Xcel’s CEO and Chairman, Ben … Continue Reading

Update on the FAA Reauthorization Bill

On April 13, 2018, the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (Committee) leadership introduced a five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 4) (the Act). This bipartisan Act focuses on stabilization of the FAA with consistent funding instead of efforts to reform the air traffic control system. The Act … Continue Reading

EPIC Files Suit to Enforce Transparency Obligations related to U.S. Drone Policy

Last week, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Drone Advisory Committee (Committee) to enforce the open government obligations of the Committee. The Committee is an industry-led committee that advised the FAA regarding drone policy in the U.S. EPIC claims that for over one year, the Committee … Continue Reading

Commercial Drone Alliance Asks Congress to Repeal Section 336

The Commercial Drone Alliance (the Alliance) has asked Congress to repeal Section 336 of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act (FMRA) of 2012. The Alliance believes that differentiating model aircraft users, including unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drone) pilots,  from commercial drone pilots poses a safety risk in the national airspace. The … Continue Reading

Announcement of New Alliance for Drone Innovation

This week, a new group of unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone) industry leaders announced the creation of the Alliance for Drone Innovation (ADI),  a policy-oriented coalition of manufacturers, suppliers, and software developers of hobbyist and commercial drones meant to help represent the interests of individuals, businesses, governments, scientists, academics and others who fly drones … Continue Reading

FAA’s Tips for Applying as a Service Supplier to LAANC

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced its nationwide expansion of its automated airspace approval system, the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC), and that it will be taking applications for new unmanned aerial systems service suppliers (USS) to provide LAANC services to the public. Last week, the FAA issued a notice of “important … Continue Reading

FAA Grants PACI Beyond Visual Line of Sight Part 107 Waiver

Praxis Aerospace Concepts International (PACI) announced this week that it has been granted a Part 107 waiver under the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) regulations to fly drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). PACI, a Nevada-based company, is now one of the very few companies in the United States permitted … Continue Reading
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