Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), a federally-designated drone test site, and Lee Vinsel, an assistant professor of science, technology, and society in Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, released a new report this week about what the public really thinks about drone delivery. Notably, Vinsel focuses much of his work on

State Farm has been granted a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) waiver to use drones, under the Small Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Rule (or Part 107), to assess damages in communities affected by Hurricane Florence. The Part 107 waiver allows both flights over people and flights beyond the drone operator’s visual line of sight. These provisions

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. Department of Transportation (DOT) secretary to designate a consortium of community and technical colleges to expand the capacity of those colleges to train students for career opportunities in the UAS industry.
  • Coordinate federal UAS spectrum policy: Establishes an interagency working group – with a broad array of stakeholders who will be tasked with developing a cohesive federal policy to address communications needs to facilitate safe integration of drones into the National Airspace.
  • Advance unmanned traffic management (UTM): Directs the DOT secretary, in coordination with NASA, to develop an implementation plan within one year to achieve full operational capability of UTM.
  • Enhance UAS safety and security: Establishes an interagency working group involving relevant federal security agencies to develop recommendations for enhanced safety and security of expanded small UAS operations beyond visual line of sight and over people. It requires that the FAA release rules within one year of enactment.


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