Tag Archives: UAS

Drone Flights Over People and at Night—Draft Regulations Released

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been busy even in the midst of the government shutdown. Last week, Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao unveiled a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) flights over people and at night. For flights over people, the regulation breaks UAS into three categories: … Continue Reading

OSHA Safety Inspections by Drones

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a memorandum last year announcing that its inspectors were now authorized to use camera-equipped unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) to collect evidence during inspections. This means that OSHA inspectors are authorized to conduct in-person inspections of the workplace as well as remote-controlled aircraft inspections above the … Continue Reading

Vaccines Delivered by Drone in South Pacific

On the remote island of Erromango, in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, a one-month old child was given vaccines for hepatitis and tuberculosis via drone delivery. Not only is this unique because of the delivery method, but more than 20 percent of children under age five miss their vaccinations in Vanuatu because of the … Continue Reading

OIG Audit Results Released on FAA Drone Waiver Processes

Last week, a new audit report was released regarding the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) unmanned aircraft system (UAS or drone) waiver process. According to the audit, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has found room for improvement. In particular, the FAA’s timeliness in response to waiver requests could improve. The audit was conducted between … Continue Reading

More Than 50,000 LAANC Applications Processed

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) nationwide deployment of the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system has processed more than 50,000 applications from drone operators for authorization to fly in controlled airspace since November 2017. The LAANC system now covers about 300 air traffic facilities that service approximately 500 airports, and provides nearly instant … Continue Reading

President Trump Signs the FAA Reauthorization Act: What Does it Mean for Drones?

On October 5, 2018, President Trump signed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act which establishes new conditions for the recreational use of drones and immediately repealed the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. The FAA is currently evaluating the impact of this change and how the organization will implement these changes. In addition to continuing … Continue Reading

Drone Flights Over Football Fans

For the first time in the U.S., a commercial drone equipped with a parachute safety system was permitted to fly over people during a football game in North Dakota last week. A DJI Phantom 4 being controlled by a North Dakota drone operator, Botlink, used a drone safety solutions company’s “SafeAir System” (ParaZero) to conduct … 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

National Security, Technical and Legal Challenges for Counter-UAS Technology

National security concerns related to drones range from illicit intelligence gathering to smuggling drugs and guns over the border or into prisons, to attacks like those conducted by terrorist groups. However, currently, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) counter technology (or counter-UAS) legal authority is limited. Only the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Energy (DOE) … 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

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

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

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

DOT to Grant Economic Authority for UAS Package Delivery

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that it will use its existing exemption authority to grant economic authority to unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) operators who wish to use UAS for package delivery. According to the Federal Register “Notification to UAS Operators Proposing to Engage in Air Transportation,” the DOT aims to create … 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

Drones and Insurance: How Unmanned Aircraft Systems Can Assist Insurers in Timely and Effectively Evaluating Property Damage Claims

A typical claim for a homeowner will involve some type of damage to the property, which, in turn, prompts the insurer to perform an inspection of the insured property,  to assess the cause and extent of the alleged damage. Depending on the nature of the claim, insurers may be able to have a solitary claims … Continue Reading

Virginia Passes Drone Trespassing Bill

Virginia H.B. 638 (the Bill), which concerns unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones), passed the Virginia House and Senate and is now awaiting signature from the governor. The Bill “prohibits any person, after being given actual notice to desist, from knowingly and intentionally causing any UAS to enter the property of another and come within … Continue Reading
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