Tag Archives: UAS

Texas Dept. of Public Safety Launches Drone Program

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has launched a new unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) program for public safety purposes. The DPS plans to use its 17 drones for a variety of public safety purposes across the State, including officer safety, search and rescue, disaster support, aerial observation support, crash reconstruction, crime scene … Continue Reading

EPIC’s Standing Questioned in FAA Case

On January 25, 2018, oral arguments were heard in Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) v. the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) case by a D.C. Circuit panel. The court questioned EPIC’s standing to contest the FAA’s regulations, which cover all Americans; EPIC alleges that the FAA’s omission of privacy safeguards in its small unmanned aerial systems … Continue Reading

New Class Action Against FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was served with an 836,796-person lawsuit last week alleging wrongful collection of personal data and money under unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone) regulations. This lawsuit, Robert Taylor v. FAA, is the second class action filed against the FAA—the first, filed in 2015 by Robert Taylor’s brother, John, alleged that … Continue Reading

Protecting Your Business—Drones and Liability

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) are getting better (and cheaper) each day, which means that more and more businesses will be using drones to carry out everyday tasks. However, with respect to compliance and risk-management, when businesses hire third-party drone service providers, questions will surely arise regarding liability. Technically, drones are considered aircrafts according … Continue Reading

U.S. Drone Registration Celebrates the 1 Million Mark

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced that the total number of drones now registered has surpassed one million. That one million registration figure includes 878,000 drone hobbyists, who receive only one registration number for all the drones that they own—which means they likely own more than one, and that 878,000 number means there are … Continue Reading

New York Governor Announces Drone Fleet for its State Police

Last week, Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, announced the launch of a new State Police Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) program, which will be used for law enforcement missions, including, but not limited to, disaster response, traffic safety and crime scene investigation. To start, the program will launch four state police drones—Troop A, which will … Continue Reading

Anti-Drone Technology—a Billion Dollar Business?

While unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) are banned from flying over military bases, there isn’t much legally that the military can do to stop a drone intruder. However, if they were given the authority to stop these intruders, surely the market for anti-drone technology and tools would explode. Market research firm, Frost & Sullivan, … Continue Reading

How Do We Control the Crowded Skies?

While the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) completed some of testing and research of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) traffic management system as directed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), we still have a lot to learn before UAS can be safely and broadly integrated into our national airspace. To date, NASA maintains that the … Continue Reading

FAA Seeking to Quicken UAS Airspace Authorization Process

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently published notice in the Federal Register seeking permission to quicken authorizations for Part 107 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations in restricted areas. The FAA wishes to use the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system for authorizations which would give the FAA the ability “to grant near-real time … Continue Reading

DOT Announces Drone Pilot Program to Encourage Local and National Collaboration

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 … Continue Reading

Congress Approves FAA Extension to March 31, 2018

When we previously wrote about the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act, there was a deadline set at the end of September. Just before the deadline, Congress approved a six-month extension of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) taxes to give lawmakers more time to debate contentious, long-term airline policies. It is now set to expire on March … Continue Reading

BZZZ! Research on the Annoying Noise of UAS

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released the results of a study that determined how annoying the ‘bzzz’ of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) really is to the public on the ground below. NASA researchers compared the noise generated by drones to that of cars, and found that indeed, there was a greater … Continue Reading

UAS Components of FAA Reauthorization Bills Stalled

We recently wrote about the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bills that would allow funding to the FAA to continue beyond Fall 2017. Now, it is likely that as Congressional leaders seem unlikely to reach a compromise on the FAA reauthorization bills before the end of September, a short term extension on these bills will … Continue Reading

The Commercial Drone Technology Evolution

The commercial drone technology ecosystem has come a LONG way in the last five years, and businesses all over the world have spent years exploring the potential of drones. Over this time, there have been at least eight distinct levels of evolution within commercial drone technology. The eight phases include the following: One: Affordable and … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

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
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