Tag Archives: UAS

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

Facebook Completes Successful Testing of Drones for Getting the Internet to the World’s Remotest Locations

Facebook announced last week that it successfully completed a second test of an unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone) designed to carry internet access to remote parts of the world. Unlike Facebook’s first test for this task back in June 2016, the drone did not crash in this second test. Facebook plans to develop an … Continue Reading

The FAA’s New Study on UAS Human Collision Hazards

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), along with a group of universities, conducted a study to determine the risks associated with flying unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) over people. The group of universities included the University of Alabama-Huntsville; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Mississippi State University; and the University of Kansas, through the Alliance for System Safety of UAS … Continue Reading

Police Foundation Releases New Infographic and Tips for Law Enforcement Agencies Use of Drones

The Police Foundation, a non-profit organization for policing across the United States, recently released a new infographic for law enforcement agencies seeking to establish a program for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones). The infographic, “UAS and Public Safety” accessible here, includes an overview of operational, training, and legal and regulatory compliance considerations for … Continue Reading

OIG to Audit FAA Drone Waiver Processes

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced an audit of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) “approval and oversight processes” for Part 107 waivers for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations. The audit will begin before month’s end and will assess the FAA’s processes for granting waivers and … Continue Reading

FAA to Release New UAS Airspace Maps

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans to release a set of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) facility maps on April 27, 2017. These maps will help drone operators improve their Part 107 airspace authorization requests, and in turn, hopefully help the FAA process these requests more quickly. The maps will include specific areas and altitudes near … Continue Reading

FAA Publishes Notice to Airmen Restricting UAS Flights Over 133 Military Facilities

On April 7, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a Notice to Airmen (Notice) that becomes effective on April 14, 2017. The Notice prohibits the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) over 133 military facilities to an altitude of 400 feet. The FAA is relying on its authority and ability to address national security … Continue Reading

Sense-and-Avoid Software Tests Successfully in Recent Drone Flights

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Northrop Grumman, and Aviation & Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS) recently announced a series of successful drone flights testing sense-and-avoid systems. One of the key issues with flying a drone beyond-visual-line-of-sight is that the sense-and-avoid technology is slow to come to market. While it is certainly out there and being … Continue Reading

UAS, A Growing Part of the Oil and Gas Industry

As the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS or as they are more commonly called, drones) continues to rapidly increase as technology continues to develop, more and more industries will utilize UAS in their day-to-day operations, including the oil and gas industry. Initially, UAS were mainly used in the oil and gas industry for conducting … Continue Reading

An Update on Part 107 Waivers for Night Operations

Back in August 2016, when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced its final small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) rule (or Part 107) FAA administrator, Michael Huerta said, “Our focus is to make this as streamlined as possible [. . .] We do not envision this being a very burdensome process.” However, Part 107 limits flights … Continue Reading

L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Begins Use of UAS for Dangerous, Hostile and Life-Saving Operations

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s (LASD) use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for “dangerous, hostile and life-saving operations.” LASD Sheriff, Jim McDonnell, explained in a press release that the drones will be used in situations like search and rescue, explosive ordnance detection, hazardous … Continue Reading

SkyPan and FAA Settle UAS Enforcement Cases

SkyPan International, Inc. (SkyPan), based in Chicago, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) agreed upon a comprehensive settlement to resolve the enforcement cases where the FAA alleged that the SkyPan operated unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) in airspace over New York City and Chicago in violation of airspace regulations and operating rules. SkyPan will … Continue Reading

Update on the Drone Flights-Over-People Rule

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to work on its proposed rule which would allow the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, over people, expected (hopefully) to be released before the end of the Obama Administration next week. For the final rule, of course, there is no set timeline. FAA Administrator, Michael Huerta, … Continue Reading

The Drone Market: 2016 Year in Review

The biggest news of 2016 for the commercial drone market was surely the finalization of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 107 regulations. And even better news for the commercial drone market was that the Part 107 regulations are not as onerous as they could have been! In 2017, we will surely see the regulatory … Continue Reading

FAA’s Drone Efforts Audited by the OIG

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, … Continue Reading

The ‘Silicon Valley’ for UAS: From New York’s Griffiss International Airport to Hancock International Airport, UAS are Welcome

From the Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York to the Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, New York, unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) may freely fly the 50-mile stretch in an effort to increase technological advancement for developers of UAS. Executive Director of the NUAIR Alliance, Larry Brinker, says that “companies are going to … Continue Reading

2017: New President, New Transportation Secretary—Where Do Drones Fit?

The Drone Manufacturers Alliance (DMA) has voiced approval of President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Elaine Chao as the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation in its November 9 letter to Trump and the Trump-Pence Transition Team. But with that approval comes a request for Trump to “pursue a balanced legal and regulatory framework for unmanned aircraft systems … Continue Reading
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