» Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Recent Developments

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» Unmanned Aircraft Systems

May. 2017:

Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down FAA Registration Rule for Hobbyist/Recreational Drones.

On May 19, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued its decision in Taylor v. Huerta, a closely-watched case brought by a model aircraft enthusiast (Mr. John A. Taylor) challenging an FAA rule adopted in December 2… Read More

Jan. 2017:

FAA and SkyPan International Reach Settlement on Unapproved UAS Operations.

On January 17, 2017, the FAA announced that it had entered into a settlement agreement with Chicago-based SkyPan International, Inc., stemming from a $1.9 million notice of proposed civil penalty issued against SkyPan in October 2015, following 65… Read More

May. 2016:

FAA Chief Counsel Issues Legal Interpretation Making it Easier for Students to Fly UAS

On May 4, 2016, the FAA Chief Counsel issued an interpretative memorandum concerning the educational use of UAS.  Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 allows for the recreational use of UAS without prior FAA Authorization prov… Read More

FAA Announces the Establishment of the Drone Advisory Committee

On May 4, 2016, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced the establishment of the Drone Advisory Committee (DAC).  The DAC is intended to be a long-standing Federal Advisory committee with a broad mission to address issues of integrating UAS into… Read More

NTIA Sets May 18, 2016 Meeting to Further Develop Best Practices for UAS Privacy, Transparency, and Accountability

On May 3, 2016, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a notice announcing a May 18, 2016 meeting of stakeholders to address privacy, transparency and accountability in the use of UAS.  This meeting is further t… Read More

Apr. 2016:

FAA Establishes New Online Aircraft Registration System for Section 333 Exemption Holders

Commercial operators of small UAS conducting operations under a section 333 exemption must register their UAS with the FAA.  On April 21, 2016, the FAA published a notice concerning the registration of small UAS used for purposes other than model ai… Read More

Senate Passes FAA Reauthorization Bill, Including provisions related to UAS

On April 19, 2016, the United States Senate passed its version of the FAA Reauthorization Bill.  Although the Senate Bill did not address the more controversial aspects of the U.S. House’s version, namely the privatization of air traffic control s… Read More

FAA Grants Exemption to UAS Operator for Nighttime Operations

On April 18, 2016, the FAA granted an exemption under Section 333 to Industrial Skyworks (USA), Inc., allowing for the nighttime operation of UAS.  Out of the approximately 5,000 Section 333 petitions granted by the FAA prior to the Industrial Skywo… Read More

Micro UAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee Releases its Final Recommendations

On April 1, 2016, the FAA’s Micro Unmanned Aircraft Systems Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) issued its final report with recommendations for performance-based standards for the operation of micro UAS over persons neither involved in the operati… Read More

Mar. 2016:

FAA Raises the Blanket Altitude Authorization for Section 333 Exemption Holders

On March 29, 2016, the FAA announced that it was issuing a “blanket” Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA), raising the authorized altitude for Section 333 exemption holders and government operators of UAS to 400 feet.  Previously, FAA ha… Read More