FAA UAS Regulation Expands as FAA Implements First Drone-Specific Airspace Restrictions

FAA UAS Regulation Expands as FAA Implements First Drone-Specific Airspace Restrictions

By Michael B. George

Common sense might tell you that it’s a bad idea to operate an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) over U.S. military bases. Either way, it will soon be illegal to fly a drone over a military facility. Effective April 14, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will restrict drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of 133 identified military facilities.

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FAA to Release Facility Maps to Assist UAS Operators

FAA to Release Facility Maps to Assist UAS Operators

By Bradley R. Gardner

Beginning on April 27, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will make available to Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operators a facility map designed to make applications for Part 107 waivers easier. Pursuant to Part 107, a UAS operator may apply for a waiver of certain FAA-imposed restrictions such as daylight operation, line-of-sight and operation within a certain airspace. By giving UAS operators access to facility maps, the FAA is trying to streamline the Part 107 waiver process by making UAS operators aware of areas in which waivers are likely to be granted (or denied). Operators that require a waiver will be able to consult the facility map to determine if the proposed operating location is in an area that might conflict with airport or other air traffic operations, such as flights directly under the approach or departure paths of a local airport. 

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Protecting the Homeland from “Hostile” Drones

Protecting the Homeland from “Hostile” Drones

By Erin L. Felix

The U.S. government has a long history of supporting the development and deployment of unmanned aerial systems/unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). While the government’s interest has traditionally been centered on offensive military applications, such as surveillance and weapon delivery, the growing wave of hobbyist and commercial UAS usage has spawned a new focus: countering UAS-based threats posed by hostile groups and individuals. This increased emphasis on advancing counter-drone capabilities can be seen across multiple agencies, including the FBI, the Department of Defense, as well as state and local law enforcement. The Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) application provides business opportunities for companies that develop C-UAS technology continue to grow in the government market. 

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Family Sues Toy Drone Manufacturer for Christmas Day Injury

Family Sues Toy Drone Manufacturer for Christmas Day Injury

By William D. Ezzell

A products liability lawsuit was recently filed in Colorado against Parrot SA, a French-based wireless products manufacturer that designs and manufactures drones ranging from toys to commercial-grade Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). But this lawsuit does not involve a large or highly complex UAS. Instead, this case centers on a lightweight toy drone that fits in the palm of a child’s hand.

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New UAV Agreement May Be Stalled as Numerous Key State Department Positions Remain Vacant

New UAV Agreement May Be Stalled as Numerous Key State Department Positions Remain Vacant

By Melissa Miller Proctor

A recent article by Defense News reports that the movement towards an international agreement on the responsible use and export of drones may be stalled as a result of numerous vacancies in key positions within the State Department that would normally be working to push out a U.S. policy on armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). 

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