DOJ and FAA Issue New Security Concerns in UAS Operations

DOJ and FAA Issue New Security Concerns in UAS Operations

By William D. Ezzell

This week, the UAS world witnessed two concerning developments related to national security. On Wednesday, newly appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. Wray warned that terrorist organizations are actively seeking drones as a means to wage attacks. “I think we do know that terrorist organizations have an interest in using drones.” Wray elaborated even further, “We’ve seen that overseas already with growing frequency. I think the expectation is that it’s coming here imminently. I think they are relatively easy to acquire, relatively easy to operate, and quite difficult to disrupt and monitor.”

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FAA and ASSURE Publish Results of UAS Collision Study

FAA and ASSURE Publish Results of UAS Collision Study

By James A. Liebscher

On April 28, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and ASSURE, the FAA’s Center of Excellence for UAS Research led by a consortium of leading research universities, released the first of its kind study aimed at understanding the risk posed by UAS to humans on the ground. The goal of the study was to determine how to safely fly UAS over people with minimal risk to serious injury.

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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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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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FAA Issues Record Fine Against Drone Operator

FAA Issues Record Fine Against Drone Operator

By William D. Ezzell

Yesterday, SkyPan International Inc. (SkyPan), a drone-photography company that provides aerial imagery for the commercial real estate industry, agreed to pay the FAA $200,000 in civil penalties for a litany of alleged violations involving SkyPan’s operations over New York and Chicago between 2012 and 2014. The settlement comes after a year-long investigation and subsequent civil suit that was filed in October 2015.

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