President Trump Directs Drone Integration Pilot Program to Accelerate Low-Altitude Operations

President Trump Directs Drone Integration Pilot Program to Accelerate Low-Altitude Operations

By Thomas L. Gemmell

Today President Trump directed the Department of Transportation to launch a new initiative to test and validate advanced operations for drones in partnership with state and local governments. The program, called “Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program,” is designed to provide regulatory certainty and stability to UAS operators, local governments and communities.

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CNN Receives ‘First-of-its-Kind’ Waiver to Fly Drones over Crowds

CNN Receives ‘First-of-its-Kind’ Waiver to Fly Drones over Crowds

By Thomas Nguyen

CNN has recently received a ‘first of its kind’ waiver associated with its drone operating license with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), allowing CNN to fly its drones over open-air crowds of people at altitudes of up to 150 feet above ground level with no restrictions regarding crowd density. This is a big deal because this waiver sets a new precedent that would now allow operators to fly drones over people. As of today, the FAA has issued 1,317 Part 107 waivers with only seven of the waivers allowing drone operations over people – and, when allowed, limiting those flights to closed set operations and only when the drone is tethered. Further, the waivers limited the flights to a maximum height of 21 feet above ground level. 

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Steer Clear from Military Bases if You Want to Keep Your Drone (and Yourself) Out of Trouble

Steer Clear from Military Bases if You Want to Keep Your Drone (and Yourself) Out of Trouble

By Thomas Nguyen

There has been a growing security concern posed by drones, especially in light of increased use by both private citizens and companies. With the aim of keeping personnel and equipment safe in connection with its domestic military bases, the Pentagon recently issued classified rules that provide guidance to the U.S. military on how to deal with private and commercial drones that are found flying over or around its domestic military bases.

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FAA In Search of a Legal Basis For Drone Registration

FAA In Search of a Legal Basis For Drone Registration

By Thomas L. Gemmell

At the end of 2015, the FAA required those operating small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“sUAS”) used for other than commercial purposes to register the UAS and affix a registration number on the aircraft. The registration requirement emerged from an increase in the number of reported near misses involving UAS and was to facilitate the tracking of those who violated general aviation rules and regulations. 

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Inconsistent Energy Laws Complicate Energy Storage Adoption

Inconsistent Energy Laws Complicate Energy Storage Adoption

By Jacek M. Wnuk

While solar cells have been around in some form since the 1800s, increases in their efficiency were modest and slow until about 2000. Since 2000, the technology has seen rapid increases in efficiency, both at the research and consumer levels, and consistent deceases in cost of approximately 7 percent per year.

For all of these improvements, however, solar power has a significant inherent flaw – it generates energy at a very variable rate that is highly dependent on environmental conditions. Wind turbines, which have similarly improved in both efficiency and affordability in recent years, suffer from the same flaw.

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