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In a Victory for the “Drone Slayer,” Federal Judge Rejects Pilot’s Attempt to Create Federal Question Jurisdiction

On March 21, 2017, a federal judge in the Western District of Kentucky dismissed a lawsuit brought by a drone pilot, David Boggs, against the “Drone Slayer” William Merideth, a Kentucky man who shot down a drone that he...more

Drones: FAA Issues Long-Awaited Final Rule for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

On Tuesday, June 21, the Federal Aviation Administration issued Part 107, the Final Rule for Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The Rule comes sixteen months after the FAA issued its Notice...more

Third Circuit Limits Federal Aviation Act Preemption for Product Liability Claims

In a departure from a string of cases supporting field preemption of state-law aviation product liability claims under certain circumstances by the Federal Aviation Act (FAAct), the Third Circuit recently held that the FAAct...more

FAA Announces Drone Registration, but Legal Challenges Loom

[Note: In light of the FAA’s announcement of the drone registry, we’ve revisited our recent analysis of its authority to require registration.] On December 14, 2015, the FAA issued the much-anticipated “Registration and...more

Task Force Makes Drone Registration Recommendations Expected to Be Adopted by the FAA, But on What Authority?

On November 21, 2015, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Registration Task Force Aviation Rulemaking Committee, chartered by the FAA, issued its Final Report to the FAA containing the Task Force’s recommendations for how the FAA...more

How to Get Drones Off Of The Ground: Be An Active Player

Business leaders are turning to drones to solve complex operational challenges. On CBS news program “60 Minutes,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos very publicly declared his intentions to use unmanned aerial systems (UASs) to make...more

The FAA (Re)Acts: Drone Registration, a Federal Task Force, and Hefty Fines

On October 19, 2015, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta announced a plan to require unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV or “drone”) users to register...more

Friendly Skies in California After Governor Brown Vetoes Drone Restrictions, Federal Response Uncertain

Iconic California tech companies are helping to pioneer the drone revolution. For over a year, Google’s advanced-research arm, Google X, has been testing its Project Wing aircraft in cooperation with NASA, moving ever-closer...more

Drones: FAA Announces Pathfinder Program to Explore BVLOS and Urban Drone Operations

The FAA’s regulatory actions on unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) are accelerating, making it more important than ever for those in the industry—and those looking to use this technology in their own sectors—to keep their eyes...more

The Small Drones Rule: FAA Takes a Step in the Right Direction

Over the weekend of Feb. 14, the FAA issued a much-anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)—i.e., drones weighing less than 55 pounds. The oft-delayed NPRM comes three years...more

May State and Local Governments Control Low-Flying Drones?

Most of the attention paid to drones has focused on issues of aviation and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authority. Yet much of the impact of low-flying drones will fall, not on the national air transportation system,...more

Huerta v. Pirker—NTSB Says No More “Gray Area” for Drone Operations

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have operated within an uncertain legal framework while players across a rapidly growing range of commercial industries — from energy to rail transport to forestry to all types of...more

Drones: Why You Should Start Thinking Now About the Anticipated UAS Regulations

With drone technology rapidly advancing and the FAA recently starting to open the door to commercial drone use, companies across industries should begin evaluating how drones can add value to their businesses, if they have...more

Drones: The FAA Grants Hollywood the First Regulatory Exemptions Permitting the Commercial Use of UAS

Yesterday the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted six aerial photo and video companies exemptions from FAA regulations that—before now—wholesale banned the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for commercial...more

Hollywood Leads The Way On Drone Use

The Federal Aviation Administration recently granted six aerial photo and video companies exemptions from FAA regulations that — before now — wholesale banned the use of unmanned aircraft systems for commercial purposes in...more

Drones: When, Why, and How Will the FAA Investigate Unauthorized UAS Use?

On July 15, 2014, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published its latest National Policy Notice concerning drones, titled “Education, Compliance, and Enforcement of Unauthorized Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operators.”...more

Drones: Hollywood’s Requests for Regulatory Exemptions from the FAA Could Get UAS for Commercial Use Off the Ground

The lack of certainty regarding the use and regulation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is prompting companies to seek creative ways to get their drones off the ground. This week, seven aerial photo and video production...more

Drones: A Bird’s-Eye View of the (Non-Privacy) Legal Landscape for UAS

A recent near midair collision between U.S. Airways Flight 4650, a CRJ-200 jet with a 50- passenger capacity, and a drone has (deservedly) sparked a flurry of commentary regarding safe drone operation. This near miss, which...more

Unruly Passengers Beware: ICAO Delivers Montreal Protocol 2014 to Enhance Enforcement Measures Against Unruly Passengers

This month the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) officially adopted a Protocol to amend the Tokyo Convention on offenses committed on aircrafts. The culmination of a four-year effort to modernize the Tokyo...more

Ventress III Provides Another Tool for Airlines: Ninth Circuit Says Federal Aviation Act Preempts Pilot’s State Law Employment...

On March 28, 2014, the Ninth Circuit strengthened its Federal Aviation Act (the “Act”) preemption jurisprudence, holding that state law claims for retaliation and constructive termination are preempted under the Act when they...more

Narayanan v. British Airways: Ninth Circuit Says the Montreal Convention’s Statute of Limitations May Begin to Run Before Claim...

On March 19, 2014, the Ninth Circuit issued its ruling in Narayanan v. British Airways, No. 11-55870 (9th Cir. 2014), holding that the two-year statute of limitations set forth in Article 35(1) of the Montreal Convention...more

SCOTUS: Airlines Are Entitled to Immunity under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act Unless Statements Are Materially...

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper, 571 U.S. ---, No. 12-315 (2014), holding that immunity for an air carrier under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, 49...more

ATSA Immunity: Supreme Court Grants Cert to Decide Bounds for Applying Immunity Under the Aviation Transportation Security Act

The Supreme Court granted certiorari yesterday to decide whether a court can deny immunity under the Aviation Transportation Security Act (ATSA) in a defamation case without first deciding whether an airline’s report to the...more

New Year, New Ways to Fight the FNC Battle in Illinois Fennell v. Illinois Central Railroad Co.

A recent Illinois Supreme Court case represents an encouraging turn for aviation defendants in a state where it has been nearly impossible to achieve dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds in foreign aviation accident...more

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