Transportation Administrative Agency

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Senate Version of Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Preempts Local Drone Regulations

On March 17, 2016, the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee of the United States Senate approved amendments to the most recent funding legislation for the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), the FAA...more

Want an FAA Section 333 Exemption for your Close-up sUAS Operations? Come Prepared.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) generally prohibits small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) flight operations within 500 feet from all persons, vessels, vehicles, and structures. However, closer-in operations of sUAS...more

Privatization of the United States Air Traffic Control System Hits Roadblock in the U.S. Senate

Less than a month ago, it seemed clear that privatization was the wave of the future for the United States Air Traffic Control System (“ATC System”). On February 19, 2016, the United States House of Representatives...more

Police department drones vulnerable to hackers?

While there has been much debate over police department drones and individual privacy, now, a new concern has emerged: the threat of hackers. Recently, a security researcher, Nils Rodday, used a laptop and $40 worth of...more

Drone Collision Results in Calls for Increased Regulation

A British Airways pilot believes that a drone, also known as a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS), struck the front of the Airbus A320 during landing at London’s Heathrow Airport on Sunday, April 17. The aircraft landed...more

FAA committee report recommends operation of small drones over crowds

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Micro Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) released its “ARC Recommendations Final Report” this month after meeting in March to discuss...more

The Rise, and Risk, of Construction Drones

Drone usage on construction projects is ready to take off. With recent enhancements in performance and capability, it will soon be hard to imagine a large construction project without drones playing some role. Consider this...more

Canada Working on UAS Regulations

In 2015, Canada released a Notice of Proposed Amendment (“NPA”), proposing a new risk-based regulatory framework for small unmanned aircraft systems (“sUAS”) that weigh less than 55 pounds (25 kg) and are operated within...more

Get your student pilot certificate and commercial drone operator certificate sooner rather than later

As of April 1 individuals seeking their student pilot certificate must wait until the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) background checks are completed before receiving the certification, whereas prior to the...more

FAA Drone Panel's Report a Major Step Toward Newsgathering Over People

Yesterday, April 6, a panel of industry experts assembled by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) submitted its report recommending a new regulatory framework for the flight of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones,...more

FAA Advisory Group Recommends Framework for Drone Flights Over People

Today, April 6, a panel of industry experts assembled by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) submitted its report recommending a new regulatory framework for the flight of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones,...more

Drones increasingly used by State Departments of Transportation across the country

Across the United States, state Departments of Transportation (DOT) are using or testing drones to conduct bridge inspections, accident assessments, surveys and to conduct risk mitigation. A recent report by the American...more

FAA increases altitude for commercial drones

On March 29, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that its “blanket” altitude authorization for Section 333 exemption for commercial drone operators will increase from 200 feet to 400 feet. After an...more

McElroy Films secures FAA Section 333 exemption

Boston video production company, McElroy Films, LLC (McElroy Films), recently secured its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Section 33 exemption, adding its name (and services) to the list of 22 other commercial drone...more

FAA 2016 to 2036 Aerospace Forecast released

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released the “2016 to 2036 Aerospace Forecast” stating “there is optimism that the industry has been transformed from that of a boom-to-bust cycle to one of sustainable...more

FAA authorizes Mountain Aviation to conduct commercial drone operations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has certified the first airline to conduct commercial drones operations. Mountain Aviation has been flying private jets for over 23 years, and now, it will offer commercial drone...more

New drone bill proposed in Utah –police could potentially shoot drones out of the sky

The latest drone bill popped up in Utah this month which would allow police officers to shoot drones down out of the sky. This is an interesting proposal since there is currently litigation pending in Kentucky regarding a...more

Sports industry, untapped area for drone use, sure to expand

Many industries are starting to explore a new area for drone operations – the sports industry. Slowly, but surely, the use of drones for live sports coverage is expanding. In 2014, drones were used to film skiing and...more

Will New Technology, Legislation Help Drones and Airplanes Share the Sky?

On March 18, 2016, a Lufthansa Airbus A380 experienced a near miss with an unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone) while approaching LAX, 14 miles east of the airport at an elevation of 5,000 feet. The drone flew 200 feet over...more

Construction Law Advisory - March 2016

The use of drones on construction projects is increasing rapidly, as the construction industry realizes their many beneficial uses, including: collecting and analyzing aerial imagery; surveying; digitizing geographic terrain;...more

FAA calls for contractors to assess airplane cyber threats and vulnerabilities

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is now reaching out to contractors to help assess cyber-attack threats and vulnerabilities to communications systems on airplanes. This new effort is part of the Aircraft Systems...more

Parity for Tribal Governments Operating Drones

When Congress first authorized the domestic use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA), it created special, streamlined provisions for the...more

FAA set to issue a new rule specifically for microdrones

As if the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wasn’t getting enough flak for its recent drone regulations, now it is considering a separate rule for “microdrones.” Microdrones are those drones weighing less than 4.4 pounds...more

FAA sued by TechFreedom over drone registration requirements

Nonprofit organization TechFreedom filed a petition against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) this week over the FAA’s regulatory requirement of the registration and $5 fee for drone hobbyists. President of...more

Drones - The Division Between Federal and State Law and What it Means to You

Underscoring the shifting regulatory landscape applicable to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS or drones), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on December 17, 2015 put state and local governments on notice that they cannot...more

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