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.” The Notice provides guidance to aviation safety inspectors investigating individuals or entities who operate their Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in a “non-compliant” way. The FAA published the Notice in response to the “increasing number of UAS-incident reports,” in order to ensure continued safe UAS operations.

What Will the Aviation Safety Investigators Do? The Notice directs that investigators’ first priority should be educating non-compliant drone users, not charging them. It declares that the “FAA will use outreach and education to encourage voluntary compliance.”

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