Drones

News & Analysis as of

U.S. Senate Passes Bipartisan FAA Bill Marking First Step to UAS Regulations

On April 19, the United States Senate passed bipartisan legislation that would reauthorize federal funding for the Federal Aviation Administration for the next two fiscal years. The Senate-passed bill, which will not take...more

Weekly Web Wrap-Up

Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by Social Media & Games Team. Here are some of the...more

Flying into Darkness – Commercial Drone Night Flights Approved by the FAA

Last week, the FAA issued an historic authority to Industrial Skyworks for nighttime commercial UAS operations. The Section 333 exemption, obtained with the help of Kenneth Quinn, Jennifer Trock, and Graham Keithley of...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

Texas resident makes claims that Texas drone law is unconstitutional

Last week, Texas resident, Manuel Flores, filed suit in Texas challenging the constitutionality of the state’s drone surveillance law. His suit claims that the law treats approximately 1 million residents categorically...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

New Regulations on the Horizon for Commercial Drones

Currently, the use of drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for commercial purposes in general is not permitted in the United States, although there is one exception. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows...more

Expanding Horizons: Drone Regulations from a Prosecutorial Perspective

BB&K attorney Jordan Ferguson writes about the criminal side of drones for the California District Attorneys Association’s Prosecutor’s Brief. Over the next few years, the skies are likely to get much more crowded....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

FAA Clarifies Federal, State, and Local Regulation of UAS

The FAA has released a fact sheet regarding state and local regulation of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”). The FAA advises that state and local restrictions should be consistent with the extensive federal statutory and...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

FAA Expands Online Registration System for UAS Owners

Commercial, public and other non-model aircraft owners of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) owners may now use the FAA’s new web-based registration process to register their aircrafts....more

In Case You Missed It: Launch Links - April 2016

Some interesting links we found across the web this week: - Startup Funding Deals Fall to Lowest Level in Four Years - The Q1 numbers came in this week and they’re not pretty, showing the fewest total venture...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

Cyber Attacks on Infrastructure are Increasing: Review Your Insurance As “Internet Of Things” Risks Grow and Change

In the December post Systemic Cyber Risks And The Internet of Things, we wrote about the increasing risk of cyber attacks on infrastructure and consumer products, and related insurance issues. We noted in that post that,...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

From Big Data to Bacon to Bots: Who will be Under FTC’s Watchful Eye Next?

At last week’s Strata + Hadoop Worldwide Big Data Conference those “in the know” about all things Silicon Valley prophesized that “data is the new bacon.” Witty comparisons aside, there is no question that big data has...more

First Committee Deadline – Week Four at the Capitol

The universe of legislation in play will be significantly winnowed down this week as it is the first committee deadline. Committees must act favorably on bills in the house of origin. The focus will increasingly turn to the...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

CRA: Drones Depreciable at 25%

Aerial drones appear to have many commercial uses. If you use a drone in your business, you may be able to deduct capital cost allowance in respect of the drone. In CRA Document 2016-0633111E5 “CCA Class of a Drone”...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

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