News & Analysis as of

Add Insult to Injury: TOTE Maritime’s Lawsuit Decision after El Faro Sinking

On September 29 of this year, many residents living along the East Coast of the United States and throughout the Caribbean were preparing for the potential impact of Hurricane Joaquin. In Jacksonville, Florida, final...more

USDOT’s Takeover of DC Metro Safety Program – Desperate Measure for a Desperate Time

In the face of repeated safety tragedies, a hyper-critical National Transportation Safety Board report, and general customer uneasiness, Secretary Foxx’s recent decision to have the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) assume...more

Deadline Fast Approaching for Positive Train Controls

Failure to Implement Safety Measures Will Result in Interrupted Railway Service - Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Washington, D.C. Government Relations Services team is monitoring an urgent issue now being considered by the...more

Seventh Circuit Finds Admiralty Jurisdiction in Asiana Airlines Lawsuits

In litigation arising from the July 2013 accident of Asiana Flight 214 at the San Francisco International Airport, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed the District Court's remand decision, holding that...more

DOT Tank Car Rule Reflects Refined Cost-Benefit Analysis

On May 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation, acting through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, issued a much-anticipated final rule on the enhanced tank car standards and operational...more

Anticipating PHMSA's Crude by Rail Rule

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's much-anticipated crude by rail rule will address over 3,000 comments, spanning a wide range of public opinion on crude by rail safety. PHMSA must address vast...more

The FAA Asks Local and State Law Enforcement for Help Enforcing Its Unmanned Aircraft Policies

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently released new guidance directed to local and state law enforcement describing how they can help the FAA find and stop the operators of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) from...more

FAA settles trail-blazing drone case for $1,100

After a multi-year fight over its $10,000 civil penalty against a drone pilot, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) settled with Raphael Pirker for $1,100 in connection with his operation of an unmanned aircraft system...more

Aviation & Aerospace and Surface Transportation Quarterly Newsletter

In This Issue: - Update on Developments in California Drone Law - One Community Gets Relief from Aircraft Noise - California Once Again Relinquishes Clean Air Act Enforcement Responsibility to the...more

Implications of the NTSB’s Decision That Drones are Aircraft

The NTSB issued a decision on November 17, holding that drones are aircraft and subject to the code of federal regulations that govern aircraft. In Michael P. Huerta, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration v. Raphael...more

NTSB Overturns Administrative Law Judge Decision and Holds That Federal Aviation Regulation 91.13 (Careless or Reckless Operation)...

The Federal Aviation Association (FAA) is feverishly working on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) governing commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), which it intends to have ready by the end of 2014. Details...more

NTSB Ruling: FAA Regulations Enforceable Against Drones

In the ever shifting landscape of drone law, there has been another seismic shift. In a November 18, 2014 ruling, the NTSB held that the FAA does have the authority to enforce its regulations against certain model aircraft...more

Huerta v. Pirker: NTSB Rules that UAS Are “Aircraft” and Subject to FAA Prohibition on Careless and Reckless Operations

On November 18, 2014, in a unanimous decision, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are: “aircraft” within the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) statutory and...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

NTSB Finds That Drones Are “Aircraft” Under Federal Law

Order reverses an earlier ruling by an Administrative Law Judge in a closely watched case that challenged the FAA’s authority to regulate drones - On November 18, 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)...more

Alert: NTSB Determines Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Are Within the FAA'S Jurisdiction

The National Transportation Safety Board ("NTSB") today issued a decision affirming the jurisdiction of the FAA to regulate unmanned aerial vehicles. The NTSB found that the statutory definition of an "aircraft" included in...more

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Are 'Aircraft' Once Again

On November 17, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reversed an administrative law judge’s decision that had called into question the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) authority to regulate Unmanned Aircraft...more

NTSB Says Drones Subject to Federal Aviation Regulations - The Ruling Calls Attention to the Need for New, Sensible Regulations...

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has overturned an administrative ruling in favor of an aerial photographer, upholding the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) determination that unmanned aerial systems...more

What’s The Buzz Over Drones?

Technology has rendered irrelevant the longstanding debate over whether good fences make good neighbors. Authorities in New Jersey recently arrested a man after he shot down a neighbor’s drone that was flying above his...more

National Transportation Safety Board Procedures to Change: Comments Due by October 14, 2014

If you have participated in the investigation of a major transportation calamity, you are likely familiar with the bold yellow lettering on the blue jackets of National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators. These...more

It’s a bird…It’s a plane…It’s UAV, man

The day may not be far off when part of a farmer's normal daily routine involves reviewing data and images from one of the farm's unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), more commonly known as drones. Originally Published in...more

Rules for Rail Transport of Crude Oil and Ethanol Still a Work in Progress

In response to rail accidents over the past several years involving crude oil and ethanol, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has been working with industry stakeholders and the National Transportation Safety Board...more

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Legal Update: Proposed North Carolina drone legislation addresses economic benefits and civil...

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)—also commonly referred to as drones and the systems used to operate them—are ubiquitous in the American consciousness today, even though for most of us our experiences with UAS may be limited to...more

Can I Fly or Can’t I Fly? Drones in the Wake of the NTSB’s Pirker Opinion

One of the fastest-evolving areas of aviation is the use of drones. Although “drone” is the popular term, it is not used in the industry, which initially used “unmanned aerial vehicle,” or UAV. Originally Published in...more

Railway Age Crude By Rail Conference Profiles Key Players, Key Issues in Crude By Rail Debate

On June 12 and 13, 2014, Railway Age’s Crude by Rail Conference and Expo brought together representatives from the oil and gas industry, railroads, rail car manufacturers, Federal government, emergency response organizations...more

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