Unmanned Aircraft Systems

News & Analysis as of

Approved Drone Use Grows Among Electric Utilities

On May 11, 2015, Xcel Energy became the latest electric utility to obtain an exemption under Section 333 of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act authorizing the company to conduct commercial small unmanned aircraft...more

As Drones Hit the Sky, Lawsuits Predicted to Fly

The rise of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (“UAV”), also known as drones, is well-documented. In fact, the global market for non-military drones has recently been estimated as a $2.5 billion industry that is growing at...more

The Flying Insurance Adjuster—Implications of Insurers’ Use of Drones

Insurers perform property inspections in connection with underwriting to determine if the property meets their standards for issuing coverage, and to determine the appropriate premium classification. Insurers inspect damaged...more

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Receive Lift From New Bill

Two US Senators propose temporary legislation to support UAS commercial development in the US, ensuring the US industry remains competitive. The US is lagging behind globally in the commercial integration of Senators —...more

Using Drones On Your Construction Project - Are You Ready?

There are many potential uses for drones in the construction industry, such as for site selection, surveying, and real-time work inspections. If you are thinking about using a drone in your construction operations, there are...more

Florida Passes Drone Surveillance Bill To Protect Personal Privacy

On April 28, 2015, the Florida State Legislature passed SB 766, or better known as the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, which permits commercial drone use, but bans the use of drones for the surveillance of private...more

Drone Privacy Implications Following the FAA’s Proposed Regulations

As Amazon recently stated in a letter to the FAA, “One day, seeing Amazon Prime Air will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today.” Most people are aware that drones are well on their way towards full integration...more

Guidance on CCTV Surveillance and the Responsible Use of Drones in Hong Kong

Owing to the increased popularity of unmanned aircraft systems, Hong Kong’s Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) has issued a Guidance Note for Hong Kong on CCTV Surveillance and Use of Drones. ...more

Drone on Drones: Line-of-Sight Requirements Limit Potential Uses of Drones

Many conceptions of the future of drones hinge on the idea of nearly autonomous UAVs flying through the sky, doing everything from maintaining public safety to delivering products to your home. There are many obstacles — some...more

FAA grants exemption for large crop-spraying unmanned aircraft

On May 1, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd., a commercial exemption under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 for flights of its RMax Type II G unmanned...more

FAA Proposes Framework of Regulations For Small-Scale Commercial Drones

On Feb. 15 the Federal Aviation Administration released its long-awaited proposed framework for regulating small-scale commercial drones, which weigh less than 55 pounds.1 In its proposal, the FAA made explicitly clear that...more

Drone Law (or the Lack Thereof)

The crashing of a drone on the White House grounds among other recent incidents have shown that drones may pose direct threats to our security, but perhaps a greater long-term threat of drones is to our privacy. A collision...more

Over 4,400 comments on FAA’s proposed drone framework; Amazon wants less restrictions and more room for technological advancement

The comments period closed on April 24, 2015, for the Federal Aviation Administration’s proposed drone framework and regulations, and there were over 4,400 comments submitted. Among those opposed to the limited scope of the...more

Send in the Drones: Transforming the Workplace through the Use of Drone Surveillance

Every day new stories about the uses (and misuses) of drones surface in the media. They have been used to: photograph the 2015 Winter X Games, assist in firefighting operations, monitor agricultural drought, monitor...more

FAA approves Amazon’s second request to test its delivery drones in the skies

While Amazon.com Inc. (Amazon) did receive approval to fly its test drones from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) back in March of this year for its July 2014 request, that approval proved to be useless after Amazon...more

EPIC files suit against FAA for lackadaisical drone privacy regulations

On March 31, 2015, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a petition against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with the D.C. Circuit court asking that the court review the FAA’s proposed rule on...more

FAA Streamlines Section 333 Exemption Process for Commercial UAS Operations - Summary Grant Process Increases Approved...

In response to pressure from Congress and the high demand for exemptions to use unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for commercial purposes, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has streamlined its processes for granting...more

Section 333 at 200 days: Where are we now?

Since the FAA granted the first Section 333 Exemption on September 25, 2014, potential commercial unmanned aircraft system (“UAS” or “drone”) users have eagerly monitored the agency’s progress. Let’s review the first 200-day...more

Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions - April 2015

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update includes an overview of the FAA’s new contract maintenance rules, DOT and FAA notices on flight prohibitions in conflict zones, the latest news on the integration...more

As Drones “Take Off” Legal Consequences Remain Uncertain

Drones, also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), have received extensive media coverage over the past few years. Whether the discussions about drones are related to the unmanned...more

FAA Concedes Merely Posting Drone Video Does Not Violate Federal Regulations - A New Directive Notes Agency Lacks Authority to...

The Federal Aviation Administration, after more than a year of warning media companies and hobbyists that posting or linking to any footage filmed by drones may violate the law, has finally acknowledged that its inspectors...more

FAA Drone Use Exemptions Break the 100 Mark

With the latest round of approvals, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted over 100 Section 333 Exemptions allowing businesses to begin using small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for a variety of purposes. ...more

Commercial Drones: When Tech Flies Faster Than the Speed of Government

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones as they are more commonly known, are under intense scrutiny by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In fact, the FAA itself is under scrutiny, by big and small businesses...more

EPIC Files Suit For Public Rulemaking To Address Privacy Concerns Posed By Drones

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EPIC”) filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on March 31, 2015, to force the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) to conduct a rulemaking...more

Up, Up, and Away: Insurance Market for Commercial Drones Set to Take Off

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or Drones) have been in the news increasingly over the past decade. While it began, primarily, with the federal government’s use of Drones through the military and federal law enforcement...more

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