News & Analysis as of


FAA Rollout of Its UTM Pilot Program

Last week at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Ames Research Center, unmanned aircraft system (UAS) stakeholders gathered to hear about the highly anticipated rollout of the UAS Traffic Management...more

Under Construction - March 2018

by Snell & Wilmer on

Welcome to the spring 2018 edition of our Under Construction newsletter. We hope 2018 is off to a good start for you and your company. We start this issue with an article providing some practical solutions to common legal...more

FAA Plans to Bring LAANC to 500 More Airports by Next Month

On March 6, 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the nationwide expansion of its Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) to 500 more airports, and include 300 air traffic control...more

Massive Adoption of Drones; Safety Still Top Concern for Officials

At the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) co-hosted Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS or drones) Symposium in Baltimore, Maryland last week, all speakers agreed...more

Drones – When Things Go Wrong

Over the last several years, drones have rapidly grown in popularity. From quick deliveries during rush hour to reaching an otherwise inaccessible military base, drones are proving to be extremely advantageous where humans...more

New Report Says Drones to Represent $30 Billion Industry by 2036

By 2036, unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) will represent a $30 billion industry according to a new report released by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and Avascent, “Think Bigger: Large Unmanned Systems and...more

Remote Identification of Drones: For Commercial Operators Only or Hobbyists Too?

Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) received recommendations regarding remote identification of drones in a report from the unmanned aircraft Identification and Tracking (UAS ID) Aviation Rulemaking...more

Drones and Personal Privacy

Imagine that you are sitting in your backyard and a drone flies overhead. It hovers. The camera adjusts and looks right at you. Then it flies away. ...more

Kansas State Offers UAS Training for First Responders

Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus began working with law enforcement partners in the area to offer a training course specifically targeted for first responders seeking to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones)...more

The State of Aviation Safety and Congress: Part I

by LeClairRyan on

The Subcommittee on Aviation of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted a February 27 hearing on the safety of the National Airspace System (NAS), including progress made...more

Close Calls with Drones Increasing Dramatically

Aviation regulators, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, have been investigating a flurry of close calls between consumer drones and manned aircraft,...more

Charleston Helicopter Crash: Possibly 1st Aviation Accident Caused by a Drone

Federal investigators are investigating a helicopter crash that occurred on Daniel Island (near Charleston, South Carolina) that may have been caused by a drone. The helicopter pilot reported to investigators that he crashed...more

DJI Software Now Includes Temporary No-Fly Zone for Olympics

Drone manufacturer, DJI, has updated its software in its drones to include a temporary no-fly zone around the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea (and other South Korean cities). The parameters of the no-fly zone are...more

2017: The Year of Much Ado…But Nothing!

by LeClairRyan on

In terms of major UAS rulemaking efforts, 2017 could best be described as “the year that wasn’t”. While the FAA had big plans to push forward the new rules for flight over people and finalize the Interpretation of the...more

World-Record Drone Show at Olympic Ceremony

As with any Olympics Opening Ceremony, the pageantry is of global scale, but this year, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Intel took it to a whole new level–a record-setting 1,218 drones hit the skies for a mechanical phenomenon....more

Validity of Ball State University Drone Policy Questioned

Public Relations and Government Affairs Director of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, Chad Budreau, says that Ball State University’s (Ball State) “Policy for the Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones)” violates the...more

North Carolina Seeks to Deliver Emergency Supplies via Drone

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) and state officials are currently building plans to use drones to deliver emergency supplies across the state; however, several hurdles need to be overcome first....more

Drone Detection Technology at the Waste Management Phoenix Open

This past weekend, Scottsdale, Arizona police used new drone detection technology at the Waste Management Phoenix Open to keep attendees (and players) safe....more

States Rev Up Drone Oversight

by Cozen O'Connor on

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Drone Report surveys proposed drone legislation in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont, and West Virginia and discusses recent drone...more

Aviation Law News Alert: What We Can Learn From A Glider Who Flew Too Close To A Nuclear Power Plant

In the case of William Cox, personal representative for the estate of Robin Fleming, vs. Duke Energy, et. al. the Fourth Circuit recently addressed a glider pilot’s arrest for flying too close to a nuclear power plant, the...more

EPIC’s Standing Questioned in FAA Case

On January 25, 2018, oral arguments were heard in Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) v. the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) case by a D.C. Circuit panel. The court questioned EPIC’s standing to contest the...more

Privacy is None of the FAA’s Business

by LeClairRyan on

While most people agree that unmanned aircraft raise unique privacy issues, the question remains who is in the best position to deal with those concerns. The FAA has repeatedly indicated that it does not have the resources,...more

New Jersey Passes Penalty Bill for Prohibited Drone Operations

Last week, the New Jersey state assembly passed legislation, Assembly Bill 520 (the Bill), that provides for fines and prison terms for individuals convicted of unsafe and/or prohibited unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drone)...more

First Drone Rescue at Sea

Just last week, the first ever drone rescue at sea occurred in the heavy riptides off the coast of Australia. Two swimmers were trapped in the strong current when a drone dropped a flotation device down to them from the sky...more

Farmers Use Drones to Check Their Crops

As a farmer, you likely need to keep a close eye on the growth of your crops or survey hundreds of acres of crops after a storm or other natural disaster. Agriculture experts now say that farmers should look to the skies for...more

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