All in Unmanned Aircraft Systems
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In a reminder that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is not the only agency with authority over unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations, yesterday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a proposed $2.8 million forfeiture against HobbyKing for marketing certain radio transmitters for use with drones that operate outside their authorized spectrum bands, and at power levels beyond what the FCC has permitted.
In a big day for the UAS industry, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the first round of winning participants in its highly-anticipated unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP). DOT also announced that two rulemaking publications have been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval: the long-awaited flights over people notice of proposed rulemaking and the FAA’s previously-announced advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on safe and secure UAS operations.
News outlets are reporting this week that Xcel Energy has received a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations beyond visual line of sight of the operator. Xcel CEO Ben Fowke explained to the press that Xcel will use the waiver “to conduct flights that will enhance grid reliability and safety for our employees and the public.” The company has touted the waiver as “unprecedented” and “groundbreaking.” But is this really uncharted territory for expanded UAS operations?
Numerous outlets are reporting that NASCAR contracted with a company called DroneShield to track and interdict unauthorized unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) at a recent race in Fort Worth, Texas. DroneShield itself announced that it deployed its solution to protect the race in partnership with a range of state and local Texas authorities, including the Texas State Department of Public Safety, the Denton County Sheriff, the Fort Worth Police Department, the Texas Rangers, and the Texas Forest Service.