All tagged FAA

UAS Drone Delivery Gets Off the Ground

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that on September 27, it awarded a Part 135 Standard air carrier certification to the UPS drone subsidiary UPS Flight Forward, the first such certification awarded to an unmanned aircraft system (UAS or, more commonly, drone) delivery service.  This certification permits UPS Flight Forward to make deliveries using drones flying beyond visual line of sight.   

House Hearing on FAA Reauthorization Focuses on UAS Implementation Delays

On Thursday, September 26, 2019, the Subcommittee on Aviation of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on the implementation of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. The first panel included Daniel Elwell, Deputy Administrator of the FAA, and the Honorable Joel Szabat, Acting Undersecretary for Policy at the DOT. Joining the Deputy Administrator and the Acting Undersecretary were Lirio Liu, Acting Deputy Associate Administrator of the FAA, and Blaine Workie, the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings at the Department of Transportation.

There’s Bipartisan Agreement that Remote ID Is Taking Way Too Long

Last week, the Department of Transportation’s Report on Significant Rulemakings revealed that the timing for issuance of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Remote ID for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or drones) had slipped again, this time from September to December 2019. Speaking at a conference in Seattle yesterday, FAA Chief Counsel Arjun Garg emphasized that the FAA remained committed to issuing the Remote ID NPRM as soon as possible, but that they “want to get it done right,” and no one would benefit from an NPRM that failed to address all of the relevant issues. 

It Turns Out that Using Drones to Smuggle Drugs is Illegal

In an innovative use of existing criminal statutes, the US Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia has secured a guilty plea from a man accused of planning to use an unmanned aircraft system (UAS or drone) to smuggle marijuana into a state prison.  The crime?  A federal charge under 49 USC § 46306 (b)(6) and (c)(2), which makes it unlawful to “knowingly and willfully operate[] or attempt[] to operate an aircraft eligible for registration knowing that” the aircraft is not registered, and which imposes a five year prison sentence if the offense is “related to transporting a controlled substance by aircraft.”

Getting Down to Business: FAA UAS Symposium Promotes Existing Regulatory Frameworks and DAC Meeting Focuses on Remote ID, Counter-UAS

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) held the fourth annual UAS Symposium in Baltimore.  Following that three-day conference, on Thursday the Drone Advisory Committee (DAC)—the federal advisory committee that advises the FAA on UAS regulatory and policy issues—held its first meeting following the appointment of 12 new members last month. 

What You Need to Know About FAA’s Three New Rulemakings

On February 13, 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published (1) a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the Operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) over People; (2) an advanced NPRM (ANPRM) on the Safe and Secure Operations of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems; and (3) an Interim Final Rule (IFR) on an External Marking Requirement for Small Unmanned Aircraft. Comments are due for the NPRM and the ANPRM in 60 days. Comments are due for the IFR in 30 days, and the IFR becomes effective in 10 days.

The FAA’s Long-Awaited NPRM and ANPRM Have Arrived

Despite the government shutdown, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finally released two highly-anticipated rulemaking documents related to commercial unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations.  Yesterday, the agency published a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (draft NPRM) on the Operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems over People and a draft advanced NPRM (draft ANPRM) on the Safe and Secure Operations of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. 

Rogue Drones Force Gatwick Airport Closure: Is the U.S. Equipped to Handle a Similar Situation?

Although we would rather be writing about the UK’s first drone delivery using 4G networks earlier this week – both groundbreaking and seasonal, as the Vodafone drone was dressed up as Santa’s sleigh –  rogue drone operators elsewhere in the country have forced us to change course and think about the threats drones can pose to airports.  Major news outlets are reporting that Gatwick Airport, the second-largest airport in the UK, was forced to close last night due to unidentified drones being spotted near the runway.