All tagged UAS

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.”

Game of Drones: The ULC Enters Its Final Season

Over the past couple of years, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC)’s work on drone tort law has become a topic of conversation and careful attention throughout the unmanned aircraft system (UAS or drone) community.  Last year, the ULC considered a draft uniform drone tort law that would have jeopardized the future of the UAS industry, which sparked widespread concern; this year, going into its final meeting, the ULC’s drafting Committee has worked hard to address the issues raised by industry and government stakeholders and is proposing a substantially revised draft.  

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.

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. 

Where’s My Drone Delivery?

This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Uber is planning to start deploying unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, commonly called drones) for delivery to consumers “as soon as next year and commercially operational in multiple markets by 2021.”  There is speculation this initiative could be tied to UberEats, the company’s prepared food delivery business.  As excited as we all are for flying burritos in 2019, this latest drone delivery news raises the question: what is taking so long for drone delivery to get off the ground?