All tagged UAS

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.

Where the FCC Looks for UAS Spectrum Advice

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the federal agency responsible for implementing America’s communications laws, including developing rules related to commercial and state and local spectrum use.  But you may not realize that much of the FCC’s important spectrum work, particularly with respect to innovative technologies, is aided by the Technological Advisory Council (TAC).  The TAC is an advisory committee comprised of experts from government and industry that helps the FCC develop informed technology policies.  And for the past couple of years, the TAC has been looking at spectrum for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (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.