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Tag Archives: FAA

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Spectrum Photo of Trey HanburyPhoto of Ari Fitzgerald

FCC Issues Public Notice on Spectrum Allocations for UAS Operations

The FCC recently issued a Public Notice that sought comment on whether to make the 960-1164 MHz and 5030-5091 MHz bands available to support unmanned aerial system operations (UAS). The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 required the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the FCC to submit a report to Congress on whether to allow UAS communications in these frequencies. The joint agency report must discuss: (1) whether the FCC should permit, but not require, UAS operations in these bands on an unlicensed, shared,

Posted in Drones Photo of Mark BrennanPhoto of Lisa EllmanPhoto of Trey Hanbury

No Fly Zone: FCC Proposes $2.8 Million Penalty for Marketing Non-Compliant Drone AV Accessories

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to bring a $2.8 million penalty against HobbyKing for marketing drone-attachable audio/video (AV) transmitters that operate on unauthorized frequencies. For marketers and retailers of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) and attachable devices, this penalty signals that the FCC is cracking down on the makers and marketers of noncompliant UAS and UAS-attachable devices. This penalty also serves as a reminder to operators, who are required to have an FCC license to operate a drone, even if it only operates on amateur frequencies. According the FCC’s Notice of

Posted in Drones

DC Court of Appeals Strikes Down FAA Drone Registration Rule for Hobbyist

In a ruling issued last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the FAA’s Registration Rule for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) that are operated for recreational purposes, otherwise known as “model aircraft.” If the ruling stands, hobbyist and recreational drone enthusiasts will no longer be required to register their drones with the FAA.  The ruling does not affect existing requirements for commercial operators to register their UAS with the FAA. In response to news events involving careless operators misusing drones, including crashes

Posted in Drones, Policy & Regulation Photo of Falk SchoeningPhoto of Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)

Sky full of drones – Germany opens up for new drone opportunities as it introduces its new UAS Regulation

Germany has introduced a new “Regulation for the Operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems” (“Drone-Regulation“). On 7 April 2017, the new Drone-Regulation entered into force adapting national legislation to the risk-based approach of the European Union and setting the way for innovative technologies. However, the new rules also contain identification and qualification obligations as well as strict authorisation requirements for specific operations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”). Some aspects of Germany’s new UAS regulations parallel the Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA”) Small UAS Rule (Part 107) that went into effect in the

Posted in Drones, Policy & Regulation Photo of Lisa EllmanPhoto of Patrick R. RizziPhoto of E. Tazewell Ellett

Big News: Proposed Small UAS Rule for Flights Over People at White House for Review

White House Open to Stakeholder Meetings about Drone Operations Over People In a major new development, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has just sent to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) the proposed rulemaking for performance-based standards and means-of-compliance for the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or “drones”) over unsheltered people not directly participating in the operation. This is big news and an important step in moving drone policymaking forward. As most of you likely know, the current Part 107, which went into effect

Posted in Drones Photo of Lisa EllmanPhoto of Patrick R. Rizzi

Part 107 Progress Report: How’s It Going?

It’s now been over two months since Part 107, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new rule for the first time broadly authorizing commercial drone operations in the United States, went into effect.  The commercial drone industry has hailed the rule as a critical step forward, and indeed it is.  Drone operations that comply with the rule’s flight restrictions – including generally traveling no higher than 400 feet, within visual line of sight, away from people and during daytime hours – can now benefit a range of industries in innovative ways. But the

Posted in Drones, Policy & Regulation Photo of Lisa EllmanPhoto of Patrick R. Rizzi

Drones on Campus: Navigating the FAA’s New Small UAS Rule

On September 21, Hogan Lovells’ Unmanned Aircraft Systems lawyers Lisa Ellman, Patrick Rizzi, Matthew Clark, and Elizabeth Meer presented a webinar on Drones on Campus: Navigating the FAA’s New Small UAS Rule. Colleges and universities across the country are finding new and innovative ways to use unmanned aircraft or “drones.” To name just a few, higher education institutions are using drones to support research and learning in areas like precision agriculture, wildlife habitat monitoring, and aerial surveying and mapping. They are using drones to film football practices, inspect their infrastructure,

Posted in Drones Photo of Lisa EllmanPhoto of Jared Bomberg

The Federal Aviation Administration’s De Facto Drone Privacy Standards

On August 29, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA”) long-awaited small unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS” or “drone”) rule went into effect, for the first time broadly authorizing commercial drone operations.  This is a positive step, as drones have great safety and efficiency benefits for the public.  Nevertheless, the American public remains concerned about drone privacy issues. The prevailing thinking among privacy watchers is that the FAA punted on the issue of drone privacy standards in the rule.  The rule does not include privacy-specific standards, and the FAA unequivocally stated that

Posted in Drones

Hogan Lovells assists CNN to become first US company granted right to fly Unmanned Aircraft Systems ‘over people’

Hogan Lovells announced on 29 August 2016, that it successfully assisted CNN in its receipt of a first of its kind waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to legally fly unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) across the country for news gathering and reporting activities ‘over people.’ CNN’s success comes at a critical moment for the UAS industry. Part 107 of the Small UAS Rule became effective — for the first time broadly allowing commercial use of UAS in the United States.  However, under the rule UAS flights directly over people are still prohibited

Posted in Drones Photo of E. Tazewell EllettPhoto of Lisa Ellman

US: A Historic Day for Commercial Drones: Part 107 Takes Flight

Until this week, any company looking to fly drones to enhance its business operations – whether for disaster response, infrastructure inspection, agriculture, newsgathering, filmmaking, aerial photography, or anything else – had to apply for a special exemption from the FAA. That “Section 333 Exemption” approval process was burdensome and costly, and constrained true expansion within the drone industry. That has changed effective August 29th. We have reached a milestone for the industry, as the final rule for the operation and certification of small UAS (Part 107) has officially gone into effect –

Posted in Drones Photo of Patrick R. Rizzi

Drones on Campus: FAA Opens Door to Expanded Student Drone Use in the Classroom

Colleges and universities across the country are finding new and innovative ways to use drones in the classroom.  To name just a few, institutions of higher education are using drones to support research and learning in areas like precision agriculture, wildlife habitat monitoring, and aerial surveying and mapping. While speaking at the AUVSI annual conference in New Orleans this morning, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced the release of a new Legal Interpretation that will expand the scope of permissible UAS operations by students and educational institutions.  The FAA’s principal conclusions

Posted in Drones, Policy & Regulation Photo of Lisa EllmanPhoto of E. Tazewell Ellett

Senate Advances FAA Reauthorization Legislation with Passage of Bill

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization legislation took a major step forward on April 19th as the Senate overwhelmingly passed its bill 95-3. Although it is only an 18 month bill (the measure authorizes FAA programs until Sept. 30, 2017), the bill includes many reforms that impact airlines, airports, aircraft manufacturers, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) manufacturers and operators, and airline passengers. The bill aims to enhance airport security, and streamline the process for certifying new safety systems for aircraft. In addition, it seeks to increase consumer protections for passengers and

Posted in Drones, Policy & Regulation

Moving UAS Policy Boundaries Forward: Flights Near People (Take-Two)

Last week the FAA announced the creation of a new aviation rulemaking (ARC) committee to study and recommend rules for authorizing some unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) to fly over people.  The task force will be composed of various industry stakeholders, including UAS manufacturers, operators, academics and trade organizations.  The recommendations made by this task force, and the rules ultimately adopted by the FAA for operating UAS over people, could significantly affect not only how UAS are manufactured, but where and how commercial UAS operators can fly. In the FAA’s

Posted in Drones Photo of Lisa Ellman

FAA Warns State and Local Governments on Impermissible Regulation of UAS

The FAA’s Office of Chief Counsel released new guidance for state and local government authorities as they increasingly seek to regulate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones. The FAA’s State and Local Regulation of UAS Fact Sheet provides basic information about the federal regulatory framework for use by states and localities when considering proposing legislation or ordinances that would affect the use of UAS. In response to a flurry of local and state UAS policy proposals, the FAA clarified that “A consistent regulatory system for aircraft and use of airspace has

Posted in Drones Photo of Lisa EllmanPhoto of E. Tazewell EllettPhoto of Patrick R. Rizzi

FAA Releases Rule on UAS Registration Requirements

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that nearly 800,000 small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, will be sold this holiday season, and expects sales of an additional 1.9 million UAS to hobbyist and recreational users in 2016. Over the past year we have witnessed a surge in news events involving careless operators misusing drones, including crashes at stadium sporting events and hundreds of incidents involving close-encounters between UAS and manned aircraft. In response to these recent news reports, the Department of Transportation (DOT) created a registration task force charged

Posted in Policy & Regulation Photo of Lisa Ellman

Former Obama advisor shares insights on drone transactions

Lisa Ellman, a former advisor to the Obama administration on innovation and emerging technology, former head of drone policy for the Department of Justice, and now a Partner in our Washington, D.C. office and head of the firm’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Group, speaks about drone deals, valuation and regulatory trends. Click here for our recent update on drone transactions, as published in our Global Media and Communications Quarterly  

Posted in Drones Photo of E. Tazewell EllettPhoto of Lisa EllmanPhoto of Patrick R. Rizzi

FAA Task Force Recommends Sweeping UAS Registration Requirements

As previously reported here and here, a month ago on October 19, 2015, the Department of Transportation (DOT) created a registration task force (RTF) charged with making recommendations to the FAA on what mandatory registration of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including those used for recreational or hobby use, should look like. Yesterday, the FAA publicly released the RTF’s much-anticipated final recommendations report. Here are the key highlights from the RTF’s report to the FAA:

Posted in Drones Photo of Lisa EllmanPhoto of Patrick R. Rizzi

Moving UAS Policy Forward: FAA Expands Pathfinder Program to Enhance Drone Detection Efforts Near Airports

The FAA announced on Wednesday that it is expanding its UAS Pathfinder Program to include an agreement with CACI International Inc. to evaluate how the company’s technology can help detect UAS in the vicinity of airports. Launched in May of this year, the FAA’s Pathfinder Program allows the FAA to collaborate with industry partners to explore the future of UAS operations beyond what the FAA initially proposed in the small UAS rule released earlier this year. Testifying before the House Aviation Subcommittee, FAA Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker said that flying

Posted in Drones Photo of Lisa Ellman

New Drone Chiefs Appointed at FAA

The FAA announced a long-awaited development: Two officials have been appointed to manage and coordinate the agency’s policymaking on domestic integration of UAS into our national airspace. Read More: Breaking News: New Drone Chiefs Appointed at FAA

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy Photo of Jared Bomberg

NTIA Multistakeholder Process For Unmanned Aircraft Systems Takes Flight

On Monday, August 3, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) kicked off the multistakeholder process to develop best practices for commercial and private unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) use. As we previously reported, the NTIA action follows the White House’s February 15, 2015, Presidential Memorandum directing NTIA to lead private sector groups toward the creation of commercial UAS standards and the NTIA’s request for comments on privacy, transparency, and accountability issues related to the use of UAS. The stated purpose of the meeting was to establish a common level of

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy

An Important Step Forward in the UAS Privacy Debate: NTIA Announces First Stakeholder Meeting

Across the country, we’re in the midst of “Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”) fever” – industries from media, agriculture and energy to insurance, real estate and construction are seeking FAA approvals to fly UAS in the United States. UAS technology has improved at a rapid pace, and offer a vast array of safety and efficiency benefits to companies for a wide variety of uses. But while the benefits from commercial uses of UAS are great, many have also been vocal with their privacy concerns. It may very well be that for industry