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Category Archives: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

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Real-name registration requirement imposed for civilian-use drones in China

Following serious incidents of civilian drones entering the airspace of Chinese airports and causing flight delays last April, China’s civil aviation authority has issued the Real-name Registration of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Administrative Provisions, with effect from May 16, 2017, in an effort to increase accountability for drone use by requiring owners and manufacturers of civilian-use unmanned aircraft systems to complete “real-name” registration procedures.

BREAKING: U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Strikes Down FAA Drone Registration Rule for Hobbyist

In a ruling issued today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia vacated the FAA’s Registration Rule for small unmanned aircraft (UAS or drones) that are operated for recreational purposes, otherwise known as “model aircraft.” If the ruling stands, hobbyist and recreational drone enthusiast will no longer be required to register their drones with the FAA. The ruling does affect requirements for commercial operators to register their UAS with the FAA.

New EASA Consultation: Are Drone Pilots Heading for a Period of Regulatory Turbulence?

On 12 May 2017 the European Aviation Safety Agency (“EASA”) opened a consultation regarding sweeping new regulations on the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS” or drones) in European airspace. Individuals and companies that are interested in the future of UAS operations in the European Union (“EU”) should carefully review the Notice of Proposed Amendment and consider participating in the review process by submitting comments and letting EASA know their views on all aspects of the proposed regulations.
Under current regulations, EASA only regulates large UAS with a take-off weight of 150kg or more and the regulation of UAS weighting less than 150 kg is reserved to Member States. The European Commission and European Parliament are currently trying to extend the EU’s regulatory competences (jurisdiction) to include authority over all UAS weighing more than 250g. EASA’s new proposal will likely spur debate among industry stakeholders over whether this new and innovative technology should be regulated more broadly by EASA or by the individual Member States.

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

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

In a major new development, the 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 so-called “drones”) over unsheltered people not directly participating in the operation.

The European Parliament pushes for an EU-wide regulation for UAS

The split of competences between the European Union (“EU”) and its Member States has been a point of friction in the setting out of the future European rules on unmanned aircraft system (“UAS”). In December 2015, the European Commission advocated in its Aviation Strategy for the need for a common regulatory framework across the EU to ensure a single European UAS market. The European Aviation Safety Agency (“EASA”), headquartered in Cologne (Germany), would play a crucial role in defining the common European standards.

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. 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 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations by students and educational institutions.

Big News: Small UAS Rule at OIRA for Final Review

In a major new development, the FAA has sent the Small UAS NPRM to the White House for a final interagency review.  This means that a final small UAS rule is coming soon – and that NOW is the last opportunity to influence the rule before it is released. Before any significant regulatory action takes

FAA Task Force Unveils Recommendations for UAS Flights Over People

Across the country and around the world, companies are more excited than ever about the benefits unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) can offer. This is evidenced by the large number of Section 333 Exemptions that have been authorized by the FAA—over 4,500 as of today. Last February the FAA published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making