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Category Archives: Aviation

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BREAKING: DOT Announces Plan to Require Registration of All Hobbyist and Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Yesterday, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a new plan that will require registration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, for both commercial and hobbyist use. While commercial UAS operators are currently required to register their UAS with the FAA, hobbyist operators are currently exempt from registration requirements.

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

The FAA announced today 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.

BREAKING: The FAA Proposes US$1.9 Million Civil Penalty Against SkyPan International, Inc. for Unauthorized Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Flights

The FAA has proposed a US$1.9 million civil penalty against SkyPan International, Inc. of Chicago for unauthorized UAS operations. According to the FAA’s press release, SkyPan conducted unauthorized commercial UAS flights in some of the nation’s most congested airspace and over two of its most heavily populated cities, violating airspace regulations and various operating rules.

Breaking News: New Drone Chiefs Appointed at FAA

Today, 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

Student Privacy and Drone Policy: Vote for Hogan Lovells at SXSW 2016

Austin, Texas is renowned for its live music scene, clean air, college vibe … and of course its technology conferences. Two Hogan Lovells Lawyers—Bret Cohen and Lisa Ellman—have made the list of finalists for panels at the South by Southwest group of conferences this upcoming March, to talk about Student Privacy and Domestic Drone Policy.

Hogan Lovells’ UAS Group Holds Workshop on the Regulatory, Business, and Financial Hurdles to Operating Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Silicon Valley

The Hogan Lovells Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Group recently held a workshop in Silicon Valley on the regulatory, business, and financial hurdles to operating unmanned aircraft systems. The event was of particular interest given the Federal Aviation Administration’s issuance of its notice of proposed rulemaking for small UAS operations on February 15 and the White House’s release on the same day of a presidential memorandum promoting economic competitiveness while safeguarding privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties in domestic use of UAS.

State Department Issues New Export Policy For Military UAS

On February 17, the State Department announced a new policy toward the export of U.S.-origin military and commercial Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). This new policy will allow the more widespread export of armed drones for the first time. The announcement by the State Department makes clear the new policy governs the international sale, transfer, and subsequent

Hogan Lovells Launches Unmanned Aircraft Systems Group

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are quickly becoming an important focus of businesses, governments, and individuals. For many years, Hogan Lovells’ top-rated Aviation practice has been serving aviation clients of all types, including a variety of aircraft operators and manufacturers.

Obama Administration Announces Comprehensive Reforms for Permitting Large Infrastructure Projects

On 14 May 2014, the Obama administration released a plan for improving the federal government’s review and permitting of large infrastructure projects (including surface and air transportation, renewable and conventional energy infrastructure, electricity transmission, water resource projects, ports and waterways, and broadband infrastructure). Read More: Obama Administration Announces Comprehensive Reforms for Permitting Large Infrastructure Projects

Time to Rethink UAS in the U.S.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) treatment of very small UAS is creating a serious problem. While the agency deserves considerable credit for its hard work on projects to transition to the integration of UAS with manned aircraft in the civil airspace, the FAA has been a bit tone deaf when it comes to treatment of

Wireless Avionics Intra-Communications Technology Not Slated for Takeoff Any Time Soon

Wireless avionics intra-communications (“WAIC”) technology holds the promise of a safer, more efficient international aviation fleet, but the slow pace of designating spectrum for the service and the possible need for the reallocation of additional spectrum may leave WAIC sitting on the tarmac until at least 2015. And absent broad international consensus, WAIC deployment may

U.S. Department of Transportation Issues Consent Order for Violations by JetBlue

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a consent order against JetBlue for multiple violations of the DOT’s consumer regulations, including (1) the full fare pricing rule, (2) the 24-hour cancellation/refund rule, and (3) the rules on advertising “free” travel.   JetBlueConsentOrder2013620 The DOT concluded that JetBlue had violated these rules, ordered the carrier to cease-and-desist

U.S. Department of Transportation Awards Slot Exemptions to Southwest Airlines

The U.S. Department of Transportation today awarded two within-perimeter slot exemptions to Southwest Airlines for nonstop service from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to Houston (Hobby). DOTOrder2013-5-6.  In making the award, the Department chose Southwest’s service proposal over JetBlue’s proposal for nonstop service to Jacksonville, Florida, and US Airways’ proposal for nonstop service to Oklahoma

U.S. Department of Transportation Imposes Consent Order on Southwest Airlines

 The U.S. Department of Transportation has entered a Consent Order against Southwest Airlines for failing to provide timely dispositive written responses to written complaints involving disabled travelers under 14 CFR Part 382 and for failing to provide timely substantive responses to complaints involving scheduled service under 14 CFR Part 259.  SouthwestDOTConsentOrder    As the Department explained, “Pursuant

FAA Issues Clarifications for New Flight, Duty, and Rest Requirements

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a lengthy document purporting to clarify certain issues raised regarding the new flight, duty, and rest requirements of 14 CFR Part 117.  FDRRPart117  The clarifications are meant to address a number of far-ranging issues that air carriers have raised since the Final Rule for new Part 117 was issued

U.S. Department of Transportation Issues Updated Guidance related to Charters

 The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued updated guidance regarding charter prospectus filings and charter operations.  This latest guidance was reportedly meant to address the inconveniences and issues that arose in connection with charter operator Direct Air’s cessation of service. Notice 380 jan14 2 website (5)  In addition, the Department has prepared draft “assurances” that will

Review of issues for 2013

The following is a summary of some of the key issues Congress and the Administration will be debating in 2013. Please contact us with any questions. We are happy to provide further analysis as well as insight into other areas of interest. Agriculture: Tom Vilsack is expected to stay on as Secretary of Agriculture. The

U.S. Department of Transportation Imposes Civil Penalty on Foreign Air Carrier for Failure to File Disability-Related Complaint Reports in a Timely Manner

The U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has imposed a civil penalty of $20,000 on AeroSvit, a foreign air carrier, for its failure to file required disability-related complaint reports in a timely manner.  AeroSvitConsentOrder Under 14 CFR § 382.157, a carrier covered by the regulation – including foreign air carriers operating passenger service to, from, or within the

U.S. Department of Transportation Imposes A $15,000 Civil Penalty on A Ticket Agent for Violating DOT’s New Full Fare Rule.

The U.S. Department of Transportation today imposed a civil penalty of $15,000 against FlightNetwork.com for violating the new full fare rule.  FlightNetworkOrder FlightNetwork is a ticket agent in Canada, whose primary customer base is in Canada, but it has sold some tickets to U.S. consumers.  Because it holds out air transportation to, from, or within

U.S. Department of Transportation Imposes $250,000 Civil Penalty on British Airways for Violations of Consumer Protection Rules

  The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today issued a Consent Order imposing a large civil penalty on British Airways for violations of its consumer protection rules.  DOT Order 2012-10-1   BritishAirwaysConsentOrder The Department concluded that British Airways had violated Article 17 (damaged/lost baggage) of the Montreal Convention by implementing a policy and tariffs whereby it