The accessibility of drones to the consumer and commercial marketplaces effectuate an opportunity for innovation in a wide range of commercial applications.
Drones have arrived. Mudd Law provides representation to individuals and businesses seeking to use drones in a wide variety of consumer and commercial contexts. Until recently, the regulation of drones - or unmanned aircraft systems ("UAS") - seemed non-existent. However, with the increase of drones and their impact on existing airspace, the federal government and many local governments have responded with requirements directed toward consumer and commercial drones.
To begin with, any drone falling within the weight class of .55 lbs and 55 lbs must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA"). For certain drones and operators, the FAA has made this process relatively straightforward and avaiable online.
Further, the FAA has implemented its final regulations on commercial drone use. To operate a drone for commercial purpose, an operator must obtain a drone pilot license.
Should the intended commercial use of the drone fall within applicable criteria, the FAA allows commercial use without any exemption process (the former Section 333 exemption process is no longer applicable). Should the intended commercial use of drones fall outside the applicable criteria, the commercial operator must obtain an exemption under applicable rules (currently, Rule 107).
Beyond registering drones, obtaining a drone pilot license, and ensuring compliance with applicable criteria or obtaining an exemption, any drone operator must also consider any local and state regulation of the physical space in which one intends to fly a drone (parks, beaches, over buildings, etc.).
Our drone lawyers will work with drone operators to ensure compliance with federal and local regulations. Where necessary, our drone attorneys can work with commercial operators to obtain exemotions where necessary. Further, we work with municipalities in guiding the drafting and implementation of drone laws.
Beyond general compliance, there will be issues that arise in any number of contexts that will require consultation with drone attorneys. Whether it involve privacy of those being filmed, entry into private property, intellectual property of the matter filmed, liability for injuries, or other issues, our firm provides our clients with consultation and representation.
Registration of drones will avoid penalties, arguably limit potential liability, and help ensure the safety of our shared airspace.
FAA regulations have eased the requirements for commercial peration of a drone.
Where drafting drone ordinances, municipalities must understand the constraints imposed by federal regulation of airspace and consider the balance between competing interests.