U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Releases Proposed Regulations for the Commercial Operation of Unmanned Aerial Systems

Contact: Robert J. Williams; Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP (Delaware & Pennsylvania, USA)


In a surprise move during Presidents’ Day weekend, the Federal Aviation Administration released long-awaited proposed regulations for the commercial operation of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The draft regulations prompted a collective sigh of relief by UAS advocates, as they are significantly less onerous than feared. The sudden disclosure may have been prompted by Saturday’s apparently inadvertent posting on www.regulations.gov of a 79-page report by the FAA’s Economic Analysis Division regarding integration of small UAS into the National Airspace System (also known as the Thurston Report). That report almost immediately was removed from the government’s website, but was followed quickly on Sunday by a press conference hosted by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

The FAA is touting the proposed regulations as safe, simple and flexible. They are intended to ensure separation from all other aircraft, while mitigating risk to people and property on the ground. By making them simple and flexible, the FAA hopes to provide certainty and facilitate compliance by UAS operators.

Read the full alert.

This summary of legal issues is published for informational purposes only. It does not dispense legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship with those who read it. Readers should obtain professional legal advice before taking any legal action.

Schnader’s Aviation Group is an experienced, highly regarded and dynamic team of aviation professionals with a demonstrated track record for consistently favorable and cost-effective results in state and federal courts throughout the country. In addition to our aviation product liability, insurance coverage, airline and airport work, we have drafted several petitions for Section 333 Exemptions for the commercial operation of UAS.

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Robert J. Williams, Chair, Aviation Group

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