Category Archives: legal

We Owe a Great Debt to the Academy of Model Aeronautics

Our partner site, Drone Racing life published an article USDRA Chairman Dave Shevett wrote regarding the AMA. Folks should check it out, it’s good stuff…

Eventually, the drone pilots and the AMA started talking to each other, and realized everyone was on the same side. All it took was an understanding that enthusiasts and builders want to have fun and be safe. It soon came clear is there was a common cause for both the AMA and the new drone community. The public, the press, and the government were all forming their own ideas about what our hobby was about, and the ‘risks’ they saw with it, and in our eyes… it didn’t match with what we all knew.

Full article on DroneRacingLife.com…

FAA Posts Final UAS Rules

The FAA has released the final draft on the “part 107” rule set for drones and unattended aircraft.

The important part for most drone racers / enthusiasts is this:

Part 107 will not apply to model aircraft. Model aircraft operators must continue to satisfy all the criteria specified in Section 336 of Public Law 112-95 (PDF) (which will now be codified in Part 101), including the stipulation they be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes.

The included Section part 336 there is important, as that is what the AMA and other model aircraft enthusiasts settled in as ‘established law’ regarding remote control aircraft. This ruling, at least by our reading, seems to set things back where they were before the discussions started up again, which is good news.

The full FCC Press release is on the FAA.gov website.

FAA Implements Drone Registration

2015-09-273.jpgAs the USDRA predicted a few weeks ago, the FAA has announced the final details and launch date for online Drone Registration. The details are about as expected; using an online registration system a pilot will receive an identification number that must be visible on the craft. The registration number can be used on any number of hobbyist-built/owned craft owned by a single pilot. These rules are required for anything over 250 grams, which covers most racing quads.

According to the press release

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced a streamlined and user-friendly web-based aircraft registration process for owners of small unmanned aircraft (UAS) weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms) including payloads such as on-board cameras.

The site isn’t active yet – it will go live on December 21st. For the first 30 days, registration will be free. After that, it will be $5. Registrations are valid for 3 years.

FAA Registration Recommendations are now available

Sign here…

The task force making recommendations regarding Drone Registration have published a paper outlining their findings.

The USDRA, while not on the advisory panel, did submit a paper to the panel recommending a very easy, self serve registration process, and it looks like the task force has come through with a well thought out, balanced set of guidelines for the FAA to use when implementing the process.

Some brief notes – again, these are recommendations, not ‘rules’.  They have not been adopted into law yet…

  • Drones less than 250g are exempt
  • Registration is immediate and free. An online form with a name and an address will get you a registration number, which you can apply to your sUAS and go flying immediately.
  • Registrants must be at least 13 years old
  • A serial number is not required, so home built craft may be registered, as long as the registration number is easily visible on the craft.

The full PDF is available on the FAA website.

FAA Open Comment Period

The FAA has opened up it’s comment period on the new proposal for registering UAV’s. Under the tongue-bending title “Clarification of the Applicability of Aircraft Registration Requirements for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Request for Information Regarding Electronic Registration for UAS”, the site is now looking for comments and feedback on the proposal. If you have an opinion on this topic, now is the time to voice it!

FAA To Roll Out Drone Registration

The FAA and US Transportation Association announced this week that in the next 30 days they will be making a recommendation on how to implement drone registration :

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta today announced the creation of a task force to develop recommendations for a registration process for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

The USDRA is supportive of this process, and believes the FAA is acting in the best interest of the public. We have reached out to the FAA requesting that we have input into the decision process, so that the racing community will not be adversely affected by any new rules that are forthcoming.

California SB-142 Anti-Drone Bill Yas Been Vetoed

We talked about California Bill SB-142 previously here.  Well, according to Petapixel, the bill has been vetoed by California Governor Jerry Brown:

On Wednesday, September 9th, Governor brown vetoed the bill, arguing that the law would expose drone operators to “burdensome litigation and new causes of action.”

While this is a win for Drone operators everywhere, it will surely not be the last attempt to restrict drone usage.