Tag Archives: Small UAV Coalition

UAV082 Reaction to the FAA’s NPRM for Commercial sUAS

NBC Exclusive Drone Footage Captures Frozen Niagara Falls

Companies, the press, and other interested parties have looked at the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for small UAS, and the response has been positive, but there is work to be done.

For documents related to the sUAS NPRM, visit regulations.gov and search for Docket FAA-2015-0150. At press time, the Recently Published Rulemaking Documents page still shows the NPRM as pending publication in the Federal Register, but a PDF of the NPRM is available.

News

FAA’s liberal proposed rules win allies in drone business

Jon Resnick, Policy and Marketing Representative in Washington for DJI says, “We are very pleased the FAA is taking a reasonable and practical approach to integrating commercial UAS into the National Air Space. We are very encouraged and stand ready to collaborate with the FAA to implement common-sense proposals as quickly as possible.”

Mark Dombroff, from law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge says, “My concern is that there will be people entering the UAS business who are attracted by the potential economics. This really requires aggressive monitoring and enforcement by the FAA to insure that the rules are observed.”

With new rules, the FAA and drone industry make up

“Drone advocates let out a collective sigh of relief as new commercial drone regulations are more industry-friendly than expected.”

Fortune says, the “FAA … is far more in tune with industry needs than many imagined.”

They call it “a promising sign.”

Matthew Bieschke, president of the UAS America Fund says, “I think the FAA has had a tremendously difficult job to do, and I think what they came out with over the weekend was surprising. It was less conservative than a lot of people in the industry thought it would be.”

Lisa Ellman, counsel and co-chair of the UAS Practice Group at the D.C. office of McKenna Long & Aldridge says, “People feared that the new process would look like the Section 333 exemption process up to and including the private pilot’s license requirement … so this is a huge, wonderful thing, this new UAS operator’s certificate. It will be relatively easy to get and will make drones broadly accessible.”

Brendan Schulman, head of the unmanned aircraft systems practice at New York City-based law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, says there are aspects of the Notice that the FAA got wrong: Limitations on academic research, night flying, and the height limitation.

Regarding drone-based delivery, Schulman says in an email to Fortune, “The proposal considers drone delivery to be air carriage subject to heightened regulatory standards outside the UAS proposal. That’s a legal distinction that made sense in the manned aircraft era but I am not sure why they are holding on to it. It strikes me as a real blow to Amazon and other companies that have been working on drone delivery projects.”

Amazon drone plans shot down by authorities

In the proposed regulations, operators of commercial sUAS must fly under “unaided” line of sight and not over people. This makes package delivery impossible. Amazon vice-president of global public policy Paul Misener told CNBC by email, “The FAA needs to begin and expeditiously complete the formal process to address the needs of our business, and ultimately our customers. We are committed to realizing our vision for Prime Air and are prepared to deploy where we have the regulatory support we need.”

Small UAV Coalition Applauds the FAA’S Release of the Proposed sUAS Rule as a Good First Step for Industry

In its press release, the Small UAV Coalition says, “We applaud the FAA for creating a flexible framework that appears to be risk-based, as we have advocated, and focused on the technological capabilities of UAVs, rather than simply adapting a set of rules from those currently governing manned aircraft.” And, “In particular, we support the FAA’s proposal not to require an airworthiness certificate for small UAVs, and to eliminate any requirement for a pilot to obtain manned aircraft flying experience or a medical exam.”

But the Coalition does have some issues with the proposal concerning line of sight, testing on private property, night flying, the altitude limit, and first person view.

President Obama Calls for Transparency in UAS Privacy Memo

President Barack Obama released a Presidential Memorandum to the heads of Executive Departments and Agencies: Promoting Economic Competitiveness While Safeguarding Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties in Domestic Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

Video of the Week

NBC Exclusive Drone Footage Captures Frozen Niagara Falls

Capturing the beauty of the frozen falls.

UAV063 A New UAV Coalition is Launched

Small UAV Coalition

The Small UAV Coalition launches, law enforcement using drones, UAVs showcased, a spat over the MQ-9 Reaper, GNSS developments, and logbooks for UAV pilots.

News

Small UAV Coalition formed to promote civil and commercial use of small UAVs

Eight companies have formally launched the Small UAV Coalition to facilitate the entry of small UAVs in the United States and abroad. The Coalition intends to advocate for commercial, consumer, recreational, and philanthropic use of UAVs by removing  “unnecessary policy or regulatory hurdles that impede small UAV development, sales, job creation, and services.”

Founding members of the Small UAV Coalition are: 3DR, Aerialtronics, Airware, Amazon Prime Air, DJI Innovations, Google[x]’s Project Wing, GoPro, and Parrot. Attorneys at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP support the Coalition.

North Dakota cops use a drone to nab three suspects in a cornfield

When a car was pulled over by the Grand Forks, North Dakota police department for drunk driving, the occupants ran into a cornfield. The police brought out their AeroVironment Qube quadcopter and quickly found several of them hiding in the corn.

Aeronautics unveils new Orbiter 3b UAV

Aeronautics has unveiled the Orbiter 3b, offering more range and endurance than the previous model.

The Orbiter Mini UAV System is designed for use in Military and Homeland Security missions such as over the hill reconnaissance, low intensity conflicts, and urban warfare operations, as well as close range ISR.

It is catapult-launched from a vehicle, and recovery is by parachute and airbag.

Air Force rebuts Defense Department report on planned Reaper buys

The U.S. Defense Department Inspector General issued a report critical of the Air Force acquisition program for the MQ-9 Reaper.

The Air Force wants to spend $76.8 billion to buy 401 Reapers, but the IG says Air Combat Command didn’t obtain the proper approval or perform a verifiable analyses of number of Reapers to buy.

The Air Force issued a statement on their website titled, Air Force rebuts report due to outdated data, saying the IG report “is based on data that is out of date.”

UAVs at INTERGEO: Applanix, Others Announce GNSS-Guided Systems

A special session at the InterGEO conference and exhibition in Berlin, Germany, “UAVs in Practice,” gave attendees an opportunity to see systems for aerial surveying and mapping, environmental monitoring, and other civil applications.

Manufacturers at the show were mainly from Germany and other European countries.

Applanix Corporation from Canada announced its new APX-15 UAV GNSS-Inertial System. This reduces Ground Control Points (GCPs) and sidelap.

Germany-based Aibotix GmbH showed their Aibot-X6 V2, a six-rotor UAV with navigation by a GPS receiver integrated with gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, magnetometers, and ultrasonic sensors.

The Hirrus Mini UAV System from Teamnet International can carry CCD or IR video cameras, photo cameras, radiation detectors, and other sensors.

Videos of the Week

Incredible Close-Up Drone Video of an Erupting Volcano in Iceland

Watch a brave drone get dramatically close to an erupting volcano

Mentions

14 CFR 61.51 – Pilot logbooks – In the U.S., the FAA prescribes the Federal Aviation Regulations, or FARs, part of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). 14 CFR 61.51 describes the pilot logbook requirements for manned aircraft. They may provide some clues as to what to expect should the FAA ultimately require logbooks for unmanned aircraft.

Going electronic with logbooks  This AOPA article describes some pilot logbook apps.

The Best Electronic Pilot Logbook – Reviews by Pilotman Aviation & Pilots Network

Pilot Pro Logbook – A cloud-based pilot logbook

Pilots of America Forum – A forum thread about electronic logbooks

Watch the Navy’s New Unmanned Swarm Boats In Action

Drones and the magical age of aviation