Category Archives: Regulatory Matters

UAE to Charge $14k p.a. Fee for Commercial Operators

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Commercial operators of drones in the UAE have to shell out a fee of $13,624 (AED50,000) per year, according to the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operators using drone for non-commercial purpose are charged $1,107 (AED4,063) a year though the operator has to pay $273 (AED1,000) every 90 days.  The fee for UAS training entities has also been set at $13,624 (AED50,000), but for five years.  Continue reading

Time to Build an Australian National Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) System

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The Australian Association of Certified UAV Operators (ACUO) is calling for the Federal Government to launch a program to design, develop and implement a continent-wide unmanned traffic management (UTM) system as the only viable means of achieving the safe integration of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) – called drones by the general public – into national airspace. Continue reading

Restrictions on Use of UAVs in US Antarctic Program

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Due to the potential operational, environmental and safety hazards posed to Antarctic activities by the operation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the use of any UAV, drone, or remotely piloted aircraft in Antarctica by U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) personnel is prohibited without specific authorization from the National Science Foundation (NSF) . Continue reading

The Space Between: Who Controls the Airspace Where Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Fly?

By Joshua S. Turner, partner and co-chair of the UAS Practice, and John T. Lin, associate in the Telecom, Media & Technology Practice, at Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, DC

 No one disputes that the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over “navigable air space,” which has historically begun “above the minimum safe altitudes of flight,” including the airspace needed to ensure safety in the takeoff and landing of aircraft.  The FAA generally sets the minimum safe altitude as “500 feet above the surface [of non-congested areas], except over open water or sparsely populated areas.”  Continue reading

FAA Settles with Skypan on Airspace Violations

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has  announced a comprehensive settlement agreement with SkyPan International, Inc., of Chicago. The agreement resolves enforcement cases that alleged the company operated unmanned aircraft (UAS) in congested airspace over New York City and Chicago, and violated airspace regulations and aircraft operating rules.  Continue reading