‘Commercial use of small drones now legal in the US’

‘Commercial use of small drones now legal in the US’

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US: Commercial use of small drones is now legal in the US. National Transportation Safety Board Judge Patrick Geraghty, has ruled that the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) six-year ban on drone flying isn't legally binding, which means that people are now allowed to fly small UAVs. The ruling follows a lawsuit in which the FAA fined a drone operator $10,000 for using a drone to make a commercial for the University of Virginia. It was the FAA’s only such fine against a commercial drone operator. The operator and his lawyer fought the fine on the grounds that the FAA had yet to make an official regulation on model aircraft such as the drone used in this situation. The federal judge with the National Transportation safety board sided with the plaintiff despite the FAA’s claim that the operator had been careless and reckless and did not qualify as a hobbyist.

The judge noted that the FAA has not issued an enforceable Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) regulatory rule governing model aircraft operation; has historically exempted model aircraft from the statutory FAR definitions of aircraft by relegating model aircraft operations to voluntary compliance with the guidance expressed in the 2007 policy notice, Respondent’s model aircraft operation was not subject to FAR regulation and enforcement. While the drone industry is ready to launch, the FAA is yet to institute official regulations governing the use of commercial drones. In 2012, congress instructed the agency to write such rules by December 2015, but reports state that the FAA will not meet that deadline.

Source: Tech crunch