FAA and UAVs

Leah GuffeyAerial Application, Aerial Imagery, UAV

_DSC0034Concern about regulations for the commercial use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was a big topic at last week’s 2014 Precision Aerial Ag Show (PAAS) in Decatur, Illinois.

I had a chance to chat with Brendan Schulman of Kramer Levin Law in New York, New York about his win against the FAA regarding a UAV flight for the filming of a commercial in Virginia. It was the first time that the FAA had imposed a fine for flying a UAV on the basis that it was “too aggressive, too close to the ground.” Schulman says they successfully defended against the penalty arguing that there is “no existing regulation concerning this kind of device.” The case is currently pending before the National Transportation Safety Board so it will have national significance.

Schulman spoke to attendees at PAAS about the status of FAA regulation of UAVs and how they relate to ownership of airspace above private land. “There is thought that needs to be given to what rights a landowner has over the immediate airspace,” he said. “If the intent is to fly a camera 20 feet above the corn fields, there’s an argument that’s private airspace and not necessarily placed into the jurisdiction of the FAA to regulate.”

This is important information for farmers and ranchers to know! [wpaudio url=”http://www.zimmcomm.biz/precision/paas-14-schulman.mp3″ text=”Interview with attorney Brendan Schulman on UAVs and the FAA”]