Policy & Regulation

August 10, 2018

General Atomics signs deal to expand North Dakota facilities

BY Patrick C. MillerLinden Blue, CEO of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., announced that the company will more than triple the size of its operations at the Grand Sky UAS park in North Dakota. He attended an event there with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. READ MORE

August 01, 2018

UAS attorneys advise against shooting down drones

BY Patrick C. MillerUAS attorneys Josh Turner and Sara Baxenberg with the Wiley Rein law firm in Washington, D.C., advise against acting on the urge to shoot down bothersome drones. Laws and regulations have yet to catch up with the technology, they say. READ MORE

August 01, 2018

FAA issues more than 100,000 remote pilot certificates

BY Patrick C. MillerThe FAA has issued more than 100,000 remote pilot certificates to drone pilots since the agency's small drone rule went into effect in August 2016, which also means that those receiving certificates in 2016 will soon need to renew them. READ MORE

July 31, 2018

Police Foundation launches new center for UAS in public safety

BY Police Foundation The goal of the Police Foundation Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Public Safety is to help law enforcement navigate the equally important community policing aspects of adopting the technology. READ MORE

July 31, 2018

US Army selects Raytheon for near-term counter-UAS mission

BY Raytheon Raytheon is finalizing development of advanced Coyote variants that will fly faster and farther. Because of an urgent operational need, the Army is expected to use Coyote as a counter-UAS solution before the end of the year. READ MORE

July 31, 2018

Survey shows drone adoption rate by farmers

BY Luke GeiverAccording to a study recently unveiled by Munich Reinsurance America Inc., nearly three-fourths of all U.S. farmers are currently using or considering adopting the technology to assess, monitor or manage their farms. READ MORE

July 18, 2018

Echodyne adds small, affordable radar to counter-UAS technology

BY Patrick C. MillerEchodyne took radar technology previously available only for use on military fighter jets and missile defense systems and made it small enough and inexpensive enough to mount on drones or to detect drones for counter-UAS applications. READ MORE

July 17, 2018

FAA hosts webinars on obtaining waiver for drone night flights

BY Patrick C. MillerThe Federal Aviation Administration is hosting a two-part webinar for drone pilots interested in obtaining a waiver to fly at night. The Dark Night Part: 1 is July 24 and Part 2 is July 26. READ MORE

July 13, 2018

General Atomics' unmanned trans-Atlantic flight makes history

BY Patrick C. MillerA General Atomics SkyGuardian on July 11 became the first medium-altitude, long endurance unmanned aircraft to complete a flight across the Atlantic. It left North Dakota on July 10 and landed a day later at an RAF air base in the the U.K. READ MORE

July 05, 2018

FAA seeks commercial UAS operator input

BY Federal Aviation Administration The Federal Aviation Administration is asking commercial drone operators to complete a survey that will help the agency improve the services it delivers to the UAS community. Responses are voluntary, anonymous and entered electronically. READ MORE

June 29, 2018

Facebook ends solar-powered Aquila UAS project

BY Patrick C. MillerFour years after starting an attempt to build its own high-altitude, solar-powered UAS as part of an effort to provide global internet connectivity, Facebook announced that it's shutting down the Aquila project based in Bridgwater, U.K. READ MORE

June 20, 2018

$5.9M project to study drones used for traffic management

BY Ohio State University Low-altitude drones will monitor traffic and incident response along the U.S. 33 Smart Mobility Corridor, a 35-mile stretch between Dublin and East Liberty, in conjunction with the state’s current fixed-location traffic camera system. READ MORE

June 19, 2018

Forensic images help law enforcement catch drone criminals

BY Patrick C. MillerThanks to an online database compiled by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), law enforcement investigators are learning how to effectively gather forensic data from drones used to commit crimes. READ MORE

June 05, 2018

New York plans to move ahead with UAS program

BY Patrick C. Miller Although New York's proposal wasn't among the 10 selected for the U.S. Department of Transportation's UAS Integration Pilot Program, the state is pressing ahead with plans to use its done corridor to test a variety of commercial applications. READ MORE

June 05, 2018

GAO says FAA needs better data on small UAS operations

BY Patrick C. MillerA report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office recommends that the FAA do a better job of collecting data on the safe operation of small UAS in the national airspace. GAO said the FAA's data is often not accurate or complete. READ MORE

May 23, 2018

DOI unveils first ever $17M contract option for UAS providers

BY U.S. Department of Interior The contract consists of one base year with four option years. The total potential contract value is $17 million. Aircraft selected under the contract will be able to operate day or night, without a runway in sustained winds up to 25 knots. READ MORE

May 21, 2018

Department of Homeland Security beefs up counter-UAS efforts

BY Patrick C. MillerThe U.S. Department of Homeland Security is collecting data on counter-UAS technologies in urban environments to deal with the potential threat of unwanted or malicious drones. The agency has developed a program to collect drone mitigation data. READ MORE

May 16, 2018

U.S. DOT selects 10 projects for UAS integration program

BY Patrick C. MillerSecretary of Transportation Elaine Chao not only announced the 10 projects selected for the UAS Pilot Integration Program, but also said new drone rulemaking and potentially dozens of other projects to assist with UAS integration are in the works. READ MORE

May 09, 2018

DJI report documents 65 lives saved by drones in past year

BY Patrick C. MillerDJI Technology's second annual report on the number of lives saved by drones says at least 65 people were rescued by UAS during the past year, partly because regulations now provide a clearer path for the use of drones in search and rescue efforts. READ MORE

May 09, 2018

Small UAV Coalition approves of new U.S. DOT policy

BY Patrick C. MillerThe Small UAV Coalition says a new policy announced by the Department of Transportation will help speed up the development of drone delivery systems in the U.S. while maintaining safe airspace. READ MORE

April 25, 2018

UL developing standards to make drone batteries safer

BY Patrick C. MillerSafer lithium ion batteries manufactured under UL-certified standards will soon be coming to the UAS industry. The science safety company has been working to finalize standards that will be implemented in the U.S. and Canada and, later, worldwide. READ MORE

April 07, 2018

General Atomics earns contract to further develop MQ-9B Protector

BY General Atomics General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. has announce the recent award of a $81M Foreign Military Sales contract by the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center to develop a different version of the MQ-9B Predator UAV. READ MORE

April 07, 2018

Alliance for Drone Innovation forms to give voice to drone makers

BY Alliance for Drone Innovation The Alliance for Drone Innovation (ADI), a new policy-oriented coalition of manufacturers, suppliers, and software developers of personal and professional drones, has commenced operations to represent a specific set of drone entities. READ MORE

April 07, 2018

Global airspace group headed to NY for UAS UTM work

BY Luke GeiverAn unmanned traffic management testing (UTM) agreement will help Thales Group expand its work in upstate New York. Through an agreement with NASA, the global air traffic management firm Thales, will work with groups at the FAA's New York UAS site. READ MORE

April 04, 2018

FAA asks: Could you be a LAANC service supplier?

BY Federal Aviation Administration The Federal Aviation Administration is looking for a few good suppliers, for the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability. The FAA is now considering agreements with additional entities to provide LAANC services. READ MORE

March 27, 2018

Aspen, Sensurion join forces to develop certified UAS avionics

BY Patrick C. MillerAspen Avionics of New Mexico and Minnesota-based Sensurion Aerospace have formed a partnership aimed at filling the certified avionics gap between hobbyist and military drones. This will include autopilot, communications and navigation systems. READ MORE

March 27, 2018

FAA forecasts phenomenal growth for UAS industry

BY Patrick C. MillerAccording to the FAA's aviation forecast for the next 20 years, the UAS industry will experience "phenomenal growth" between 2017 and 2022. It expects the number of commercial systems to quadruple while hobbyist done ownership more than doubles. READ MORE

March 13, 2018

Ford proposes motor vehicle department in the sky to ID drones

BY Patrick C. MillerA research team at Ford Motor Co. has come up with a potential low-cost solution to identify and track drones. As with registering and licensing a car, they believe making a drone identifiable to anyone could make operators more accountable. READ MORE

March 12, 2018

FAA expands drone airspace authorization program

BY Federal Aviation Administration The Federal Aviation Administration last week announced plans to expand testing of an automated system to speed up approvals for drones to operate in airspace controlled by an air traffic facility. The test begins in April at 500 airports. READ MORE

February 28, 2018

Kansas State Polytechnic offers UAS training for law enforcement

BY Patrick C. MillerBased on feedback from first responders, Kansas State Polytechnic at Salina will in April begin offering a specialized UAS training course for law enforcement personnel. The four-day course will provide training for specific purposes. READ MORE