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FAA Reauthorization Act – What is Impact on UAS Industry?

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 is being hailed as a significant step forward by those in the UAS/UAV industry and by aviation law experts.

photo of UAV FAA Reauthorization Act Approved

FAA Reauthorization Act Approved

From the article in UAS Magazine by Patrick C. Miller, October 10, 2018:

The act—passed with broad bipartisan support and signed into law by President Donald Trump last week—covers a wide spectrum of topics for both manned and unmanned aviation. But to those who have criticized the slow pace of lawmakers and regulators in implementing a clear path forward for the UAS industry, the legislation not only provides five years of funding for the FAA’s priorities, but also promises more regulatory guidance.

“It’s quite encouraging because it enjoyed very strong support in the three places it mattered—in the Senate, in the House and at the White House,” said Jeff Palmer, president of California-based Kespry Inc. “We read it as showing very strong federal support for the safe and expanded use of UAS here in the United States. This is a key enabler for the industry with a nice five-year planning horizon for all of us to latch on to.”

The LeClairRyan law firm based in Alexandria, Virginia, conducted a free webinar led by aviation attorneys Mark Dombroff and Mark McKinnon to help understand the implications of the FAA reauthorization.

“To say this act covers a broad array of topics is an understatement,” Dombroff said. “These regulations touch on consumer issues like bumping passengers from airplanes or banning in-flight cellphone calls. There are important provisions on unmanned aerial systems, noise regulations, mandated rest periods for flight attendants, certification of supersonic aircraft and much more.”

For unmanned aviation, McKinnon said, “The act includes wide-ranging mandates for regulators on UAS and makes important changes related to test sites, waivers and airworthiness, pilot, air carrier and airport certificates. Provisions on UAS design standards and package delivery, as well as the operation of model aircraft, are part of the act as well.”

In its Wiley Connected podcast, Sara Baxenberg, UAS attorney with the Wiley Rein law firm, and Tom McMahon, vice president of advocacy and public affairs with the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), identified three key takeaways from the FAA Reauthorization Act legislation for the UAS industry.

For the full article on FAA Reauthorization Act click here.

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