Policy & Regulation

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

February 27, 2018

Report: Large UAVs could bring explosive growth to US

BY Luke GeiverA major shift in aviation could be on the horizon according to the Aerospace Industries Association. In a new report, AIA states that large unmanned aircraft could encounter explosive growth during the next two decades. READ MORE

February 21, 2018

DOI drone report details modern approach to resource management

BY U.S. Department of Interior With a fleet of 312 unmanned aircraft, the Department of the Interior's Office of Aviation Services flew nearly 5,000 missions in 2017 to support everything from fighting wildfires to monitoring and mapping missions. READ MORE

February 14, 2018

European airport operators call for adoption of drone rulebook

BY Patrick C. MillerIncreased safety concerns about drone use in and around Europe's airports should result in quick adoption of the European Union's drone rulebook, says the Airport Council International- Europe. It also released a position paper on drone technology. READ MORE

January 31, 2018

Q&A: Aviation attorney tackles the drones and privacy issue

BY Patrick C. MillerAs the use of drones increases for hobbyist, commercial and law enforcement purposes, so too will concerns about privacy. Aviation attorney Kevin Moon with the Clyde & Co law firm outlines the challenges ahead from a legal perspective. READ MORE

January 29, 2018

Fire chiefs, ERAU partner to bring drones to fire departments

BY Luke GeiverEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide's College of Aeronautics and the International Association of Fire Chiefs are partnering to offer fire service education, training and certification opportunities. READ MORE

January 17, 2018

Insitu provides UAS pilots with improved situational awareness

BY Patrick C. MillerInsitu has successfully demonstrated a ground-based airspace system that provides commercial UAS operators with better situational awareness for beyond-visual-line-of-sight flying. The testing was conducted at Mississippi State University. READ MORE

January 12, 2018

NY to add drone fleet to police force

BY Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the launch of the new State Police Unmanned Aerial System program, which will be used to support law enforcement missions, including disaster response and traffic safety. READ MORE

January 12, 2018

FAA drone registry tops 1 million

BY Federal Aviation Administration U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao has announced at the Consumer Electronics Show that the total number of drones now registered with the Federal Aviation Administration has eclipsed 1 million. READ MORE