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The Drone/UAV/UAS industry is one of the most exciting emerging industries in the world today. Financial analysts project the economic impact of the Drone/UAV/UAS industry will be $13 billion dollars by 2017 and $82 billion dollars by 2025 in the U.S. alone! The same analysts also project 103,000 new U.S. jobs will be created by 2025.

In addition to having broad knowledge of Drone/UAV/UAS law, I am the President and General Counsel of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved Drone/UAV/UAS company named SkyViewHD. I have successfully filed Section 333 FAA Petitions and Amendments which are presently required under the FAA guidelines in order to provide drone services for commercial purposes although that will change with proposed regulatory changes as outlined below. With my experience, I am able to address regulatory issues in compliance with the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 mandated by the U.S. Congress.

To provide some background on the FAA’s role, the FAA has been tasked with regulating Drones/UAVs/UASs in the U.S. and presently the only manner in which you may fly a Drone/UAV/UAS for commercial purposes in the U.S. is by being successfully granted an FAA Section 333 exemption. With that being said, there will be significant regulatory changes occurring in mid-2016 which will allow a non-pilot to fly a Drone/UAV/UAS for commercial purposes. The new regulation is commonly referred to as “Part 107″ and instead of needing to be a licensed pilot to fly, an operator will need take an aeronautical knowledge test and acquire an operator’s certificate. Part 107 will also allow an operator to fly a Drone/UAV/UAS weighing 4.4 lbs. or less over non-participants. The complete details of Part 107 have not been finalized but it is an important step to further integrate Drones/UAVs/UASs into U.S. airspace.

The FAA presents unique regulatory challenges to commercial Drone/UAV/UAS operators and it is important to utilize someone experienced in the procedure who will help you through the process.

Such an exciting and evolving industry creates significant challenges as regulations, laws and requirement are changing constantly. While the opportunity is remarkable, you will face important decisions as the industry develops from a hobby user base to a commercial user base. With significant and difficult choices ahead, you need competent legal counsel and I am able to help both businesses and individuals navigate the Drone/UAV/UAS market.

The petitions I file are for almost every type of aerial imaging and data capture including any remote sensing and measuring by instruments and cameras aboard the Drone/UAV/UAS such as photography, videography, site and structure inspections, infrared imaging, precision surveying, RF analysis, precision agriculture, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data capture, chemical measurement and particulate measurement.

As I am experienced in this industry and have successfully handled FAA regulatory issues, I am able to provide important guidance in the complex Drone/UAV/UAS market.

Contact me today to discuss how to legally maximize your opportunities in the exciting Drone/UAV/UAS industry.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why do I need a Section 333 FAA Exemption?

This is the biggest question I am asked regarding this industry. For the hobbyist who is not utilizing a Drone/UAV/UAS for commercial purposes, you may not need an Exemption. Until Part 107 is available outlined below is implemented, if you want to operate a business offering Drone/UAV/UAS services and you are getting paid for these services, you must have a Section 333 FAA Exemption issued by the FAA. This also includes an operator who may use the Drone/UAV/UAS to promote their company or enterprise as there is a “commercial benefit” to the operator even though there is no exchange of money. For example, a real estate agent or broker that purchases a Drone/UAV/UAS and films a piece of property that they have listed in an attempt to assist with the sale of the property needs to have an FAA Exemption. Unauthorized use of a Drone/UAV/UAS for commercial purposes may result in a $10,000.00 fine by the FAA. Many people don’t think the FAA cares about unauthorized Drone/UAV/UAS use but the FAA has recently proposed massive fines and all indications are that the FAA will ramp up enforcement and corresponding fines in large part due to the incidents near airports and the general public which could be catastrophic to people and property.


Am I required to be a licensed pilot?

Presently, in order to operate a Drone/UAV/UAS in the U.S. for commercial purposes, the Pilot in Command (PIC), who may be an employee or independent contractor, must be a licensed pilot under a Section 333 Grant of Exemption. The individual owner of a company is not required to be a licensed pilot unless they operate the Drone/UAV/UAS as the PIC. The PIC must also abide by the other requirements as outlined under a Section 333 Grant of Exemption. Of course, Part 107 will modify this requirement.


Why should I pay someone submit my Section 333 Petition?

Using the services of someone like me, who has successfully filed FAA Exemptions, is important as the process must be done correctly or the FAA will seek additional information which delays the granting of the Exemption causing you to lose potential income opportunities. Additionally, a review of the applications on the FAA website only shows a portion of the application as a significant portion of the application is not published and is confidential. These “hidden” documents are the key to a successful and smooth processing of the Petition.


What is Part 107?

In mid-2016, the FAA will release a new regulation is known as “Part 107″ so that an unlicensed pilot may operate a Drone/UAV/UAS for commercial purposes. Instead of needing to be a licensed pilot to fly, an operator will take an aeronautical knowledge test and need to acquire an operator’s certificate. Part 107 also allows operators to fly a Drone/UAV/UAS weighing 4.4 lbs. or less over non-participants. Complete details of Part 107 have not been finalized but it is an important step to further integrate Drones/UAVs/UASs into U.S. airspace


Is Stiles Law, P.A. allowed to guide me on laws related to Drone/UAV/UAS use?

Typically, I am able to assist with FAA regulations in almost any state in the U.S. but I only advise clients located in Florida or considering doing business in Florida on specific compliance requirements under Florida law. Florida has a specific “drone” law which each and every operator must understand and this applies to the commercial user as well as the hobbyist.


PHIL'S BLOG

Visit Phil's Blog HERE to stay up-to-date on the latest news on drones and drone-related legal matters.

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The information contained on this website is for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. You should consult with an attorney for advice regarding your own individual circumstances. We invite you to contact us by email, phone or letter. Viewing or use of the information on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.