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Client Alerts

Drone Operators Beware: FAA Drone Regulations Continue to Apply to "Commercial" Uses

July 2017
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In May 2017, in an important aviation case, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck the FAA’s “Registration Rule,” which requires all drone users to register online with the FAA their small unmanned aircraft systems (“sUAS” or “Drones”); however, the holding in the case, Taylor v. Huerta, is narrow.

The Circuit Court ruled the Registration Rule invalid only as it applies to recreational or hobbyist users, finding that an existing statute contained an explicit prohibition on the creation of new regulations directed at “model aircraft.” Since the court found that drones operated for recreational purposes are “model aircraft” under the statute, the FAA’s Registration Rule was illegal as it applied to the recreational use of those aircraft. Nevertheless, the Registration Rule continues to apply to “commercial” uses of sUAS aircraft.

Read the Client Alert here.

This Client Alert has been prepared by Tucker Ellis LLP for the use of our clients. Although prepared by professionals, it should not be used as a substitute for legal counseling in specific situations. Readers should not act upon the information contained herein without professional guidance.