Informational Maps Released to Accelerate UAS Authorizations

UAS droneAs part of its Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (“LAANC”) initiative, the FAA has been working to provide more detailed maps of the airspace surrounding the nation’s airports in order to more clearly communicate to operators of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) what airspace can be utilized for UAS operations.

Late last week, the FAA released the first batch of airspace maps (the “Maps”). By and large, the Maps identify airspace surrounding 200 smaller and more rural airports. Users can zoom in to view these airports and see individual 1 square mile grids, with the maximum above ground level (AGL) altitudes where drones may operate. As an example, the grids near Colorado Plains Regional Airport in Akron Colorado show maximum AGL altitudes ranging from 400 feet down to 0 feet.  The FAA intends to publish additional maps as part of the agency’s 56-day chart production cycle. Future distributions will address many of the nation’s largest airports.

Continue Reading Recent Federal Aviation Administration Initiatives Affecting UAS Operations

airplaneOn April 27, 2017, Petitioner The Boeing Company filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of 100-to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft from Canada.

SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The merchandise covered by this petition is aircraft that have a standard 100- to 150-seat two-class seating capacity and a minimum 2,900 nautical mile range, as these terms are defined below.

Continue Reading Petition Summary: Large Civil Aircraft From Canada

airportThe recent US ban on laptops and tablets electronic devices from carry-on luggage from flights from 10 Middle Eastern Airports, and a more limited UK ban, have been widely condemned by the aviation press and the airline industry as arbitrary, ineffective and counterproductive. There is no factual basis for the airports selected, the UK list differs from the US, and the bans can be evaded by taking a connecting flight from elsewhere.[1]

These issues raise a more fundamental question: Does the enormous cost and burden imposed upon the airlines and the traveling public by the all-encompassing TSA airport security regime provide any real benefit?

Continue Reading Air Safety: Do Away with TSA?

droneOn April 7, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) published a Notice to Airman (“NOTAM”), effective April 14, 2017, prohibiting the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) over one hundred thirty-three military facilities to an altitude of four hundred (400) feet. In issuing the NOTAM, FAA is relying on its authority located in 14 C.F.R. § 99.7 to address national security concerns.

Continue Reading Federal Aviation Administration Restricts UAS Operations Over 133 Military Facilities

droneThe Federal Aviation Administration’s 2017 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”) Symposium opened on March 27, 2017. Through the first two days of the conference, the FAA has focused on its efforts to work with UAS industry stakeholders to facilitate the integration of UAS into the national airspace system (“NAS”).  In particular, the FAA has focused on three main issues: (1) the promulgation of performance based standards to accommodate future operations as UAS technology evolves; (2) the implementation of a technology based solution to facilitate compliance with FAA regulations and thus operation of UAS and further innovation; and (3) continued integration, as opposed to segregation, of various UAS into the NAS.

Continue Reading Federal Aviation Administration 2017 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Symposium, Days 1-2

UAS droneThe FAA’s new regulations for the commercial operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (“sUAS”) became effective on Monday August 29, 2016. Specifically, Part 107 to Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations has been added to allow for the routine civil operation of sUAS in the national airspace system. As we previously announced, highlights of the new Commercial UAS Regulations are as follows:

Continue Reading FAA Publishes Long Awaited Rules For The Commercial Operation of Small UAS

727 Plane
Photo Credit: Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum

The first generation of jet airliners revolutionized air travel with their speed and comfort when they entered service in the late 1950s. But their takeoff and landing speeds limited them to large airports with long runways, and with four fuel thirsty jet engines their operating costs and efficiency were far from ideal.

The Boeing 727 inaugurated the second generation of American jet transports. Powered by three turbofan engines, it offered the potential for cost-effective jet service to a much wider range of cities with smaller airports that could only handle propeller aircraft up to that time. To achieve this, the 727 relied on an advanced wing design incorporating a sophisticated triple-slotted flap system which effectively increased the wing area by 25 per cent for landings, allowing lower landing speeds as well as the high cruising speeds the public expected with jet travel.

Continue Reading Air Safety: The “Deadly” Boeing 727

Product Liability Monitor

August 9, 2016
New Developments
GM’s Ignition Switch Litigation Woes Continue
By Shannon Peters

“Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.” That must be what GM’s executives (and counsel) were thinking when the Second Circuit handed down its recent decision overturning portions of the 2015 Bankruptcy Court decision that could have immunized the “New GM” from “Old GM’s” liability related to the ignition switch recall of 2014. The decision also calls into question the 2009 sale order as a potential violation of the victims’ due process rights. [Continue Reading]

The Hazards of Lithium Ion Batteries
By Alan Hoffman

Lithium ion batteries have been in use for more than two decades, but safety concerns about them have recently attracted a wave of media and regulatory attention. Fires involving the lithium ion batteries of Boeing 787 Dreamliners in January, 2013 resulted in the temporary grounding of the entire 787 fleet. [Continue Reading]

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) in Actions Against Firearms Retailers
By Dan Jaffe

The U.S. District Court of Kansas recently denied a retailer’s motion to dismiss a suit alleging negligent entrustment and knowing violation of federal law in the sale of a firearm based on the pre-emption provisions of the PLCAA. [Continue Reading]

Editor of the Month
Shannon Peters Shannon Petersconcentrates his practice on the areas of product liability, intellectual property, and general commercial litigation as part of the firm’s Product Liability team. He advocates for clients of all sizes, from individuals to corporations, including some of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialty chemicals, petrochemicals, automobile parts, and industrial and consumer products, advising them on negotiations, discovery issues and litigation strategies.
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Product Liability Monitor Archive
July 2016

droneBoth the House of Representatives and the Senate have now voted to pass, and the President has now signed, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016 (the “Act”).  The Act, which averts a shutdown of the FAA, funds the agency through September 30, 2017.  Importantly, the Act contains a number of provisions related to unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”), including FAA requirements to:

  • Publish guidance regarding the application for, and expedited approval of, exemptions or certificates of authorization or waiver for the use of UAS by civil or public operators in response to emergencies;
  • Continue developing a research plan for the deployment of a traffic management system for UAS;
  • Establish a pilot program for airspace hazard mitigation at airports and other critical infrastructure using UAS detection systems; and
  • Develop a program, in coordination with NASA, to test and model the collision of UAS with various sized aircraft in a number of operational settings.

Click here for more information regarding Husch Blackwell’s UAS team or contact Tom Gemmell, or David Agee.

droneOn Tuesday June 21, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) announced the release of the long awaited regulations for the commercial operation of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“sUAS”) – to be promulgated in 14 C.F.R. Part 107 (the “Commercial UAS Regulations”).  The Commercial UAS Regulations will be effective sixty (60) days from the date of their publication in the Federal Register.  Highlights of the new Commercial UAS Regulations are as follows:

Continue Reading FAA Announces Publication of New Small UAS Regulations