On the Radar – Drones and Unmanned Autonomous Systems

Mark is a co-editor and regularly contributes to On the Radar, a blog that provides practical information and useful tips related to the legal, regulatory and public policy issues involving unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including analysis of federal (FAA, FCC) and state law considerations that may arise. At Fox Rothschild, we serve clients across numerous disciplines crucial to UAS development and operations, including intellectual property, venture capital, transactional law, corporate law, regulatory matters, litigation and employment law.

Recent Blog Posts

  • A Brief Review Of Key Legal Issues Affecting Drones in 2017 Now that 2017 is wrapped up, a look back at what happened in drone world in 2017 and a look to what might happen in 2018 is warranted. While there were several exciting developments, this article will focus on a handful of those deemed among the most significant. Drone usage, both recreational and commercial, continues to grow quickly. As drone usage grows, the need for regulations to permit the safe operation becomes more and more critical. We have now competed the first... More
  • Drones, Hurricane Harvey, and other Natural Disasters While drones have been used to capture breathtaking and heartbreaking images of Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath,  the FAA has issued a warning to drone operators. The FAA has issued reminders that unless drone operators have specific authorization from the FAA, they are not permitted to operate where Temporary Flight Restrictions (“TFR”) are in place.  The primary reason is that operating an unauthorized drone in these areas could interfere with local, state, and federal rescue missions. The FAA notes that if a... More
  • Autonomous Drones — Moral and Ethical Concerns The focus of this blog has been legal and policy issues regarding the civilian operation of drones. However, it is easy to forget that just a few short years ago, if you asked the person on the street the first thing to come mind if they heard the word “drone”, the vast majority would have responded “military”or some variant thereof. Military usage of drones has increased (and will continue to), but due to the fact that civilian application of drone technology... More
  • Drone Noise vs. Traffic Noise We have previously noted that people often view new technology with skepticism, and even trepidation bordering on fear. That perception changes as both costs decrease (resulting in more people using and adapting to the new technology) and the recognition of the tangible benefits produced by the new technology. In the early 20th Century, both automobiles and planes were new technology, and were initially met with resistance and skepticism. A recent NASA study analyzed human reaction to audio recordings of noise created... More
  • Get Off My Lawn (OK-Airspace): Legal Issues Raised By Drones Hovering Over Private Property Hardly a week goes by that someone does not ask me “What can I do if a drone flies or hovers over my property?” or the converse, “What restrictions are there on my operation of a drone over private property?”. From inexpensive toys to advanced recording equipment, drones are now being used throughout both residential neighborhoods and commercial spaces. However, the legality of drone usage over private property has become somewhat muddled. Many drone owners aren’t certain whether their drone or... More
  • State And Local Governments To Congress Re: Drones –The Times, They Are A-Changin’ Come Senators, Congressmen  Please heed the call  Don’t stand in the doorway  Don’t block up the hall  For he that gets hurt  Will be he who has stalled  There’s a battle outside  And it is ragin’  It’ll soon shake your windows  And rattle your walls  For the times they are a-changin’ Bob Dylan – “The Times, They Are A-Changin” Unless this is your first visit to our blog (and if it is, welcome), you know that we have addressed the tension between the federal government vs. state and local governments regarding regulating... More
  • Drone Federalism Act Does Not Solve Federal vs. State Authority The challenge presented by having federal, state and local authorities all attempting to regulate drones is a topic we have addressed on this blog and in other publications (see links below). Unfortunately, a solution to that challenge remains elusive. State and local authorities continue to assert that they possess the authority to regulate drones. That position, coupled with the current state of the federal regulatory process , has now been further complicated by the introduction of the Drone Federalism Act of 2017 (“Drone Federalism... More
  • Drone legal issues and filming — New York City Drone Film Festival Recently, several members of my Firm and I had the opportunity to speak on a panel at the New York City Drone Film Festival (“NYCDFF”) regarding legal issues and drones. Thanks to the excellent moderation of Randy Slavin, the founder of the NYCDFF, we had the opportunity to discuss several legal issues. While the presentation was directed to attendees of the NYCDFF, the discussion encompassed a fairly wide breadth of legal issues.  Among the issues discussed are the current state of drone regulations, first... More
  • Public Perception and Policy regarding Drones and Autonomous Vehicles Recently I had the opportunity to speak to a college class regarding public perception and policy regarding drones and other autonomous vehicles. In preparing for my presentation, I realized several things that I already knew, but had not really thought about it. In considering how best to provide an overview of how quickly technology is adapted once people understand its capabilities, it dawned on me that today’s college students have only known a world with smart phones. The first iPhone was... More
  • Drone Regulations — The Future When will I be able to fly beyond visual line of sight? When will I be able to operate a drone over people? In the world of drone law (and in the world of drones in general), hardly a week, or even a day, passes without one or both of those questions being asked. The drone industry welcomed the long-awaited drone regulations of Part 107, which became effective in August of 2016. However, that only whetted our appetite for more. The current presidential... More