On or about November 16, 2017, the United States Senate acted speedily to pass the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018,” H.R. 2810 (“Defense Reauthorization Act”), originally introduced in January of 2017, and now awaiting signing by President Trump.  

The Senate’s motivation is not obscure, where it sets forth, among other things, guidelines for “Collaboration Between Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Defense on Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” or UAS, H.R. 2810, § 1092.  Most notably, that section re-imposes rules originally imposed on the operators of small, unmanned aircraft, weighing between .55 and 55 pounds, used for recreational purposes (“model” aircraft).  Those rules were set aside by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in May, 2017, in the published opinion Taylor v. Huerta, 856 F.3d 1089, 1093 (D.C. Cir. 2017), on the ground that the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-95 (“FMRA”) specifically prohibits FAA from promulgating “any rule or regulation regarding model aircraft.”  Id. at § 336(a).  
Congress has now enacted a revision to FMRA’s prohibition, and thrown model aircraft back into the regulatory arena.  

Continue Reading Operators of Small Unmanned Aircraft Uses for Recreational Purposes Will Soon Face Regulation

In response to requests by law enforcement and other government agencies to provide more accurate, up-to-date aircraft registration information, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has amended its aircraft registration regulations. The FAA estimates that approximately one-third of the 357,000 registered aircraft records it maintains are inaccurate, and that many of the aircraft listed in its Civil Aviation Registry database are likely ineligible for U. S. registration. Those inaccuracies result from failures by aircraft owners to report aircraft status and address changes under the current voluntary compliance based system. The FAA Final Rule, published in the July 20, 2010 Federal Register, will become effective on October 1, 2010. The re-registration or renewal fee will be $5.00. (See 47 CFR Sec. 47.17).

Continue Reading FAA Aircraft Re-Registration and Registration Renewal Rule Becomes Effective October 1, 2010