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Educational “Drone Letter” Service Announced by Antonelli Law to Educate Local Governments

Drone Laws Blog by Antonelli Law

Educational “Drone Letter” Service Announced by Antonelli Law to Educate Local Governments Antonelli Law has been beating the drum for over a year now: We absolutely must get Congress to add clear “federal jurisdiction only” provisions in the 2017 FAA Reauthorization Act. Language that says explicitly only the FAA has jurisdiction over the national airspace […]

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Antonelli Law Successfully Defends Part 107 Pilot From Chicago Drone Ordinance Ticket

Drone Laws Blog by Antonelli Law

Antonelli Law Successfully Defends Part 107 Pilot in Chicago Drone Ordinance Case In June, licensed drone pilot Jerrick Hakim flew his DJI Inspire 2 for one solitary flight on Chicago’s lakefront. A slow, cinematic flight, the drone flew above Lake Michigan perhaps several hundred feet from shore. After about 15 minutes, the professional photographer landed […]

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Prices For a Part 107 Waiver – Antonelli Law

Drone Laws Blog by Antonelli Law

We  receive many contacts inquiring about our help filing a FAA Part 107 waiver petition for drones. The two most elusive ones in the marketplace are Part 107.31 Beyond Visual Line of Sight, and Part 107.39 Operations Over People. They are the most difficult to obtain, and the most costly to attempt.

The most common request is for “Night Waivers”, perhaps because Antonelli Law clients were some of the very first in the country to obtain them.

The Two Most Commonly Asked Part 107 Waiver Questions Are:

  1. How likely is the FAA going to grant approval?
  2. How much will it cost for you to help me obtain it?

Since we receive these questions so commonly, I thought it helpful to give the following estimates of our cost for obtaining assistance in drafting and submitting the waiver(s). 

There are many varieties of drone operations, and many unpredictable changes in FAA policy with regard to requirements for Part 107 waivers, we simply cannot give firm prices on the internet. However, many companies need ballpark pricing so they can make their budget requests or decide it is out of their reach in the near future. Therefore we provide the following “ballpark” cost estimates, subject to change without notice.

Note: One factor to have in mind is whether you already have a current professional operations manual for your type of service operations. If you do, you probably fall in the lower end of the provided cost estimates.

Moving Vehicles – Part 107.25 Operation from a Moving Vehicle or Aircraft

Cost estimate: $2,500 to $5,000 and up

Night Waivers – Part 107.29 Daylight Operation

Cost estimate: $1,000 to $1,500 and up

BVLOS – Part 107.31 Visual Line of Sight Aircraft Operation

Cost estimate:$10,000 to $15,000 or more

Deposit retainer: $5,000 minimum

Swarms – Part 107.35 Operation of Multiple Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Cost estimate:$1,000 to $5,000 or more

Over People – Part 107.39 Operation Over Human Beings

Cost estimate: $5,000 to $10,000 or more

Deposit retainer: $2,500 minimum

UAS CONSULTATION

Antonelli Law offers a $350 comprehensive telephone consultation with Jeffrey Antonelli and our FAA consultant  to discuss your UAS goals and whether, and how, you may obtain FAA approval.

If you would like to make an appointment for our $350 comprehensive consultation, please call us at 312-201-8310 or you may also use the contact form below.

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 More on BVLOS Part 107 Waivers – Why Is The Cost So High?

In brief, the answer in my view is lack of clarity from the FAA.

Many companies contact us here at Antonelli Law – domestic and international – seeking advice for obtaining the BLOS waiver. Many of them have very compelling stories and technology to offer. We wish we could provide both a standardized process (and standard legal fee) that is clear and predictable in scope and timeline, but trying to do so with the FAA involved is simply not possible right now.

The scope of work and cost varies as to whether you are looking for what is basically extended visual line of site operations for farmland, or you want to deliver things far from the ground control station  – especially it is compounded with the possibility of flying over people.

However, the general steps are as follows:

Step One: Develop your concept of operations and risk assessment

Step Two: Develop testing data either overseas or at an FAA test site. Alternatively participate in the FAA Pathfinder Program.

Step Three: Draft the actual beyond line of sight (BLOS) waiver request under Part 107, technically parts 107.31, 102.200 and 107.205. 

The fees for helping you through this are approximately (depending on the complexity and risk of your operations) $10,000 to $15,000 or more.

If you wish to fly BLOS involving delivering something that is not owned by the company – like Amazon is famously trying to do – currently there is no process for this available under Part 107 and another avenue must be pursued.

These are just the basics, but we hope this provides some insight whether you are an operator looking to expand your UAS operations or an investor evaluating a company pitching you  getting regulatory approval from the FAA to fly and make money as promised. 

 

See Also:

The Value of Antonelli Law – Section 333 and Beyond

 

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You Need to Fight This Summer – Or Its All Over.

Drone Laws Blog by Antonelli Law

FAA Reauthorization Bills Don’t Prevent Death From a Thousand Local Drone Laws

Today, my law firm Antonelli Law defended someone facing a ticket from a major city’s drone ordinance. If found guilty, the Part 107 operator faced thousand of dollars of potential fines as well as time in jail.

Today’s outcome, a subject for a future article, is what no doubt will become more common throughout the United States, even for properly licensed FAA Part 107 operators,  as more cities and local municipalities seek to control the “drone craze” with local law enforcement doing what is actually the FAA’s job.

The problem, as I describe in July’s RotorDrone Magaxine article (click below for a free look) is that without the 2017 FAA Reauthorization Act containing what is called “express preemption” to kill off these stupid state and local drone laws, thousands of drone pilots – even those acting properly with a Part 107 FAA license – will be harassed and have to unfairly defend themselves in court.

Neither the House or Senate Versions of the 2017 FAA Reauthorization Bill Clearly State Only the FAA Can Police the Skies – And YOU Need to Change This!

As of this writing, from what I have seen from both the US House and US Senate, neither versions of the 2017 FAA Reauthorization Bill clearly state that only the FAA can police the skies. They do, however, both offer to study the probloem for the next 5 years or so. In the meantime, the patient known as the US drone industry led mostly by small business entrepreneurs, may crash and burn leaving only the very biggest players to survive. That’s not very American.

So click below to read my July 2017 RotorDrone magazine article “This Summer is for Flying and Fighting” and please call your representatives in the US House and Senate to demand they include “express federal preemption” in the 2017 FAA Reauthorization Act, and vote NO to othe rbills including the Drone Federalism Act.

Simply call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 or visit the following links to find your representative:

Jeffrey Antonelli RotorDrone Magazine - Legal View July 2017

Click Here (FOR FREE) Jeffrey Antonelli RotorDrone Magazine – Legal View July 2017 about the 2017 FAA Reauthorization and other drone bills.

If you already have a subscription to RotorDrone, click in your email for the electronic version and turn to page 76 for Legal View by Jeffrey Antonelli

Legal caveat: Nothing in these articles are legal advice. Speak with a qualified attorney about your legal situation.

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Drone Regulations in 2017 – Will Growth of the U.S. Commercial Drone Industry be Collateral Damage of the Trump Surprise?

Drone Laws Blog by Antonelli Law

Part Four in a Series on Federal Preemption – Mark Del Bianco, Special Counsel to Antonelli Law

Prognosticators and pundits in Washington and far outside the Beltway are trying to read the (admittedly very skimpy) tea leaves and figure out what the unanticipated Trump victory means for [fill in the industry, country or policy area of your choice here].  I’ll play the game, but rather than opining on broad, sweeping issues, I’ll focus on the wonky issue of what the election means for the U.S. commercial drone industry.

I’ll start by stating a couple of assumptions that underpin my analysis.  First, unlike most industries, stakeholders in the commercial drone industry want more federal regulations.  The sooner, the better in most stakeholders’ view.  Second, the industry has only limited potential for growth absent federal rules permitting flights at night, flights over uninvolved people, flights beyond the operator’s visual line of sight (BVLOS), and autonomous flights. 

The state of play right now is that the FAA, having promulgated the initial Part 107 rule in August, seems to be picking up steam in its regulatory process. See http://www.dronedefinition.com/on-his-way-out-us-transportation-chief-anthony-foxx-sets-drones-free/. Its Pathfinder program is developing data on BVLOS and autonomous flight. The agency has been drafting a rule that would allow flights over uninvolved people, and according to reports has sent the draft to OMB for approval.  That OMB review can take 90 days or more, so it could easily stretch into the new Trump Administration.

Trump, like other recent Republican presidents-elect, has called for a moratorium on new federal agency regulations during the first part of his presidency.  According to the campaign website, the moratorium would apply to all new regulations “that are not compelled by Congress or public safety in order to give our American companies the certainty they need to reinvest in our community, get cash off of the sidelines, start hiring again, and expanding businesses.” See https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/regulations.  Neither the website nor any of Trump’s speeches provide much guidance about how long the proposed moratorium might last.  Given the uncertainty, it seems very possible that new drone regulations may not be in place until late 2017 or even 2018.  Given the explosive pace of technological development in the industry, this delay could leave the U.S. commercial drone industry at a tremendous competitive disadvantage compared to other countries that have put a comprehensive framework in place.  It is possible that the U.S. commercial drone industry’s growth could actually be collateral damage of the election.

There may be a small silver lining in the regulatory cloud.  Like many in the commercial drone space, I see the patchwork of problematic (and often unconstitutional) state and local laws as a substantial and growing roadblock to the growth of the industry in the U.S.  But now there’s news that Palm Beach, Florida, which had enacted an ordinance with scant care for whether it conflicted with federal law, has acknowledged the need to consult with federal authorities as it rewrites its law to protect its most famous resident, Donald Trump. http://m.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/news/local/drone-regulations-on-hold-to-discuss-trumps-safety/ns62W/. Perhaps the other localities where Mr. Trump owns homes (such as Los Angeles) will take a similar approach.  Who knows, common sense might break out nationwide.

About Attorney Mark Del Bianco 

Attorney Mark Del Bianco is Special Counsel to Antonelli Law’s DSC_2812Drone/UAS Practice Group. Mark has more than three decades of experience representing clients in federal administrative rulemaking, enforcement proceedings, and court reviews at the DOJ, ITC, FCC, FDA, CPSC, and NHTSA. He has litigation experience ranging from state trial courts to case briefs in the United States Supreme Court, and in recent years has litigated the constitutionality of state laws at the intersection of technology and privacy. He also provides transactional and regulatory assistance to a wide array of clients, including fiber networks, satellite service providers, business owners, application developers and cloud services providers.

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