Flying Above The Law: Legal Issues Surrounding the Domestic Use of Drones

Keynote Address: Drones and the Future of Aviation: Key Issues in Law and Policy

On February 3, 2017 I will be delivering the keynote address at the Campbell Law Review Symposium.  The symposium title is Flying Above The Law: Legal Issues Surrounding the Domestic Use of Drones.  My remarks are entitled Drones and the Future of Aviation: Key Issues in Law and Policy.  

Campbell has lined up a great mixture of practitioners, academics, industry and others.  Here is the line up:

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Using Drones To Keep Our Cities Smart And Safe

On Thursday, January 19, I appeared on a panel with FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and others.  The panel description is below:

Keeping our cities safe and leveraging smart technologies go hand in hand. One such technology is the use of drones. Drones have the potential to change the way local government delivers city services, particularly as their technology advances. Could drones transform firefighting, environmental monitoring, and disaster management? How might we ensure cities have local authority to determine how this technology can best be used to serve residents and improve service delivery? Privacy is critical; how do we address data concerns? What opportunities arise as the job market transforms due to these innovations? In addition, we will also hear about an exciting national partnership born in San Francisco that is expanding across the country to help transform innovation in cities.

Participants:

Chair: Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco
Michael Huerta, Administrator of the FAA
John Giles, Mayor of Mesa
Greg McNeal, Co-Founder of AirMap and Professor at Pepperdine University
Kamran Saddique, CEO & President of City Innovate Foundation

 

Innovating to Address Drone Related Challenges

Panel Of Experts To Discuss Safety Innovations At CES

At 2:15pm on January 6, 2017, I will be a panelist at the Consumer Electronics Show.  The panel is entitled “Innovating to Address Drone Related Challenges.”  Details are provided below:

Safety and privacy are overarching considerations as drones are integrated into the national airspace.  Where will software and hardware innovations help enhance safety and protect privacy as the use of drones increases in 2017?  Are safety and privacy concerns better addressed through rapid innovation rather than rampant regulation?
Moderator:
Bob Kirk, Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP
Speakers:
Brendan Schulman, VP, Policy & Legal Affairs, DJI
Gregory S. McNeal, Co-Founder, AirMap
Anil Nanduri, Vice President, New Technology Group/GM, Drone Group, Intel
Evan Low, Assemblymember, State of California

What DOT Pick Elaine Chao Could Mean For The Drone Industry

Bloomberg Television Interview

On December 9, 2016 I appeared on Bloomberg Television to discuss the impact Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao might have on the drone industry.

AirMap Co-Founder Greg McNeal discusses automation, air traffic control reform and Donald Trump’s choice of Eliane Chao as Transportation secretary. He speaks with Caroline Hyde on “Bloomberg Technology.” (Source: Bloomberg)

The video is embedded below.

Cities and Drones: What City Leaders Need to Know about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

On Saturday November 19, 2016 I will be participating in a panel at the National League of Cities City Summit.  The panel is entitled “Cities and Drones: What City Leaders Need to Know about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.”  

Here is the panel description:

The use of unmanned aviation systems, more commonly referred to as drones, has skyrocketed in the past two years. However, along with opportunity, drones present unique challenges and concerns for city government. Drones raise safety, privacy, nuisance and trespassing concerns, all of which are compounded by the lack of accountability associated with most drone operations today. This panel discussion will bring together industry experts with a focus on helping cities encourage innovation, while simultaneously protecting local interests in a rapidly evolving regulatory environment.

Other participants include:  Nicole Witt, Associate – Hanson Bridgett LLP;  Ivar C. Satero
Director – San Francisco International Airport;  James L Grimsley Associate Vice President for Research – University of Oklahoma; Reggie Govan Chief Counsel – Federal Aviation Administration.

Drones and the Intricacies of Federal, State and Local Jurisdictions

On Wednesday November 16, 2016 I will be participating in a panel at the CompTIA Annual National State Government Affairs & State and Local Government Education (SLED) Meeting in Nashville, TN.

The panel line up includes:

Michael P. Huerta, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration
Gregory McNeal, Professor of Law & Public Policy, Pepperdine University, Cofounder, AirMap
Diana Marina Cooper, Vice President of Legal and Policy Affairs at PrecisionHawk

 

 

Entrepreneurship, Technology And Regulatory Perspectives On Drones

What To Expect In 2017 And Beyond

At the Commercial UAV Expo I will be presenting about unmanned traffic management (UTM), entrepreneurial safety solutions, and regulatory perspectives on drones in 2017 and beyond.

The presentation will begin as part of a panel focused on the regulatory perspective:

We’re preparing for a future in which millions of drones fly billions of flights, and inject billions in benefits into our economy. To realize this future, we’ll need to transition UTM from a research initiative to a collaborative, technology-enabled system: digital, connected, and data-driven. What milestones have the FAA, NASA, and private industry achieved on the road to UTM – and what is yet to come? What can we expect from regulators as the framework for low-altitude airspace management begins to coalesce?

After the presentation panelists will discuss recent developments and what to expect.

 

 

 

Do Drones Raise Unique Privacy Concerns?

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Fall Technology Series

On October 13, 2016 I will be a speaker at the Federal Trade Commission’s Fall Technology Series.

Americans are increasingly familiar with drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). These devices have become one of consumers’ most popular technology purchases; some estimate nearly one million new drones will be purchased in 2016. Many consumer drones are controlled by tablet or smartphone, and feature high-definition cameras, GPS, and the ability to fly autonomously.

Commercially available drones are even more sophisticated, and are increasingly used for a variety of activities, including monitoring and inspection, news reporting, search and rescue of missing persons, and delivery of commercial packages or medicine to rural areas. With potential to transform entire industries, the devices may generate significant economic benefits. Although drones may offer society numerous benefits, the potential for information collection through filming, photography or other types of monitoring raises the potential for consumer harms including invasion of privacy, identification, trespass, and harassment.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently convened multi-stakeholder meetings to develop and communicate best practices for privacy, accountability, and transparency issues regarding commercial and private drone use. The drones workshop will explore the following questions related to commercial uses of drones:

What are the present capabilities of drone technologies? What technology do we foresee in the near future? In the longer term? What privacy concerns do drones raise? Are these concerns unique to drones, or are drones no different from other technologies? For people whose information may be captured by drones, what is the best way to provide transparency?  Given the difficulties of providing consumers with meaningful choices, what should the rules around privacy look like?
Should there be limits on data collection or limits on use?

Moderator:
Jamie Hine/Kate White
Federal Trade Commission

Panelists:

Gregory McNeal
Professor of Law and Public Policy, Pepperdine University School of Law Co-Founder, AirMap
Jeramie D. Scott
Director, EPIC Domestic Surveillance Project
Brendan Schulman
Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs, DJI
Kara Calvert
Director, Drone Manufacturers Alliance

What Can Municipalities Do About Drones?

League of California Cities Annual Conference

On October 7, 2016 I’ll be presenting at the League of California Cities Annual Conference about drones and how cities can effectively regulate their use while still allowing for their benefits.  From the panel description:

The FAA estimates 1 million drones were sold during the 2015 holiday season. Learn about the effects of the 2015 FAA drone registration regulations and the spring 2016 commercial drone regulations on municipalities. Focus on what municipalities can and cannot do to combat privacy, noise, and nuisance issues raised by small drones through the types of ordinances allowed and not allowed due to FAA pre-emption. Discussion will also surround how these regulations affect municipal airports.

Counties And Drones: Balancing Benefits And Challenges

Panel At Rural County Representatives Of California Annual Conference

On September 28, 2016 I will be appearing on a panel at the Rural County Representatives of California annual conference.  The panel is entitled “Counties And Drones: Balancing Benefits And Challenges.”