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.”  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

McNeal To Moderate White House Drone Policy Session

White House Office Of Science And Technology Policy Event Will Focus On Future Regulations

Dr. Gregory S. McNeal was selected by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to co-moderate a policy workshop discussion with participants from academia, industry and government.

McNeal Drone Policy White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

The daylong event will begin at the White House and will then move to the Newseum for drone flight demonstrations and policy discussions.  The event, billed as “The First-Ever OSTP Workshop on Drones and the Future of Aviation” will:

bring together government, academic, and industry stakeholders to discuss both the near and long-term implications of unmanned aircraft as an emergent technology; issues related to airspace integration; the potential of unmanned aircraft to enable high-impact research, create new jobs and industries, save lives, and improve the way government agencies and companies do business; and potential ways to further address safety, security, and privacy in this emerging field.

Dr. McNeal’s session will focus on issues related to the future of U.S. drone regulations. McNeal and a group of government facilitators will help identify challenge areas related to regulation and issues where industry leadership or cross-sector collaboration will prove useful in enabling small UAS integration.  Discussion topics will range from immediate-term implementation challenges for Part 107 and other near-term rulemakings, waiver reform, technical solutions for notice of operations, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations, nighttime flight, operations over people, and more.

Dr. McNeal is Professor of Law & Public Policy at Pepperdine University School of Law and is co-founder of AirMap which provides safety solutions for drones.  Dr. McNeal was previously appointed by the Secretary of Transportation to serve on the UAS Registration Task Force and was appointed by the FAA Administrator to serve on the Micro UAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee.  In addition to his work in support of policymaking, Dr. McNeal serves as Chair of the Consumer Technology Association’s Industry Standards Working Group on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (R6 WG 23) and as a voting member of the ASTM technical committee creating scientific standards to govern unmanned aircraft and their operation.

A report conveying the event’s proceedings will be produced by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation and will be released to the public to inform policymaking.

Commercial Drones Cleared For Takeoff

Drone Law Expert And Scholar Dr. Gregory McNeal Appears On NBC's Today Show To Discuss Drones

Set to go into effect in August, the new rule will allow thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses to innovate exciting new ways to use drones. While rule allows for daytime operations within visual line-of-sight with limited external load operations, it is a big step towards a future in which we receive Amazon packages by drone.

Drone law and policy expert Dr. Gregory McNeal discussing Part 107 regulations on The Today Show.

Pepperdine Law Professor and AirMap co-founder Greg McNeal weighed in on TODAY, with NBC’s Tom Costello reporting.

“This is the FAA doing something that they’ve really never done before, which is to create a permissive, progressive environment that makes it easy for people to be able to operate,” he said. “[Companies like Amazon] have to keep the pressure on the FAA, but there’s still hope for them to be able to have this dream of package delivery.”

McNeal Appointed to FAA Rulemaking Committee

Gregory McNeal to Work with Industry Stakeholders to Develop Regulatory Framework for Micro UAS

Professor Gregory McNeal, who is also the co-founder of AirMap, was appointed to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Micro Unmanned Aircraft Systems Aviation Rulemaking Committee. Dr. McNeal was selected by the FAA and the Small UAV Coalition to work with other aviation experts to draft recommended performance-based standards and operation requirements for a new classification of UAS called micro UAS.  “I am pleased to be a part of the FAA’s efforts to establish regulatory guidance to this new class of UAS,” said Dr. McNeal, “Our industry is continuously evolving and I applaud the FAA for taking an inclusive approach to the rulemaking process.”

MicroUAS Aviation Rulemaking CommitteeDr. McNeal has been at the forefront of the intersection between technology, law and policy; he is one of the nation’s leading experts on public policy and unmanned aircraft. He delivered the keynote address at last week’s American Association of Airport Executives Airport Planning Design & Construction Symposium, the preeminent technical event for airport professionals. Additionally, Dr. McNeal will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship on March 10, 2016 at a hearing entitled, “Up in the Air: Examining the Commercial Applications of Unmanned Aircraft for Small Businesses.”

Dr. McNeal will be a featured presenter at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas on March 15, 2016. Along with the FAA’s Senior Advisor on UAS Integration and other thought-leaders, Dr. McNeal will discuss key policy issues impacting drones including privacy and safety, at a session called “Policies Impacting Drones and the Future of Flight.”

“Despite being in the news regularly, most people are unaware of the significant economic and societal benefits that drone technologies offer. I look forward to being a part of an effort to educate the SXSW community about the latest drone advancements and the effect public policy has on the growth of this industry,” said Dr. McNeal.

The Policies Impacting Drones and the Future of Flight panel will take place on March 15th at 3:30pm CST at SXSW Interactive at the Parkside in Austin, Texas.

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McNeal To Lead Industry Working Group For Small Drones

CTA R6WG23 To Write Industry Consensus Standards

CTA Gregory McNeal drone law expert industry standardsDr. Gregory S. McNeal has been named as the chair of the Consumer Technology Association’s working group for small drones. The group will develop standards, recommended practices, and technical reports related to small unmanned aerial systems. Dr. McNeal has experience working to create industry standards, he served as a member of the FAA’s MicroUAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee and Registration Task Force and is a member of ASTM Committee F.38.

“I’m pleased to work collaboratively with industry and government stakeholders to help create consensus standards that can create a sustainable future for the industry” said McNeal.

Small drones have grown in popularity as a unique tool for aerial inspections, entertainment, journalism, search and rescue, and many other beneficial uses. Soon, millions of drones will be operating billions of flights and will deliver tremendous value to people in their everyday lives. AirMap is committed to ensuring that future comes about, and is proud to work collaboratively with other industry stakeholders to help develop standards and best practices for the operation and management of small unmanned aerial systems.

The new working group’s first project will be to focus on establishing a standard for serial numbers to be used by small drones, which will help streamline drone registrations with the FAA. The working group is part of CTA’s Portable, Handheld and In-Vehicle Electronics Committee.

To learn more about AirMap’s recommendations for a future system for registration, download the white paper on “Robust and Scalable UAS Registration.”

TESTIMONY: The Commercial Applications of Unmanned Aircraft for Small Businesses

Hearing Before The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Senate Testimony Regarding Drones and EntrepreneurshipOn March 10, 2016 I testified before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the hearing was entitled, “Up in the Air: Examining the Commercial Applications of Unmanned Aircraft for Small Businesses.”

A copy of my testimony can be downloaded here.

McNeal Named To FAA’s Registration Task Force

The Federal Aviation Administration has announced the 25-member task force that will advise the administration on its proposed drone registration rules.

Dr. Gregory S. McNeal (first on right) stands on stage with Secretary of Transportation Foxx during the announcement of the Drone Registration Task Force.

Dr. Gregory S. McNeal (first on right) stands on stage with Secretary of Transportation Foxx during the announcement of the Drone Registration Task Force.

Dr. Gregory S. McNeal has been named to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Registration Task Force.  The 25-member group will advise the administration on its proposed drone registration rules. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx has set a deadline of Nov. 20 for the Task Force to complete its recommendations and work is already underway. The group will meet formally from Nov. 3-5 before developing recommendations on a streamlined registration process and minimum requirements on which unmanned aircraft should be registered. Given the urgency of this issue, the DOT and FAA will move expeditiously to consider the Task Force’s recommendations.

The group is composed of experts from drone manufacturers, aviation associations, retailers and others, providing a good variety of perspectives.

The FAA says the group’s co-chairs are Dave Vos of GoogleX and Earl Lawrence, director of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office. Here are the members:

Nancy Egan – 3D Robotics, General Counsel
Richard Hanson – Academy of Model Aeronautics, Government and Regulatory Affairs Director
George Novak – Aerospace Industries Association, Assistant Vice President and Regulatory Counsel
Chuck Hogeman, Aviation Safety Chair, and Randy Kenagy, Manager, Engineering & Operations – Air Line Pilots Association
Jim Coon – Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs & Advocacy
Sean Cassidy – Amazon Prime Air, Director, Strategic Partnerships
Ben Gielow – Amazon Retail, Senior Manager, Public Policy
Justin Towles – American Association of Airport Executives, Staff Vice President
Brian Wynne – Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, President and CEO
Parker Brugge – Best Buy, Senior Director, Government Relations
Douglas Johnson – Consumer Electronics Association, Vice President, Technology Policy
Brendan Schulman – DJI, Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs
Paul Feldman – General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Vice President, Government Affairs
Dave Vos – GoogleX (Co-Chair)
Tony Bates – GoPro, President
Matt Zuccaro – Helicopter Association International, President
Mike Fergus – International Association of Chiefs of Police, Program Manager
John Perry – Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors
Brandon Declet – Measure, CEO
Randall Burdett – National Association of State Aviation Officials, Board of Directors
Sarah Wolf – National Business Aviation Association, Sr. Manager, Security & Facilitation
Baptiste Tripard – Parrot, Business Development
Tyler Collins – PrecisionHawk, Director of Business Development
Gregory McNeal – Small UAV Coalition, Co-founder of AirMap
Thomas Head – Walmart, Product Safety & Regulatory Compliance Manager