Skip to comments.Judge rules commercial drones are legal, undoing six-year ban
Posted on 03/08/2014 12:11:10 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
An administrative judge on the National Transportation Safety Board has ruled that the commercial use of small drones is in fact legal, despite six years of Federal Aviation Administration statements to the contrary.
Today Judge Patrick Geraghty dismissed a $10,000 fine levied by the FAA against Raphael Pirker, a Swiss drone operator who used a camera drone to film on the University of Virginia campus. "At the time of respondent's model aircraft operation ... there was no enforceable FAA rule or FAR Regulation application to model aircraft or for classifying model aircraft as an UAS," the judge writes.
The ruling effectively invalidates the FAA's 2007 ban on the use of commercial drones. But if the agency appeals, the case will go to the Washington, DC, US Court of Appeals.
There are plenty of would-be drone operators eagerly awaiting the opportunity to do so legally. Amazon famously announced that it would create a fleet of package delivery drones, but had to shoot its demo video outside the US to comply with alleged FAA rules.
This is a very significant decision.
But almost certainly will get appealed.
Eff the feds. They are fascist control freaks. Only the government should be able to fly drones.
Soon there will be very little that the people will do to copmply with any federal regulations about anything.Basciacally the national transportantion function, the FAA function , the EPA function,the IRS function have all become lawless ba$tards, working from presidential executive orders that the people do not want, and which are without any doubt, unconstitutional, not based on any law passed by Congress.
The fascist federal prigs can basically go eff themselves.And if they do not like THAT....BRING IT!
What Good Can a Handgun Do Against An Army?
I’m not sure I want every techno-geek to film people randomly going about their business. I realize that if a person is in public, taking a picture of them is fair game, but this creeps me out. I don’t want the government doing it either.
Seems to me the NSA is doing a great job on judges - since all judges lately give the wrong or weirdest decision certainly rarely based on the Constitution or even based on the law blackmail seems to be going strong - Roberts and all.
Yes, I have read “What Good Can a Handgun Do Against An Army?”many times. But there are only a few handguns in Canada, they are strictly controlled and registered, thanks to the socialists in charge. But ALSO we live in an era of tactical nuclear arms.
And so our governments must be NUCLEAR prepared to combat invaders, even though we can wage assymetrical warfare against an enemy as a people.
My point is that our government MUST be prepared. If not, we will have to give up our life style to become the hunters .....and the hunted.And Canada will loose its entire North and its resources.
The Government of Canada is not prepared. And it cannot afford to be prepared at this point, nor will it, unless it gives up its erroneous leftist musings , and so must the NDP and the Liberal Party give up their socialist , leftist entitlement musings, if Canada is to survive as a nation.We would not survive another poofter interlude with the likes of Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister , for example.
Hell the Russians have been knocking at Canada’s Northern door for 20 years and most Canadians do not even know it.
In light of Vlad the Shirtless’s Crimean invasion-non invasion,Canada HAS a lot to worry about.
See the heavily redacted Canada Government poofter assesment of risk below, which ignores current Russian expansionist policy. ( I have placed SIC where I thought it was needed.)
RUSSIA’S ACTIVITIES IN THE ARCTIC
The announcement by Russian Minister of Defence, Anatoly Serdyukov,  on 1 Jul 2011 to “create” two new brigades for the Arctic follows through on commitments made in Russia’s Arctic policy released in 2009.
There is no doubt that the economic potential of the Arctic is a major driver of Moscow’s calculations. However, the extreme environment and long distances make the actual economic feasibility of [resource] extraction in the High North, beyond its [Russia’s] Exclusive Economic Zone prohibitively expensive. [redacted] (SIC)
On 1 July 2011, Russian Minister of Defence Anatoly Serdyukov announced that Russia will “create” two new military brigades in the Arctic (nearing 10,000 troops) to protect [Russia’s] interests in the North. This announcement follows through on commitments made in [2009’s] Fundamentals of the Russian Federation’s Policy in the Arctic for the Period Up To 2020 and Beyond which calls for the creation of a new group of forces (primarily border guards) and a functional Coast Guard system. These measures, in addition to increased Arctic domain awareness, are intended to secure Russian Arctic borders.
Since Russia embarked on its most recent iteration of military modernization and reforms in 2008, the emphasis has been on consolidating and amalgamating existing divisions and brigades to find efficiencies and reduce costs. With respect to the Arctic, ... [redacted]
[redacted] ... Among the Ministry of Defence’s top priorities during the past several years of reform has been the modernization and sustainment of its strategic nuclear forces and their means of delivery (eg, through development of the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile). [Note: the RSM-56 Bulava is a submarine-launched ballistic missile for Borei-class SSBNs.]
[redacted] ... t also endorses the sanctity of international law and established global governance mechanisms as the preferred means of dispute resolution [redacted] Indeed, the recent conclusion of an agreement between Russia and Norway to delineate their maritime boundary in the Arctic is illustrative of Russia’s long-held public stance on international law and demonstrates a willingness by Moscow to act in a cooperative manner on Arctic issues. ( SIC)
Russian Surveying of the Seabed in the Arctic
Russian surveying of the seabed is consistent with the activities of littoral states all over the world, including in the Arctic, that are in the process of delineating their continental shelves pursuant to the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). ( SIC)
It is possible that the extended continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean coastal states will overlap but the extent and the location of these overlaps is not yet known. Any overlaps will be resolved by the states concerned through discussions, negotiations and/or arbitration, in accordance to international law. All Arctic Ocean coastal states reaffirmed this commitment in the May 2008 Ilulissat Declaration. 
The Economic Potential of the Arctic
With energy exports making up roughly one quarter of the total Russian GDP, there is no doubt that the economic potential of the Arctic is a major driver of Moscow’s northern strategy. At the end of 2010, Russia proper (i.e, not including any claims to the Arctic) possessed over 77 billion barrels of oil and nearly 45 trillion cubic metres of natural gas. Revenues from energy exports to Europe (and increasingly China) have steadily become the key enablers of Russia’s foreign and defence policy for over a decade, and there does not appear to be any signs that this situation will change in the near- to mid-term. That said, it is important to note that despite the broad range of estimates on the total amount of oil and natural gas reserves stored in the Arctic (up to 90 billion barrels of oil and 1.7 trillion cubic feet [.048 trillion m3] of natural gas according to the US Geological Survey, which was both probabilistic and based on limited data), the extreme environment and long distances make the actual economic feasibility of extraction from the Arctic basin probitively expensive and even beyond current technological means in some cases. What has received little attention is the fact that the majority of known energy resrves in the Arctic already fall within the well-established Exclusive Economic Zones of the littoral Northern states, including Canada, and are therefore not subject to the UNCLOS-prescribed process to delineate the outer limits of the shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.
A number of other consideraions should also be kept in mind with respect to Russia’s activities in the Arctic. First, Russia is on the verge of presidential elections in 2012, and [redacted]
Second, not withstanding disagreements with NATO surrounding the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, Russia has the sovereign right to station its troops wherever it wants on Russian territory. While developments such this are no doubt of interest to Canada from a defence and sercurity perspective, [redacted]
Third, this latest announcement is also consistent with other lofty announcements in recent months, most notably Moscow’s stated commitment to increase military spending by $740 billion by 2020 ( [redacted] ... [redacted] Finally, [redacted]
While many observers have commented in the media on Russia’s perceived provocative actions in the Arctic, there has yet to be any serious cause for alarm. [redacted]
Moreover, DFAIT has noted in the past that both countries also share common challenges related to policy making in the Arctic. Indeed, these commonalities could yield political and commercial opportunities for cooperation between Moscow and Ottawa. From a Defence perspective, in spite of disagreements over Russian LRA flights,  there is mutual interest in regard to cooperation in SAR and Arctic domain awareness. Defence is continuing to explore the potential for further cooperation with Russian in these fields.
As you can see from the above Canadian Governments pansey poofter “risk assesment” The Russians are playing Canada like a fiddle while in 2011 they created and deployed 10,000 ( 2 brigades) of Russian Troops in their North.... this they will continue to do until they are ready to march into the Canadian Northern territory and take it, just like they are doing now in the Crimea.
Thats a fak , jack! The only way to deter them is through ready force of arms.
Canada has its head up its ass, the driving force of its poofter “risk assesment’ is the fact that the Canadian Government does not have the political will to cut entitlement programs ( taking up over 50% of the Canadian federal budget,socialized medicine needs to have a private pay option)and put the money into the Canadian military. Canada needs several combat ready brigades deployed in the North to secure its sovereignty.
I nominate Bulwyf to head the charge. ( Thank you for your service, lad.)
Does Russia Want Alaska Back?
Canada and Russia battle for the Arctic
You don’t have nuclear weapons, do you?
Government is a force. It's not an idea, not a philosophy, not a credo, not a theory. It is a force, a "dangerous servant," according to George Washington.
The biggest challenge America faces now is seeing social "conservatives," who mainly define "conservative" as code for "promotes Christian values," accept that the small-l libertarian philosophy is the best friend of Christian morality as well as personal liberty. Leave morality to the church and free markets.
Wow! What a post. Bump.
Have you completed your NCAA basketball bracket? That seems to be missing from your post. : )
A judge in Mass just ruled that taking photos up a woman’s skirt in public is legal. I am sure that the state legislature will pass a law correcting this but your point about privacy is well taken.
Sarah Palin looks more correct about Russia every day.
Tiny helicopters in the news ping.
While they may be legal i the US, they will not be legal in the Republic of Maine after the secession vote June 18, 2014.
Not one member of the board, making the Constitution and setting up laws, can think of a reason why the government or anyone else would have to have a drone for a legitimate Constitutional purpose. Since they will not be legal, anyone can shoot them down.
While they may be legal in the US, they will not be legal in the Republic of Maine after the secession vote on June 12, 2018.
Not one member of the board, making the Constitution and setting up laws, can think of a reason why the government or anyone else would have to have a drone for a legitimate Constitutional purpose.
Since they will not be legal, anyone can shoot them down.
There are still many significant obstacles to widespread commercial drone use. It’s one thing to fly one around a few feet off the ground for fun but flying one (or many) in navigable airspace is a totally different matter.
I honestly don’t see the FAA ever allowing widespread use of commercial drones in navigable airspace due to safety reasons. For example, small form, fit, function transponders are not available for drones and I doubt they will ever be approved for such use because they threaten to overwhelm and confuse ATC. Just my 2 cents.
They are being used a lot in agriculture already.
The articles in farm magazines describing their use, along with tips on how farmers can best set up their own drone systems for increased yields, never once mentioned government or the FAA!
The toothpaste is out of the tube, sorry.
The government probably already can. I’ve heard of spybots that are the size of insects. Might be too costly to do routinely, but if they wanted to stake someone out that would be a way to do it.
No more ladder climbing
The FAA got slapped down hard. They should have never tried to fine that person/company. Currently, because of the ruling, you can fly any UAV anywhere (above 18,000 ft is still an open question). Unless the paparazzi are already following you around, it is very unlikely that any citizen would be following you around with a UAV. Transponders, ADS-B (self reporting to FAA and other aircraft), and cameras have gotten so small and light that they can be on almost any UAV. As long as UAVs stay out of airport traffic zones and out of jet ways, the technology exists to make them as safe or safer than a significant portion of the aircraft flying in the national airspace today. An interesting side note: should people have property rights for the airspace above their property? Say up to 400ft? People can have mineral rights below their property, why not above?
Helicopters do a better job.
Maine will use helicopters or hills, but not drones.
“An interesting side note: should people have property rights for the airspace above their property? Say up to 400ft? People can have mineral rights below their property, why not above?”
When you purchase property it comes with 3 rights; water rights, mineral rights and air rights unless they have been deeded away. My memory is a little rusty but I think the air rights are up to 1,000 ft.
Any little buzzing drone hovering over our property is going to meet Mr. Mossberg.
Only if they have the same equipment. Helicopters cost $250,000 on up and cost hundreds of dollars per hour vs drone costs of of hundreds to $5k-$10 dollars.
Farmers are beginning to use drones for much of the same reason everyone else does, or wants to, cost and speed.
$10,000 or $15,000 purchases a nice industrial drone system capable of scanning for analysis hundreds of acres per hour, on demand and under the direct control of the farmer.
That’s probably less than 5% for what a airplane or helicopter would cost.
I want to add that the prohibition of the use of drones is similar to cigarette taxes, at some point, ‘smuggling’ the use of drones will become a business.
You seem to forget, the Republic of Maine will have a standing army of no more than 1,000. But, every man between the ages of 18 and 65 is an armed member of the militia. A drone, since prohibited, can be shot down by anyone at any time.
$10,000 or $15,000 purchases a nice industrial drone system capable of scanning for analysis hundreds of acres per hour, on demand and under the direct control of the farmer.
Thats probably less than 5% for what a airplane or helicopter would cost."
That's fine, use them anywhere you want, except after June 12, 2018, they are fair game in the Republic of Maine.
You have made what I consider a fallacious assumption. That is you can shoot a drone down. Given the size, speed and altitude, I doubt you could hit one.
Government needs to have the support, and permission, of the people it seeks to govern.
If the proposed government is out of step with the people, as your arguments suggest, it will never have their support, and certainly not their permission. It will never come to fruition as proposed.
I predict farmers, and others, will be legally using drones well beyond 2018.
Yes, they fly very high and for sure I probably couldn't hit one even with ... well, nonetheless, I guarantee I know some very clever, inventive, extremely technically accomplished folks who could disable/take one down one way or another, and not necessarily by shooting. I am saying that if commercial (and government!!) entities have rights to use drones, then individuals have a RIGHT to destroy drones however they can when those drones invade their space and privacy. Exactly the same as a homeowner has a right to destroy any surveillance equipment he finds installed in his home.
Hobbyists have been flying RC aircraft for decades without legal impedements other than non-interference with controlled airspace around airports and military facilities. The “drone” word seems to be the modern version of “gay” which years ago meant happy.
You dont have nuclear weapons, do you?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
A few .50 cal rounds with depleted uranium bullets don’t count.
Breaking News! FAA Ban on Commercial Use of Quadcopters was Shot Down by a federal Court!