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Impact of FAA Extension Bill on Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Tower Owners

July 18, 2016

On July 14, 2016 Congress passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 to extend the FAA's authority through September 30, 2017. President Obama signed the bill into law on July 15, 2016. The major provisions of the FAA Extension Bill affecting unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and tower owners are summarized here. Notably, the FAA Extension Bill provides for creation of an emergency exemption process which would permit use of UAS by civil or public operators in response to a catastrophe, disaster, or other emergency. The FAA Extension Bill also includes various timetables and deadlines for FAA action on UAS and tower issues, which are summarized here.