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Sara Baxenberg Discusses Drone Provisions in FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018

Law360
October 4, 2018

Sara M. Baxenberg, associate in Wiley Rein’s Telecom, Media, & Technology and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) practices, commented in an October 3 Law360 article on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018, which integrates new aspects involving commercial drone technology. The bill, which was approved by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, awaits approval from the White House.

According to Law360,  the legislation recognizes the growing use of UAS by addressing such components as the FAA’s authority to impose remote identification on drone operators; advancing low-altitude management systems which allow the FAA more flexibility to approve advance UAS operations such as flying drones beyond the operator’s sight; and providing more specific tools for the federal government to enforce laws against illegal use of drones.

In response to the provisions in the legislation that relate to UAS threat mitigation and enforcement of the FAA’s rules for UAS operations, Ms. Baxenberg explained that enforcement has always been somewhat of an unanswered question in the conversation on UAS and drone policy.

“The FAA itself has long said that it simply does not have the resources to do front-line enforcement given the sheer number of people who are flying drones, either recreationally or commercially,” said Baxenberg. “There was always the understanding that there is a role for state and local law enforcement, and that remote ID would be a boon for effective enforcement.”

To read the article, click here (subscription required).