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.”
On September 13, 2016 I spoke on a panel entitled “Governmental Use of Drones: A Practical Look at their Use by Municipalities and Related Fourth Amendment Implications.” The panel was part of the 81st Annual International Municipal Lawyers Association Conference.
The first part of this presentation address Riverside County’s (CA) Certificate of Authorization from the FAA and its test program to enhance the County’s ability to direct critical resources towards saving lives during search and rescue missions. The second part of this presentation will discuss the future of aerial surveillance law in an era of drones. Focusing on 4th Amendment issues, data retention, transparency, and accountability measures.
On September 7, 2016 I addressed an audience of over 3,500 technologists, drone operators, and others. My keynote address was entitled “Drones, Innovation, and the Future of Flight.” A video of the keynote address is embedded below.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
On May 2, 2016 I will be speaking at AUVSI XPONENTIAL, the speech is entitled “Airspace Awareness And Flight Safety Through A Distributed Network Of Apps, Smart Devices, and UTM Interfaces.”
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.”
Dr. 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.
Dr. 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.”