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.

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.”

Airspace Awareness And Flight Safety Through UTM

AUVSI XPONENTIAL Speech About Technology That Can Enhance Drone Safety

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.”

Here is a brief description:

In this presentation Dr. McNeal will present the challenges associated with integrating both recreational and commercial UAS into the national airspace system. He will provide an overview of the present and future systems, and will describe how a distributed network of connected devices powered by APIs and SDKs can ensure a safe operating environment in which innovation can flourish.

A Primer On Emerging Issues In The Law Related To Drones

Luncheon Address At The U.S. District Court for the Central District Of California Judicial Conference

On April 16, 2016 I will present at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California’s judicial conference.  My remarks are entitled “A Primer On Emerging Issues In The Law Related To Drones.”

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.”

Policies Impacting Drones And The Future Of Flight

SXSW Panel To Address Key Issues Around Regulation And Innovation

On March 15, 2016 I will be appearing on a SXSW panel entitled “Policies Impacting Drones And The Future Of Flight.”

Here is the panel description:

Drones have the power to revolutionize a multitude of consumer and commercial sectors — in fact, they are well on their way. According to CTA projections, the U.S. drone market will approach $105 million in revenue in 2015 with unit sales expected to reach 700,000, an increase of 63%. However, a number of policy battles could stand in the way of this remarkable technology. This panel will discuss the key issues impacting drones, from innovation and economic impact to safety and privacy.

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