A Vision For The Future Of Drones

On October 26, 2017 I will participate in and moderate a discussion at the Commercial UAV Expo Americas 2017.  The plenary session will focus on the regulatory roadmap facing the drone industry in 2018 and beyond.

Participants on the panel are:

  • Gregory McNeal, Professor of Law and Public Policy at Pepperdine University and Co-Founder of AirMap.
  • Finch Fulton, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation at the U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Greg Walden, Chief Aviation Counsel, Small UAV Coalition
  • Thomas Wilczek, Executive Director, Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems

 

Greg McNeal Appointed To FAA Aviation Rulemaking Committee

Committee will help the agency create standards for remotely identifying and tracking unmanned aircraft during operations

Earlier this year I was appointed to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Remote ID Aviation Rulemaking Committee.  This is my third Aviation Rulemaking Committee.

From the FAA’s Announcement:

Currently, there are no established requirements or voluntary standards for electrically broadcasting information to identify an unmanned aircraft while it’s in the air. To help protect the public and the National Airspace System from these “rogue” drones, the FAA is setting up a new Aviation Rulemaking Committee (PDF) that will help the agency create standards for remotely identifying and tracking unmanned aircraft during operations. The rulemaking committee will hold its first meeting June 21-23 in Washington, DC.

The group’s membership represents a diverse variety of stakeholders, including the unmanned aircraft industry, the aviation community and industry member organizations, manufacturers, researchers, and standards groups. The rulemaking committee will have several major tasks to:

  • Identify, categorize and recommend available and emerging technologies for the remote identification and tracking of UAS.
  • Identify requirements for meeting the security and public safety needs of law enforcement, homeland defense, and national security communities for remote identification and tracking.
  • Evaluate the feasibility and affordability of the available technical solutions, and determine how well they address the needs of law enforcement and air traffic control communities.

Eventually, the recommendations it produces could help pave the way for drone flights over people and beyond visual line of sight.

U.S. Senate Briefing- Drones: Opportunities For Federal, State, And Local Cooperation

Briefing To U.S. Senate Staff Regarding Drones, Innovation, and Policy

On Wednesday, July 19th I participated in a briefing at the United States Senate regarding the legal framework applicable to drones.

The participants in the briefing were:

  • Nevada State Assemblyman Elliot Anderson
  • Utah Senator Wayne Harper
  • Pepperdine Professor and AirMap Co-Founder, Greg McNeal
  • Alabama State Aeronautics Bureau Chief John Eagerton
  • Heritage Foundation Analyst Jason Snead

The briefing description provided by the Senate staff appears below:

In response to the growing number of drones beginning to be used in communities throughout the country, many local governments and at least 38 states are considering drone legislation this year. Please join us for a discussion of the approaches these governments are taking and how they can work together with the Federal Aviation Administration’s mandate to safely integrate small unmanned aircraft into the national airspace.

The current legal framework for managing the airspace evolved to meet the needs of manned aviation, not unmanned aviation. It will be Congress’ job to establish a clearer, more effective legal framework. Last year, the Senate was asked to consider an aggressive new proposal that would have strictly blocked any state or local ordinance related to drones. This year, Senators Feinstein, Lee, Blumenthal, and Cotton proposed a more affirmative approach – the Drone Federalism Act, S. 1272 – that recognizes FAA’s general authority over the national airspace while also preserving the authority of state, local and tribal governments to issue, or not, additional restrictions on low-altitude drone operations.

Drones And Innovation

Emerging Technology And Collaborative Acceleration

On May 31, 2017 I will be speaking at ReCode’s CodeCon.  It’s a great event with amazing speakers including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, LA Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer, Senator Kamala Harris, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.

My remarks will focus on how government and industry can partner to accelerate timelines and create a welcoming environment for innovation.

 

Regulating Disruption: Responding To Emerging Technologies

2017 Stanford Technology Law Review Symposium On Drones, Autonomous Vehicles, VR and 3D Printing

On March 3, 2017 I will be a panelist at the 2017 Stanford Technology Law Review symposium.  The agenda appears below:

Regulating Disruption: Responding to Emerging Technologies
All events will be held at Stanford Law School
Friday, March 3, 2017

8:30-9:00 AM – Registration & Breakfast

9:05-9:50 AM – Opening Keynote—Virtual Reality (more…)

Flying Above The Law: Legal Issues Surrounding the Domestic Use of Drones

Keynote Address: Drones and the Future of Aviation: Key Issues in Law and Policy

On February 3, 2017 I will be delivering the keynote address at the Campbell Law Review Symposium.  The symposium title is Flying Above The Law: Legal Issues Surrounding the Domestic Use of Drones.  My remarks are entitled Drones and the Future of Aviation: Key Issues in Law and Policy.  

Campbell has lined up a great mixture of practitioners, academics, industry and others.  Here is the line up:

(more…)

Using Drones To Keep Our Cities Smart And Safe

On Thursday, January 19, I appeared on a panel with FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and others.  The panel description is below:

Keeping our cities safe and leveraging smart technologies go hand in hand. One such technology is the use of drones. Drones have the potential to change the way local government delivers city services, particularly as their technology advances. Could drones transform firefighting, environmental monitoring, and disaster management? How might we ensure cities have local authority to determine how this technology can best be used to serve residents and improve service delivery? Privacy is critical; how do we address data concerns? What opportunities arise as the job market transforms due to these innovations? In addition, we will also hear about an exciting national partnership born in San Francisco that is expanding across the country to help transform innovation in cities.

Participants:

Chair: Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco
Michael Huerta, Administrator of the FAA
John Giles, Mayor of Mesa
Greg McNeal, Co-Founder of AirMap and Professor at Pepperdine University
Kamran Saddique, CEO & President of City Innovate Foundation

 

Innovating to Address Drone Related Challenges

Panel Of Experts To Discuss Safety Innovations At CES

At 2:15pm on January 6, 2017, I will be a panelist at the Consumer Electronics Show.  The panel is entitled “Innovating to Address Drone Related Challenges.”  Details are provided below:

Safety and privacy are overarching considerations as drones are integrated into the national airspace.  Where will software and hardware innovations help enhance safety and protect privacy as the use of drones increases in 2017?  Are safety and privacy concerns better addressed through rapid innovation rather than rampant regulation?
Moderator:
Bob Kirk, Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP
Speakers:
Brendan Schulman, VP, Policy & Legal Affairs, DJI
Gregory S. McNeal, Co-Founder, AirMap
Anil Nanduri, Vice President, New Technology Group/GM, Drone Group, Intel
Evan Low, Assemblymember, State of California

Cities and Drones: What City Leaders Need to Know about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

On Saturday November 19, 2016 I will be participating in a panel at the National League of Cities City Summit.  The panel is entitled “Cities and Drones: What City Leaders Need to Know about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.”  

Here is the panel description:

The use of unmanned aviation systems, more commonly referred to as drones, has skyrocketed in the past two years. However, along with opportunity, drones present unique challenges and concerns for city government. Drones raise safety, privacy, nuisance and trespassing concerns, all of which are compounded by the lack of accountability associated with most drone operations today. This panel discussion will bring together industry experts with a focus on helping cities encourage innovation, while simultaneously protecting local interests in a rapidly evolving regulatory environment.

Other participants include:  Nicole Witt, Associate – Hanson Bridgett LLP;  Ivar C. Satero
Director – San Francisco International Airport;  James L Grimsley Associate Vice President for Research – University of Oklahoma; Reggie Govan Chief Counsel – Federal Aviation Administration.

Drones and the Intricacies of Federal, State and Local Jurisdictions

On Wednesday November 16, 2016 I will be participating in a panel at the CompTIA Annual National State Government Affairs & State and Local Government Education (SLED) Meeting in Nashville, TN.

The panel line up includes:

Michael P. Huerta, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration
Gregory McNeal, Professor of Law & Public Policy, Pepperdine University, Cofounder, AirMap
Diana Marina Cooper, Vice President of Legal and Policy Affairs at PrecisionHawk