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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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.

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

McNeal To Emcee Drone Entrepreneurship Conference

The Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law and Pepperdine University School of Law present the 2015 Drone Entrepreneurship Conference.

The Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law and Pepperdine University School of Law present The 2015 Drone Entrepreneurship Conference.

​Imagine the possibilities and explore new frontiers with tomorrow’s leaders in drone entrepreneurship. Special guest speaker Greg McNeal. Expert panels of speakers from startups, venture capitalists and leading law firms.Drone Entrepreneurship Conference

A Look At Privacy Rights After OC Man Destroys Drone Flying Near His Home

Today I appeared on KPCC’s AirTalk to discuss an incident in Orange County where a drunk man destroyed a drone valued at $1350.

Here is a video of the incident:


Destruction of property in California is a crime, and is a felony when the property is valued at more than $400.

This drone was being operated on a public street by LuckySeven company.  There is a lot of confusion among many regarding which laws (Federal vs State vs Local) apply to drones.  In this case, the intoxicated man was not being harmed in any way, and yet, took it upon himself to maliciously destroy property belonging to another person. (more…)

Drones And Agriculture: Presentation At The Integrated Pest Management Symposium

On March 24, 2015 I will be presenting “Drones And Agriculture: The Legal Framework.”  The presentation will be part of the 8th Annual Integrated Pest Management Symposium in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The specific panel is part of a four part series that day, entitled “Advanced Technology for Precision IPM: Latest Developments with Examples from the Field and Legal Considerations.”

McNeal to Testify before Congress on Domestic Drone Security Implications


On March 18, Pepperdine School of Law professor Gregory S. McNeal will testify before the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency. The hearing is entitled “Unmanned Aerial System Threats: Exploring Security Implications and Mitigation Technologies.”

McNeal, recently named in a list of “Seven of the Most Influential Players in the Drone Industry” by Dronelife, will be speaking from his research and writing regarding the domestic use of non-military drones. He will acknowledge that while the emergence of unmanned aerial vehicles “raises understandable concerns that may require employment of mitigation technologies,” Congress should be cognizant of four issues before taking tangible steps: (more…)

7 Of The Most Influential Players In The Drone Industry

Drone Life magazine has named me one of the “7 Most Influential Players In The Drone Industry”  This is a fun honor, especially given the great names on the list.  There are many others who could just as easily have been on this list, but I nevertheless appreciate being named.

Here is an excerpt from the piece:

The Drone Revolution is upon us. Every day there is a new headline. Every day someone starts a new company. People are flocking to this industry and it is creating a snowball effect of popularity and investments. But as with any rise in technology, there are certain ‘powers that be’ making the whole thing happen. Dronelife spoke to these players to help you put faces to names and get their take on the rise of the drone: (more…)