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.”  

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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.

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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

 

 

Entrepreneurship, Technology And Regulatory Perspectives On Drones

What To Expect In 2017 And Beyond

At the Commercial UAV Expo I will be presenting about unmanned traffic management (UTM), entrepreneurial safety solutions, and regulatory perspectives on drones in 2017 and beyond.

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The presentation will begin as part of a panel focused on the regulatory perspective:

We’re preparing for a future in which millions of drones fly billions of flights, and inject billions in benefits into our economy. To realize this future, we’ll need to transition UTM from a research initiative to a collaborative, technology-enabled system: digital, connected, and data-driven. What milestones have the FAA, NASA, and private industry achieved on the road to UTM – and what is yet to come? What can we expect from regulators as the framework for low-altitude airspace management begins to coalesce?

After the presentation panelists will discuss recent developments and what to expect.

 

 

 

Do Drones Raise Unique Privacy Concerns?

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Fall Technology Series

On October 13, 2016 I will be a speaker at the Federal Trade Commission’s Fall Technology Series.

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Americans are increasingly familiar with drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). These devices have become one of consumers’ most popular technology purchases; some estimate nearly one million new drones will be purchased in 2016. Many consumer drones are controlled by tablet or smartphone, and feature high-definition cameras, GPS, and the ability to fly autonomously.

Commercially available drones are even more sophisticated, and are increasingly used for a variety of activities, including monitoring and inspection, news reporting, search and rescue of missing persons, and delivery of commercial packages or medicine to rural areas. With potential to transform entire industries, the devices may generate significant economic benefits. Although drones may offer society numerous benefits, the potential for information collection through filming, photography or other types of monitoring raises the potential for consumer harms including invasion of privacy, identification, trespass, and harassment.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently convened multi-stakeholder meetings to develop and communicate best practices for privacy, accountability, and transparency issues regarding commercial and private drone use. The drones workshop will explore the following questions related to commercial uses of drones:

What are the present capabilities of drone technologies? What technology do we foresee in the near future? In the longer term? What privacy concerns do drones raise? Are these concerns unique to drones, or are drones no different from other technologies? For people whose information may be captured by drones, what is the best way to provide transparency?  Given the difficulties of providing consumers with meaningful choices, what should the rules around privacy look like?
Should there be limits on data collection or limits on use?

Moderator:
Jamie Hine/Kate White
Federal Trade Commission

Panelists:

Gregory McNeal
Professor of Law and Public Policy, Pepperdine University School of Law Co-Founder, AirMap
Jeramie D. Scott
Director, EPIC Domestic Surveillance Project
Brendan Schulman
Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs, DJI
Kara Calvert
Director, Drone Manufacturers Alliance

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.”

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 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

Drones and the Future of Aerial Surveillance

The George Washington Law Review

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Drones and the Future of Aerial Surveillance, George Washington Law Review.  

On February 15, 2015 the FAA announced historic regulations that for the first time in American history will allow small aircraft without onboard pilots — drones — to fly in the national airspace. Legal and technological developments have thus made it all but certain that drones will be a catalyst for new ways of thinking about privacy and surveillance. This is especially the case because the drones that the FAA has approved for operation in the national airspace (small aircraft under 55 pounds) are the exact type of drones that local law enforcement will be most likely to acquire and use. Thus, the battle over privacy and aerial surveillance will be fought in statehouses throughout the country. This article seeks to frame future discussions about how states will handle the privacy issues associated with aerial surveillance.

The article takes the counterintuitive position that technology may make unmanned aerial surveillance more protective of privacy than manned surveillance. It further argues that scholars and legislators should move beyond a warrant-based, technology centric approach to protecting privacy from aerial surveillance. Such an approach is unworkable, counterproductive, and may stifle efforts to enact more privacy protective legislative regimes. Instead, this article proposes that legal reforms should focus on excluding low altitude flights and surveillance coupled with imposing limits on persistent surveillance, requiring enhanced accountability procedures for data retention and access, and creating new transparency, accountability and oversight measures.

Know Before You Fly Campaign Integrates AirMap Airspace Information

Wildfire Flight Restrictions, Airport Airspace and Other Information Now Freely Available To Drone Operators

I am pleased to announce the integration of AirMap’s airspace information into the Know Before You Fly campaign.

Know Before You Fly is an education campaign founded by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), and the Small UAV Coalition in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to educate prospective users about the safe and responsible operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

As excitement and enthusiasm continues to grow around UAS, and the regulatory framework continues to take shape, more consumers are looking to buy UAS for personal use and more businesses are looking to use UAS too. These prospective operators want to fly, and fly safely, but many don’t realize that, just because you can buy a UAS, doesn’t mean you can fly it anywhere, or for any purpose. Know Before You Fly provides prospective users with the information and guidance they need to fly safely and responsibly.

Now with AirMap airspace information, the campaign can do even more to ensure that fliers can fly in a safe and responsible fashion.  As part of the campaign, AirMap is providing the following pieces of information:

Drone Flight Restriction Information By AirMap

As an example, you can see how AirMap provides live information about firefighting temporary flight restrictions (TFRs), ensuring that operators are aware of restrictions near wildfires.

AirMap AirSpace Info Firefighting Restriction For Drones

Check it out!

http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/air-space-map/