Thompson Coburn associate and UAS practice group member Tyler Black has published two articles on drone technology and the regulatory environment for unmanned aircraft systems for The Cipher Brief, a news platform for global security issues. UAS practice group co-chair Sean McGowan assisted with both articles.
Tyler’s latest article, “The Regulation Challenge,” explores legal and regulatory issues surrounding anti-UAS technologies — devices intended to disable or destroy in mid-flight an unauthorized UAS. These methods, possibly employed by law enforcement or property owners, include radar and video technology, frequency jammers, or even hawks and other birds of prey.
“As drones become more prevalent, agencies like the FAA, the FCC, and the Department of Justice may seek to reevaluate and reinterpret their regulations or enforcement guidelines to differentiate between accommodation of socially desirable anti-drone countermeasures and undesirable disruptive radiofrequency jamming,” Tyler writes. “Drone operation and counter-drone technologies sit at a fascinating nexus between aircraft safety and communications regulations, civil tort law, local ordinances, and criminal laws.”
In his previous article, “Regulatory Outlook,” published in September 2015, Tyler discussed the current regulatory environment for commercial UAS use, including the Section 333 exemption process. UAS is a developing area of legal and regulatory law, he writes, and the FAA will “keep up with technology if its terms and the process for its modification are sufficiently flexible.”
“Some of those new rules will likely be in response to congressional direction. Other rules could be modified or developed in response to real world events, accidents, and the novel ways in which companies and individuals develop uses for drones.”
Tyler is an associate in Thompson Coburn LLP’s transportation regulatory and unmanned aircraft systems practice areas. Prior to joining Thompson Coburn he interned at the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation, and the White House.
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