The sound of thousands of commercial UAV operators celebrating could be heard across the internet as an NTSB judge presiding over the high-profile case of FAA v. Pirker ruled that commercial usage of drones violates no laws and no legal action can be taken against law-abiding operators by the FAA.
The FAA has dragged it's feet for years as they attempt to come up with rules for commercial UAV operations in the national air space (NAS). But policing such a diverse group has proven difficult at best; operators can range from hobbyists with a camera on a quad, to multi-million dollar teams with gas powered fixed-wing UAV's... and everything in between. In an attempt to ward off commercial operations, the FAA began contacting small and large UAV businesses with cease-and-desist orders. However, there are currently no laws prohibiting operations, only advisories issued by the FAA... hardly binding laws.
The killing blow was dealt to the FAA with the final ruling on Raphael Pirker's $10,000 fine and court case by judge Patrick Geraghty. Geraghty stated The FAA "has not issued an enforceable Federal Acquisition Regulation regulatory rule governing model aircraft operation; has historically exempted model aircraft from the statutory FAR definitions of aircraft; by relegating model aircraft operations to voluntary compliance with the guidance expressed in [the 2007 policy notice], Respondents model aircraft operation was not subject to FAR regulation and enforcement.
Additional info on the ruling can be found on Motherboard.
Last edited by Matt Gunn; Mar 06, 2014 at 09:20 PM..
|Mar 07, 2014, 08:32 AM|
|Mar 07, 2014, 06:22 PM|
If you read the court papers, the case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it's dismissed permanently. I don't speak legalese, but I'm pretty sure they can't appeal. Am I wrong?
|Mar 07, 2014, 10:12 PM|
That's my understanding as well. The FAA didn't lose a case that actually went to court. The case
was dismissed, and normally that's all she wrote. "With prejudice" means the FAA cannot re-file
a case against the same plaintiff. Presumably any attempt to file a
case against a different plaintiff would meet with similar fate as long as the
FAA tries to use their current arguments as legal foundation for regulation
of unmanned aircraft (that which the judge says is missing).
That said.. FAA seems to think they can appeal something
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