"Taylor I" Case Status Updates (only) - RC Groups
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May 29, 2017, 10:42 AM
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"Taylor I" Case Status Updates (only)

This thread will be used for case status updates only.

Discussion, which is certainly welcome, should take place in other threads. Thanks.

Below are links to the significant documents from the “Taylor I” case. That case challenged recreational model aircraft registration requirements and the imposition of the DC- SFRA 30-mile “no fly” zone around Washington, D.C.

The Regulation:

The Advisory Circular (AC91-57A):

Taylor Brief:

FAA Brief:

Taylor Reply Brief:

Oral Argument:

Court Order:

Court Opinion:

Stay Order:

The opinion, which struck down the new Part 48 online registration process, focused exclusively upon the regulatory prohibitions contained in Sec. 336(a) of the Modernization and Reform Act (http://bit.ly/2rxpQ4v).

The Brief, however, raised additional issues that the court did not address – such as whether model aircraft are properly “aircraft” under our statutory and regulatory scheme, and whether the FAA has legislative authority to regulate low-altitude activities that don’t directly affect the traditional navigable airspace. Those issues were raised, in part, to ensure that the FAA does not attempt to force model aircraft to be registered under Part 47 (used for full-sized aircraft). The Brief also challenged whether the FAA properly followed the Notice and Comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, and whether the registry was truly a registry of aircraft, rather than of people.

The Brief also challenged the application, to model aircraft, of the 30-mile “no fly” zone around DC – which was first embodied in AC91-57A. This challenge was based on many of the same grounds as the registration challenge. It also challenged the FAA’s ability to prohibit behavior through an advisory circular. The FAA did not publicly announce that D.C. was “a no drone zone” until several months after issuing the advisory circular. The court ruled that the challenge was raised too late.

The ruling was issued on May 19, 2017, but does not become effective until the clerk issues a “mandate.” The court ordered that the mandate be held until seven days after the disposition of any timely petition for rehearing or petition for rehearing en banc. The FAA has 45 days to file such a motion. By my calculation, the mandate could issue July 5, 2017, or upon disposition of any motion by the FAA, whichever occurs later.

It may be telling that the FAA has announced that they only, “encourage registration for all drone operators,” while they consider their options.

Use your own judgment. None of this is intended as legal advice.

In any event, the court’s ruling is limited to the online registration process for recreational hobbyists. It does not affect any other requirements.

The Taylor II case, addressed in a separate thread, addresses the FAA’s authority to create 14 C.F.R. 101.41, and the inclusion of all non-336 conforming activities into Part 107. It raises many of the same issues as the first case regarding whether model aircraft are properly “aircraft” under our statutory and regulatory scheme, and whether the FAA has legislative authority to regulate low-altitude activities that don’t directly affect the traditional navigable airspace.

Again, please do not post comments, etc. in this thread, but feel free to post them elsewhere.

Last edited by JohnATaylor; May 29, 2017 at 10:50 AM.
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Jul 03, 2017, 11:50 AM
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Not legal advice:

The Court issued its mandate today, making official the ruling and the vacating of the registration regulation as it applies to model aircraft.

Here is the order:

Early media quotes from the FAA said only that they were considering their options. Now that the registry regulation is officially vacated, the FAA will have to answer to people who want the data deleted and the millions of dollars returned. Both were unlawfully obtained.
Jul 03, 2017, 12:41 PM
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The FAA website explains the process for those who registered to get their information deleted and receive a refund of any registration fee paid:
Last edited by JohnATaylor; Jul 03, 2017 at 01:07 PM.

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