small business ownerDrones can be excellent tools for many businesses, they can be cost efficient and time saving ways to expand or enhance services a company can offer. Before using a drone for business purposes, it is important to be familiar with FAA regulations for drones. In general, businesses may lawfully operate drones under a 333 exemption or in compliance with part 107. A licensed aircraft pilot is required to operate the drone under the 333 exemption, while part 107 only requires a remote pilot in command to operate the drone. Depending upon how the drone will be utilized, part 107 is often a good option.

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federal aviation administration logoBy now, most of us involved in the drone industry know that all drones have to be registered with the FAA before they are flown. But what are the consequences for the drone operators that choose to not follow the rules? For those few rogue operators, criminal penalties including fines up to $250,000 and three years in jail may be incurred for operating an unregistered drone. While we have not yet seen penalties handed out at the maximum limits, saving the $5 and 5 minutes needed to register the drone don’t seem worth the risk of a $250,000 fine or jail time. Drones can be registered here.

Safe flying!

drone on campusIn the summer of 2017, the FAA based new rules making the use of drones for commercial purposes more accessible than ever before. To be clear, if you are using a drone for anything other than your own personal enjoyment, you are likely using a drone for a commercial purpose and these FAA regulations apply, even if you are not charging for the drone services.

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boy with droneDrones will be showing up under Christmas trees this year to the delight of many. Before taking the drone outside, you should know that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) considers these gift aircraft under their jurisdiction. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you need a pilot’s license, at least not if you are only using it for recreational purposes. If you are using it for business purposes, you do need a remote pilot in command license. In either case, you do need to register your drone with the FAA. It is a simple process that can be completed online. Just click here and follow the prompts.

If you have more questions about drone law, the attorneys in Widerman Malek’s unmanned systems department are happy to help. Kelly G. Swartz, Esq., the director of the department, can be reached at or (321)255-2332.

Small modern drone hovering taking picture of sunsetIn Australia the drone laws just got a whole lot more relaxed, and that has pilots on edge. Pilots and air traffic control officials say that the new laws could lead to mid-air collisions between aircraft and drones. The laws could even lead to airplanes crashing if they get unlucky enough during one of these collisions. Drone owners are excited about the relaxed attitudes toward the aircraft, but it could be a serious problem according to some experts.

The New Laws

According to the new laws, any drones under 2KG in weight, don’t face too much regulation at all. There are special air zones they have to avoid, and they can’t be flown too high in the air, but they don’t have to be registered and there aren’t many restrictions around them at all.

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drone flying near houseWhile many countries haven’t caught up to the United States when it comes to legislation around drones, many countries are now hard at work coming up with their own laws around the devices, including France. French legislators have a long list of drone-based laws they are about to release, and the new laws could seriously change how drone owners can use their devices.

Stiff Fines or Prison Time

One of the new laws in France governing drones, could see people receiving fines up to €15,000 and up to six months in prison. Anyone flying in a restricted area runs the risk of receiving such a punishment in France, and it shows that the government is taking drones very seriously and that it wants to ensure that people are using them safely and that they aren’t compromising the safety of aircraft up above.

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