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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Organic Farm Land Crops In California. Blue skies, palm trees, multiple layers of mountains add to this organic and fertile farm land in California.Farmers have been using drones since they first came out, but recent legislation in the United States is making it more  difficult for these farmers to make use of the drones that they might already own. New laws increase the restrictions on farmers, and also require them to go through a licensing process and to follow specific steps each time that the drone is used. The requirements don’t make it impossible to use a drone on the farm, but they certainly make it more difficult. This is something that farmers will have to think about if they are planning on obtaining a drone, or if they are already making use of one.

How Farmers Use Drones

Drones aren’t just popular for recreational use or for taking aerial photos, they are also being used quite heavily by farmers across the country. That’s because drones offer a bird’s eye view of vast tracts of property all at once, and they are quite easy to use.

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Illustration of the USA national flagDrones are all over the United States, and they are becoming more popular each and every year. That’s exactly why legislators are working so hard to come up with effective laws to protect privacy, keep aircraft safe and allow businesses to make full use of this amazing technology. A lot of changes have happened in the US recently and more drone laws come out every day. Here’s an overview of some of the changes, and an overview of drones in the United States.

No Autonomous Drones

While autonomous drones are certainly possible, and they could perform their job beautifully, they aren’t yet legal in the United States. The government has stated that an operator must be in view of the drone at all times, and for a delivery service, that just isn’t going to cut it. That doesn’t mean that you won’t someday enjoy an automated drone delivery service, it’s very likely to happen at some point. It just isn’t available at the moment until laws are cleaned up and the government figures out how to keep drones safe even when they aren’t within eyesight of the pilot.

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Minnesota black map on white background vectorFlying drones around has now become a scary action that could result in pretty serious fines when you do so in the United States, or at least that’s how it seems from one man’s recent experience. He was doing his friend a favor and taking some aerial photos of an event, and is now being fined a total of $55,000 from the government. The sad thing is, that he appears to have been going out of his way to follow along with current drone laws, as confusing currently seem to be.

Mical Caterina, a resident of Eden Prairie Minnesota is being fined a total of $55,000 by the Federal Aviation Administration. The organization claims that Caterina broke five different laws and they are fining him $11,000 for each of the broken laws.

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