Legislation

New US government rules to authorise UAV take-downs and commercial drone deliveries

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The US government is expected to write up new rules which will authorise commercial drone deliveries and allow the Department of Justice and Homeland Security to shoot down drones. The DFHS will be allowed to disable or shoot down drones they believe to be posing a threat to government buildings. According to a report from Reuters, the Trump Administration said it did not have any authority to take out potential malicious drones prior to the new rules. Last week, Commercial Drone Professional reported on a story which detailed how a security official felt the US was ‘powerless’ against drones. In
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FAA to get tough on rogue drone pilots in the US

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UAV pilots in America are now more likely to face stricter sanctions from the Federal Aviation Administration if they are caught breaking the law. The FAA made it clear that drones interfering with wildfires, law enforcement efforts, or other first responders, such as medical flights, will now face more serious civil penalties. The authority made the announcement in a statement last week and went on to say how it would be just as strict with first time offenders too. In July 2016, Congress authorised the FAA to impose a civil penalty of up to $20,000 for anyone who operates a
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Prisoners get local Chinese takeaway delivered ‘by drone’

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Inmates at a prison in Dublin, Ireland are believed to have ordered a Chinese takeaway to be delivered by drone. It has emerged that staff at Wheatfield Jail became suspicious after they found the leftover boxes from a local Chinese takeaway. A source, who spoke with the Irish Mirror, said there is no other way the prisoners could have got hold of the food. They said: “There’s no other conceivable way a Chinese takeaway could get into the prison other than by a drone. That’s what the staff in the jail believe anyway.” The source added: “The food containers were
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Security official says the powerless US stance on drones is ‘gravely concerning’

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A US Homeland Security official has said the lack of power the country has over drones is a cause for concern. Speaking to CBS News, intelligence official David Glawe thinks terror organisations could take advantage of the situation. With the news outlet, he walked along the Mexican border and described how drones could infiltrate the US in a new way. He said: “If you want to move people, narcotics, god forbid weapons of mass destruction, or anything else over the border, you have a surveillance location that can be now automated with drones at a very inexpensive cost by organisations
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US authorities could soon have permission to take out commercial drones

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The US Government could soon grant authority to shoot down private commercially piloted drones flying in US Airspace. According to a report by NBC, a 1,200-page FAA Reauthorisation Bill posted by the house on Saturday includes a ‘Preventing Emerging Threats’ section, which drones would fall into. It would give the FBI and the Department for Homeland Security authority to track and take down drones which they deem as a potential threat. Last month, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, told NBC about the growing threat drones pose. She said: “Commercially available drones can be employed by terrorists and criminals to drop explosive
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Aviation leaders making ‘successful’ progress towards drone integration

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Leaders in aviation have made significant progress towards the successful integration of drones into global airspace, according to a new report. A leading US aviation attorney believes the ‘baby steps’ taken by the FAA in August are the right ones to incorporate drones into airspace worldwide. In a column for AviationPros, the LeClairRyan aviation attorney described how the latest trials by the FAA meant the US was heading in the right direction. He said: "Integrating UAS into national airspace may not rank next to the moonshot in the annals of human achievement. However, it is similar in at least one
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Drone has near-miss with commercial jet filled with passengers

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The UK Airprox board has confirmed a drone's near-miss with a commercial plane containing 240 passengers. Flying out of Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster, the plane had reached a three-mile high altitude but only missed the drone by around 100ft. At 15,500ft in the sky, the close collision with the Airbus A321 happened 40 times higher than the legal flying height for a drone in the UK. The incident occurred at the highest ever recorded altitude for a near-miss between a drone and an aircraft in UK airspace. The report by the UK Airprox Board said the pilot saw a
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Department for Transport sees ‘flying taxi’ drones as possibility in near future

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The Department for Transport (DfT) has identified the growing market behind drone technology as a possible step to flying taxis in the near future. In its latest report, the DfT highlighted how ‘drones offer vast opportunities in service industries and air taxis.’ However, despite the optimism for the drone industry surrounding the findings, the report went on to describe how the current aviation scene in the UK needed to be looked at more closely first. The report states: “One of the greatest challenges is operating alongside aircraft and beyond visual line of sight so there is a need to carry
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BVLOS operations in the UK opens its doors

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The Beyond Visual Line of Site in the UK conference has opened its doors this morning for a two-day event. The London-based conference is hoping to bring a range of operators, users, providers and regulators together to gain a deeper insight into BVLOS. Operators will explain how they safely operate BVLOS while users will describe the business behind the approach. Providers are set to use the conference to assess new capabilities which can mitigate the current constraints in the industry. Additionally, regulators and legislators are hoping to provide background to proposed regulatory developments. Currently, the UK CAA oversees BVLOS operations,
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Home Office targets drone misuse as part of public consultation

The Home Office is meeting to consult on proposals to give police greater powers to stop and search people over the misuse of drones. The consultation identified critical national infrastructure, sensitive sites, defence establishments, large-scale events and crowded public places as locations which face a potential threat of criminal or hostile drone activity. The report outlined how the number of incidents of drones coming close to manned aircraft rose to 93 in 2017, a statistic the consultation felt could cause ‘catastrophic consequences’. The number has risen from zero just five years ago. An increase in the use of drones to
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