UAS: Dear Santa

This law firm has been engaged in order to advise you regarding the restrictions associated with the delivery of packages placed under seasonal greenery (hereinafter “Christmas Trees”) which contain toys known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems, remotely piloted vehicles and/or unmanned aircraft vehicles (hereinafter referred to as “UAS”).  We note that the word “drones” should be avoided, inasmuch as it potentially conveys concepts inconsistent with the recreational, hobbyist or civil/commercial use of said UAS. Accordingly, we urge you and your staff of assistants to refrain from referring to said UAS as drones.  This limitation does not apply if said Christmas Trees are located in The Pentagon, NSA, CIA or other related establishments.

Please ensure that every UAS delivered to a non-defense or non-national security related establishment, contains a warning setting forth the following restrictions:


The Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) contained herein is subject to the following restrictions:

  1. It is not to be referred to as a “drone.”
  2. It is to be flown strictly for recreational purposes.
  3. It is not to be flown above 400 feet.
  4. You must be able to see it with your eyes at all times while it is flying without the assistance of binoculars, telescopes or any other aid to vision. Of course, if you wear glasses to see, wear them.
  5. You must be at least five (5) miles from any airport whenever you fly this UAS.
  6. You may not, repeat, may not, fly this UAS for any business or commercial purpose, whether you get paid or not. What this means is that if your neighbor wants to sell his house and asks you to video it using your UAS, you’re breaking the law.
  7. There is no grey area between recreational/hobbyist uses and business/commercial uses.
  8. It must give way to all other aircraft, including, but not limited to, sleighs pulled by reindeer.
  9. If you want to use this UAS for business/commercial purposes, contact the North Pole Legal Division and we will refer you to lawyers who specialize in petitions for exemption from the Federal Aviation Regulations pursuant to Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.

On behalf of our clients (as well as the Federal Aviation Administration), we hope we do not have to avail ourselves of further legal process regarding enforcement of these restrictions.  We are certain, as a member of the aviation community, you are as concerned as we are about aviation safety.

Best wishes and fly safe!

(Originally posted December 17, 2014)

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