Summer Flying, Emergencies and Temporary Flight Restrictions

Summer is nearly upon us, bringing with it good weather for flying your unmanned aircraft.  Summer also brings, however, an increase in certain types of natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, and storms that produce flooding, which in turn bring Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) from the FAA. So, in the interests of helping everyone have a safe and productive summer, Plane-ly Spoken feels it is important to brush up on the subject of TFRs.

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The UAS Webinar Series Presents: Drones and Natural Disasters

What you can do after a disaster and how  do you get permission to do it?

Whether you’re a public utility, an insurance company, a UAS service provider, or any other business that must respond in the aftermath of a disaster, you cannot miss this webinar.

Prior to last year, it was difficult, if not impossible, to obtain permission to fly a UAS in the aftermath of a disaster. The flight rules were restrictive and the FAA and first responders were primarily concerned with keeping the airspace clear for manned aircraft. That all changed last summer.

In the wake of some of the most costly hurricanes to strike in decades, the FAA made a commitment to promote the controlled use of UAS to help in recovery efforts. The FAA used Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) to permit UAS to operate in ways that would normally not be available. As a result, UAS were used in search and rescue, insurance adjustment, power line damage assessment and diaster response at a level never seen before.

With the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season just around the corner, now is the time to make sure that you are prepared for the challenges ahead. In this free webinar, we will take an in-depth look at:

  • The different levels of certification and how the protection varies
  • How to get Safety Act coverage for policies, procedures, and services — and not just products
  • How airspace can be used during and after a disaster.
  • Who decides what aircraft can fly, and when?
  • What is the FAA looking for to determine if you are a responsible UAS operation?
  • How to use TFRs and other methods to get permission to perform flights that you might not normally be allowed to perform.
  • What is the role of state and local governments in overseeing operations during a disaster?
  • State laws regarding UAS and first responders, and how to avoid trouble.
  • How to leverage waivers to increase your chances of getting permission to fly.
  • UAS disaster response “use cases” and what types of operations are likely to be approved or prohibited.

As always, the audience will also have an opportunity to ask questions and shape the discussion.  Please RSVP here and if you have any questions, please contact kristina.repko@leclairryan.com.

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Drones and Other Stuff: The 2018 FAA Reauthorization

Readers of Plane-ly Spoken are well aware of the twisting, and sometime torturous path, that FAA reauthorization takes. Competing versions of the reauthorization were introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate last summer.  Both bills, each weighing in at over 400 pages, got sidetracked during the fall, resulting in yet another short term extension.

Now, however, efforts to pass a comprehensive, five year reauthorization of the FAA may finally be entering the home stretch. This week, a new version of the House bill, slimmed down to only  353 pages and omitting the controversial proposal to privatize  air traffic control, has been introduced.  This bill should have an easier time getting passed, as it has bipartisan backing of the leadership of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its six subcommittees.

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Thank You for Listening In…

Yesterday, we hosted another addition to our Aviation Symposium Series: Aviation and the Safety Act. There was a great showing of interest and hope that all attendees were able to something new. If you happened to miss it and want to hear about the topics covered, you can follow this link for the recording. And as always, everything can be found on our Aviation Symposium App.

If you have any questions, please contact kristina.repko@leclairryan.com.

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Airplanes Helping Airplanes – Drones in the Aircraft Maintenance World

Given how few airline accidents have occurred over the past 20 years, people rarely give a second thought to whether or not the aircraft they are boarding is mechanically reliable.  If they did look into the matter, they would likely be surprised to see how much work goes into making sure the aircraft is in working order.  Maintenance of an airliner is both time and manpower intensive, and results in each aircraft being unavailable for revenue generation for an extended period of time.  As a result, any technology that can reduce either the amount of personnel or the amount of time needed to inspect an aircraft can have a big impact on the bottom line.

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Planes, Drones and $…The 2018 Appropriation and Aviation

After four governmentwide short-term stopgap funding provisions since last September, Congress has enacted, and the President has signed, a full fiscal year Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Public Law 115-141, March 23, 2018), a 2,149-page behemoth that provides a total of $1.3 trillion in funding.

According to a summary of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018, (Division L of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, commonly referred to as “THUD”) prepared by the Committee on Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives, the Department of Transportation (DOT) appropriations include $18 billion in total budgetary resources for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), an increase of $1.6 billion above the  fiscal year (FY) 2017 level. The summary also highlights the following measures:

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The Aviation Symposium Webinar Series Presents:

Aviation and The SAFETY Act: Limiting Your Liability

Whether you’re an airline, manufacturer, service provider, airport, or any other aviation business, you cannot miss this webinar.

Nearly every business that interacts with the public faces a threat of terrorism. Companies at the front end include air, bus and rail transport companies. Businesses where people gather, as well as businesses that manage critical infrastructure, all face the same threat.

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Beyond Dexter the Peacock

When United Airlines barred a woman from bringing “Dexter the emotional support peacock” on a flight from Newark to Los Angeles earlier this year, the story made national news and went viral on social media. It is easy to understand why. The account, replete with a picture of the iridescent bird perched atop a luggage cart at the gate, was whimsical and mildly outrageous. It also coincided with the news that both United and Delta had tightened their policies on emotional support animals. Various outlets reported that the airlines, having patiently endured people bringing the likes of pigs, monkeys, snakes, turkeys and kangaroos onto planes for years, were finally saying “Enough!”

If only it were that simple.

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Wheels Up for Blockchain Technology in Aviation?

Many of us know something about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Perhaps fewer of us are familiar with the underlying digital technology for these cryptocurrencies — known as blockchain. Likely even fewer of us recognize the role that blockchain can play in aviation.  This post will shed light on ways blockchain is being examined and even introduced in the transportation sector in general, including aviation.

First, what is blockchain?

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Congratulations to LeClairRyan’s Christa Hinckley

Christa Hinckley, a member of our Aviation team, has been named Chairman of the new General, Business and Charter Aviation committee of the American Bar Association: Forum on Air & Space Law. This new committee will serve as a resource for lawyers who not only practice the regular airline world of aviation law, but also charter operators, flight departments, agricultural operations and general aviation.

The full link can be found here, which contains committee information and the link to join any one of those committee. Congratulations Christa!

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