New FAA Regulations Govern the Burgeoning Practice of Drone Law

Look… Up in the Sky!

Impossible to imagine a decade ago, many major law firms staff attorneys – even whole departments –  are devoted to robotics law with the primary on drones. As one can imagine, the practice of drone law is constantly changing. In fact, in the late summer of 2016 the Federal Aviation Administration’s new drone laws went into effect. Per an August 28, 2016 article by Nyshka Chandran published on, the new regs clarify what’s acceptable commercial usage of drones, formally referred to as small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

“Commercial drones must weigh less than 55 pounds, fly up to a maximum of 400 feet in altitude, at a speed of no more than 100 miles per hour, and can only be operated during daytime and up to 30 minutes before sunrise and after sunset, according the FAA rules,” Ms. Chandran writes.

To download a PDF summary of the new drone rules, click below:

More on the FAA’s Drone Regulations
More specifics on the drone regs from writer Alex Knisely of

“They cannot be operated directly over unprotected people who are not involved in the purpose of the flight. Pilots are required to keep the machines within a visual line of sight and fly them only during daylight hours. If the drone has a anti-collision lights, they can be operated at dawn and dusk. Pilots using a drone for commercial use must be 16 years or older and obtain a pilot airman certificate issued by the FAA. The FAA anticipates 1.3 million licensed drone pilots by 2020, replacing a previous forecast of 1,343.”

To read the complete article, click on the link below:

Following are additional resources regarding drone law:

The Drone Law Journal: A synopsis of current U.S. Drone Law

An American Bar Association summary of emerging issues in drone law:

Keep up to date on the latest digital technology and its impact on the legal profession at


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