Drones, or “unmanned aircraft systems” (UASs), have the potential to revolutionize the way people do business and provide services to their clients. From offering more engaging photo and video productions to delivering cargo, business uses for UASs are expanding, but the federal government has singled out commercial drone usage for regulation. If you plan to enhance your business with the use of a UAS, it is incredibly important that you understand your responsibilities under the law and carefully follow all requirements. Our business law attorney in Santa Clara County at Napolitano Law Office can assist you with issues relating to contracts, intellectual property, as well as provide general business consulting.
There are multiple legal ways to operate drones. Which avenue is best for you depends on your intended usage and current qualifications. Currently, there are three ways to legally operate your UAS for business purposes:
Part 107 requires that a qualified remote pilot with appropriate certification be in command of the aircraft and imposes several restrictions on the operational limits of the flight.
If you would like to operate beyond these restrictions, you must obtain a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after showing that the operation can be conducted safely. The good news is that the FAA does allow waivers for most of these requirements. Filing a thorough and well-crafted request for waiver can be key to success. Our attorney can help you file your application effectively.
Section 333 provides an exemption to the general ban on operating UASs for commercial purposes by means of obtaining an individual waiver from the FAA. This method requires a more detailed filing and either a certificate of airworthiness for the UAS or use of a model that has already been deemed airworthy. Restrictions still apply to Section 333 exemption holders, but there are differences between what is expected of commercial operators using a Section 333 exemption and what Part 107 allows.
UASs are aircraft, so “drone law” is in actuality a subset of aviation law. With the immensity of federal regulations and the stress of trying to navigate these laws, it is important to hire an attorney who can guide you and your operations clearly and succinctly in order to avoid violating a rule simply because you were confused. Government agencies are also often very slow to act on applications, and mistakes can lead to even more substantial delays. Nobody is always perfect, but working with an attorney can help you avoid common pitfalls, which can lead to faster and more accurate processing of your waiver, certification, or other application. Ultimately, by working with an attorney, you can avoid the stress of doing it all on your own.
UAS laws are quite new and subject to change. It is important to have someone on your side who can evaluate your planned operations from multiple angles. Even if you meet all the FAA requirements, there are still questions of liability, privacy laws, and other concerns that business lawyers are trained to examine for their clients. In this developing area of law, it can be incredibly important to protect your business by bringing on an ally dedicated to your success. At the Napolitano Law Office, we are dedicated to our clients and focus on building relationships of mutual respect and a vision for the bigger picture.
Call our office in Santa Clara County today at (650) 399-9545 to begin with a free consultation with our knowledgeable and experienced drone lawyer.