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NTSB judge rules FAA ban on commercial UAS/Drones unenforceable

BIG BIG News !
In a ruling late Thursday, 3/6, a NTSB Administrative Law Judge ruled that the policy banning the commercial operation of unmanned aircraft is unenforceable. The judge found that the policy wasn’t written as part of a formal rulemaking process and the FAA hadn’t complied with the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act. The FAA policy was published in the Federal Register in 2007 and has effectively banned the operation of commercial and public use UAS in the national airspace over the past seven years.

This finding came as part of Judge Patrick Geraghty’s ruling on attorney Brendan Schulman’s motion to dismiss FAA’s assessment against Raphael Pirker, aka “Trappy”. Mr. Pirker was fined $10,000 by the FAA under 14 CFR 91.13 for allegedly operating an aircraft in a careless and reckless manner while flying a UAS through the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Virginia.

This ruling effectively lefts the ban on the commercial operations of small unmanned aircraft, those aircraft that would otherwise meet the description of a model aircraft.

It;s a bit too soon to say how the FAA will respond to the ruling, and whjat this means to the UAS community. But, by all accounts, this is a game changer.

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