UAS Digest #46

weekly drone publication
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The Weekly Drone Publication

Reauthorization | FAA Action | FAA Reactions | Legal | Op Development | US Regulations  | Safety

Enforcement | Investing | Business | Sport | Education | Foreign | Insurance | Privacy | Events

– Hightlights –
FAA grants experimental TC to a drone
Best practices from Know B4 U Fly
No drone privacy safeguards in FAA Extension?
Drones join the Pokemon GO craze
Does this mean that FAA will prevent droning on/in conventions? That would be GREAT!
GOP Convention = No Drone Zone



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→  Drone World Expo – Exclusive Interviews – Mark Bathrick – We interviewed Advisory Board member Mark L. Bathrick who directs a nationwide aviation services business for the U.S Department of the Interior (DOI) overseeing the safe operation of over 1,200 contracted and government-owned manned and unmanned aircraft across a wide range of business applications.

→  This Guy Used a Drone to Try to Catch Pokémon – A loophole found in a game designed to play while walking around.

drone publication



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→  UAV prototype with limitless reach & scope – A student of KCG College of Engineering has developed a prototype of a new generation unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can be run from any part of the country. In fact, from any part of the world because it depends on the internet!

→  Airbus cuts delivery goal for A380s – Airbus Group SE on Tuesday said that it would sharply curtail production of the A380 superjumbo jet, the world’s largest passenger plane, as airline demand dwindles for supersized aircraft.

→  A Tale Of Two DJI Geo-Fences – In a nutshell, DJI has made it possible (easier) for owners to override the “no fly” zone restrictions imposed by it’s GEO geo-fencing software. Ostensibly the purpose is to “make it easier for authorised personnel to carry out inspections and other sanctioned activities in controlled areas.”

→  Drone Deliveries: Chinese Unmanned Helicopter to Redefine Air-logistics – A new Chinese unmanned helicopter might be the industry’s first critical step to a functional aerial logistic platform in the near future. This unmanned helicopter, produced by Ziyan UAV, excelled its counterparts by its outstanding performance in load-bearing, safety and speed.

drone publication

→  Guizhou unveils box-wing UAV concept – A new prop-driven, box-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) concept has been unveiled by China’s Guizhou Aviation Industry Group (GAIC) at the 7th Vanguard Wings UAV show in Beijing, one of China’s major exhibitions for the rapidly growing sector.

drone publication



City and State Economic Development and Government Use

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→  Kansas Officials Wants The State To Become A Leader In Drone Technology – Kansas has hired a new state government official responsible for regulating drones. As Stephen Koranda reports, the state’s first director of unmanned aircraft systems says Kansas could be at the forefront of the technology.

→  Nevada drone institute sees broad horizons with FAA rule – Officials in Nevada say they see broad horizons for the unmanned aerial systems industry following the posting of federal aviation rules designed for small drone aircraft.

→  Lunch series aims to connect Grand Forks area business community to drones – For several years, the city and North Dakota as a whole have garnered a reputation for being a hub for unmanned aircraft systems activity and event organizers say they want to continue building on that foundation.

→  Iowa businesses eager to test FAA rules – This week, the Federal Aviation Administration announced new rules regarding drone operation. Here are 5 things you need to know.


Regulatory Policy

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→  Eyes in the Sky – Drone filming businesses in Macau hope that new legislation, currently under discussion by the Civil Aviation Authority of Macao SAR (AACM), won’t impose too many restrictions on a sector that they consider needs more common sense and responsibility from drone owners.

→  Strike the right balance on drone policy – UPS and Zipline are working on a project to use drones to deliver blood and (hopefully later) lifesaving medicines to villages in rural and other remote places. If successful, this technology has the power to transform how critical medicines are delivered in both the developing and developed world.


City and State Regulatory Action

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→  All of Cleveland will be a “No Drone Zone” for the GOP convention – The city of Cleveland is gearing up for the invasion of 50,000 GOP conventioneers and assorted visitors next week and–despite the city’s clear ability to handle a crowd–it has issued tight security restrictions to ensure nothing goes awry during the controversial coronation of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president.

→  Mackinac Island restricts drone use – Mackinac Island is restricting drone use over fears the unmanned aircraft may startle the island’s horses and interfere with its signature historic charm.→  California Grounds Two Bad Drone Bills – Two bills before the California legislature this session—A.B. 1820 and S.B. 868—failed our test on all counts. Not only would the legislation have harmed our civil liberties, the bills could have criminalized certain drone sports, such as the aerial dogfights that have become one of the most popular attractions at Bay Area Maker Faire.

→  State View: Prohibit firearms on drones, protect privacy of public – The Michigan legislation, which was introduced in June, would outlaw drones with guns or other weapons attached. It’s a good idea, even if problems with such concoctions haven’t yet taken place.

→  Are drones a threat to privacy? – After discussing a number of safety, noise and privacy concerns — including that drone technology could allow would-be burglars to virtually “case out” a home — Atherton’s City Council has asked the town attorney to draft regulations on the use of drones in town.



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→  New life at Les Bois? Drone racing could be coming to Boise next summer – There’s a community of people who race drones competitively in the Treasure Valley, and they want to bring a qualifier race to Boise. If everything goes according to plan, this competitive sport could become the next big (albeit temporary) business boom for an area that’s fallen on hard times.

→  Norfolk State’s UAV Ranks 29th out of 43 – The purpose of the International Drone Competition was to design an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that could identify electro-optic targets.

→  Drone racing hobbyists work to protect and expand sport

→  Loughborough students win 2016 UAS Challenge – A team of engineering students from Loughborough University was awarded the top prize at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ (IMechE) recent Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Challenge.

drone publication



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→  Lenoir Community College launches state’s first drone piloting degree program – The Unmancomned Aircraft Systems Degree will be added as a third track in the Aviation Major, which already includes Traditional Piloting and Aviation Management.

→  Universities off to a Flying Start with Large Drone Research Project – “This flight campaign — the world’s largest gathering of atmospheric science and UAS researchers to date — exceeded everyone’s expectations”→  Oklahoma City Community College to offer drone courses – The latest Federal Aviation Administration rule allows drones for commercial use without a pilot’s license. Oklahoma City Community College is taking the cue to expand its program at the college’s Professional Development Institute.

→  Emergency management and UAS minors offered to local college students – Thompson, along with K-State Polytechnic Dean and Chief Executive Officer Verna Fitzsimmons and staff members at both schools, announced a plan to jointly offer minor degrees in both emergency management and unmanned aircraft systems at their educational institutions.

→  Early Days for Drone Use in Higher Education – Unmanned aircraft systems offer numerous possibilities in the academic environment, from creating programs aimed at UAS design and construction to finding ways to use them in traditional research across academic disciplines.

→  Know Before You Fly: UAS BEST PRACTICES – A list of voluntary guidelines for “neighborly” drone use, which serve to provide guidance to UAS operators on ways to balance their rights as drone users and other people’s rights to privacy. These guidelines are the result of a multi-stakeholder engagement process established by President Obama. The objective of the process was to develop and communicate best practices, accountability, and transparency issues regarding commercial and private UAS use in the National Airspace System (NAS).

→  PCS Edventures! Announces Sponsorship With Drone Sports Association – PCS Edventures! Inc., (PCSV) a leading provider of K-12 Science and Engineering (STEM) programs and leader in the design and manufacturing of precision technology for drone racing and robotics today announced a sponsorship agreement with Drone Sports Association (DSA) that will promote the launch of the Thrust-UAV 250R Pro FPV racer.

drone publication


Enforcement and Threats

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→  The Latest: Bill sponsor says authorities could shoot drones – A proposal to allow Utah authorities to damage or disable unauthorized drones flying over wildfires.

→  Drone hijackings on police radar – Criminals using drones, quadcoptors and other unmanned aerial systems to avoid detection by police and law enforcement will soon find their new toys hijacked to provide evidence against them if an ASX-listed technology developer and exported gets its way.


FAA Action

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The FAA just issued a mandatory no-fly-zone over both party conventions

→  FAA bill extends Nevada drone testing, addresses human trafficking – Legislation approved by Congress on Wednesday extended Nevada’s designation as a federal test site for drone development, but failed to include many aviation-related priorities the delegation had hoped would benefit the state, due to a controversial effort to overhaul air-traffic control operations. The measures fell under legislation to fund the FAA.

→  FAA Grants Experimental Certificate to General Atomics-built Predator C Avenger – The Avenger unmanned aerial vehicle has an electro-optical/infrared sensor, Lynx radar system and a joint direct attack munition and is designed to perform ground- and maritime-based intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance missions.

drone publication


FAA Reactions

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→  FAA’s Rule for Small Unmanned Aircraft Released – Some members are interpreting this exemption to mean they are free from all previous FAA rules including the registration requirement. The new rule does not revoke registraion, members still mus register at AMA is still working on the issue, but at this time the FAA still requires model pilots to register.



FAA Reauthorization and UAS

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faa reauthorization

→  13 Drone Provisions In FESSA: The FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 – With current FAA authorization set to expire [today], Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders announced last night that they reached an agreement to extend FAA authorities through September 30, 2017.

→  July 2016 FAA Extension Summary – A summary of the July 2016 FAA Funding Extension to soon be voted on in the House of Representatives.

faa extension

Foreign Regulatory Actions

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→  Member states to impose ‘no-fly zones’ for drones – Within weeks, the European Commission is expected to conclude the first EU rules for all types of unmanned aircraft, in which the ‘geofencing’ of airports and city centres will come as a top priority.


International Developments

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→  UK Survey Shows UAS Industry Isn’t Doing Enough – A new survey commissioned by the RAeS asked the general public a number of questions relating to the use of drones in the UK. The online survey interviewed 2,043 British adults.

→  Commercial Drones Make a Splash at British Air Show – Farnborough air show defies tradition with over 90 exhibitors from the global unmanned aircraft industry.

→  When Toys Go To War – While toys to some, the drones are playing a crucial role in the conflict according to Sadiq al-Husseini, a commander in the Badr Organisation – the largest and oldest of Iraq’s Shia militias. “The drones have been extremely useful for preventing casualties among our forces,” says al-Husseini while observing the front lines around Fallujah, a former Isis stronghold. “They have helped us lock onto targets with our mortars and cut Isis’s supply lines.”

drone publication


Person in Drone Nation

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Please submit suggestions of people in the drone industry who you think should be highlighted to



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→  Insurers Applaud FAA Reauthorization Provision on Drone Use in Disasters – Insurers could soon be able to deploy drones for speedier response to natural disasters under a provision in legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration passed by the Senate Wednesday.


Market Forecast / Investment

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→  SMG to explore unmanned potential in region – Streamline Marketing Group (SMG) is holding a series of working groups to explore the potential of commercial and civil drones in the Middle East. Running bimonthly from September in Dubai, the working groups will be a forum to chart the progress of this sector in the region and to aid the creation of a comprehensive licensing and operations platform.

→  Global UAV Sense-and-Avoid Systems Market – Analysis & Forecast, 2016-2022 – Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Global UAV Sense-and-Avoid Systems Market – Analysis & Forecast, 2016-2022” report to their offering.


Legal Information

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→  Current Unmanned Aircraft State Law Landscape – So far, 32 states have enacted laws addressing UAS issues and an additional five states have adopted resolutions. Common issues addressed in the legislation include defining what a UAS, UAV or drone is, how they can be used by law enforcement or other state agencies, how they can be used by the general public and regulations for their use in hunting game.


Media Use

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→ See the Stunning Shots that Won This Year’s Dronestagram Competition – The Dronestagram social network, in collaboration with National Geographic, have announced the winners of their 3rd annual International Drone Photography Contest… and there are some real stunners among the top shots.

drone publication


Operational Developments

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→   Is Drone Delivery Economically Feasible, Practical? – It still appears as though it will be some time before the flying drone is the preferred, practical or even most affordable option for retail delivery.

→  AT&T drones are inspecting towers, may someday boost data rates – AT&T has begun using drones to inspect its cell towers and wants to eventually use the little flying machines to deliver more mobile data at large events.

→  Drones Provide New Tool for Marine Mammal Research – Operating from a NOAA small boat in Cape Cod Bay, they flew one of the NEFSC’s research drones, an APH-22 hexacopter, in late April for right whale photo identification and photogrammetry studies. Photogrammetry techniques allow researchers to get body measurements from aerial photographs.

→  Rafael Tackles Drone Menace – Rafael (Chalet C22) has developed a system that counters the growing threat of micro- and nano-UAVs.

drone publication

Rafael’s Drone Dome system can be assembled into an easily deployable unit controlled from a single-person, two-screen operator station.

→  Drones to unleash vaccine-laced M&Ms in bid to save endangered ferrets – US Fish and Wildlife Service to target diseased prairie dogs, food for the ferrets, via specially designed drones that shoot the candies in three directions at once.

drone publication

→  A Drone PHOTOSPHERE Is Worth 4,000 Ttimes Pi Words – MAGnet Systems wants to change [the game] with a lightweight spherical camera made to fit on a flying vehicle. The camera is under 2.5 inches square, weighs 62 grams, and draws less than 3 watts at 12 volts. It picks up a sphere that is 360 degrees around the drone’s front and back and 240 degrees centered directly under the drone. That allows a view of 30 degrees above the horizon as well as directly under the drone.


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→  FAA compromise bill drops key drone privacy provisions – The provisions would put checks on the collection of personal data by drone operators, including the government.

→  FAA Reauthorization Grounds Drone Privacy Safeguards – Shortly before adjourning, Congress passed the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016 without drone privacy provisions authored by Senator Markey, included in the original legislation.

→  State View: Prohibit firearms on drones, protect privacy of public – The Michigan legislation, which was introduced in June, would outlaw drones with guns or other weapons attached. It’s a good idea, even if problems with such concoctions haven’t yet taken place.

→  Bringing Down the Drone – Steve Loosey was in his home when he noticed an unmanned aerial vehicle hovering around his house. In a sudden outburst of rage, he shot down the drone. He was apparently concerned that unknown persons were filming his kids who were still underage right in their home as they played. Turned out the drone he shot down from “his airspace” belonged to David Rorie Rains of Mountain Home, who had permission to fly the drone around a nearby restaurant.



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→  Universities off to a Flying Start with Large Drone Research Project – “This flight campaign — the world’s largest gathering of atmospheric science and UAS researchers to date — exceeded everyone’s expectations”


Restrictions from parties other than FAA

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(Stay tuned for next Friday!)


Safety & Security

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→  House passes Babin amendment to promote drone safety – Strict new guidelines for the operation of drones near chemical plants and oil refineries.

→  Handling the Threat of Drones on Your Campus – Like it or not, institutions must plan for the growing threat posed by unmanned aerial vehicles.

→  Congress Moves to Reduce Risk of Midair Collisions Posed by Drones – The FAA reauthorization bill would require drone manufacturers to include a “safety statement” in product packaging including information about drone laws and regulations, and would raise to $20,000 the potential fines for drone operators who interfere with wildfire suppression, law enforcement or emergency response efforts.

→  Construction Sector Targets Drone Safety Issues – The construction and inspection industry is flying ahead of FAA regulations by partnering with insurance carriers to create a self-regulating safety standard – the Property Drone Consortium.

→  Boy Scouts of America Alert on Drone Safety – Now that drones, or small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), are readily available, Scouts and Scouters may be considering incorporating them in an activity or using them to capture photos and videos. BSA local councils may also be considering using them as part of a camp program. We continue to monitor their use and application for future program opportunities.



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(stay tuned for next Friday!)


Upcoming Events [UPDATED WEEKLY]

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→  MAPPS Summer Conference – July 16-20, Traverse City, Michigan

→  Flymore Invitational Drone Race at Savona Mill – July 23, Charlotte, NC



Evolving drone law on conference agenda—August 3, Canberra

US National Drone Racing Championships—August 5-7, New York City

national drone racing championships

Midwest UAS conference—August 16-17, Dayton, OH

drone publication

UAS Summit and Expo—August 22-24, Grand Forks, ND

The 2016 event, focused on both small and large unmanned aircraft systems, will feature industry and military leaders, UAV manufacturers, payload providers, designers, and commercial operators with the most important insight of today’s UAS world.

The 2016 program will provide in-depth analysis and timely presentations from 75-plus speakers focused on the following for both small and large unmanned aircraft systems.

The Summit, taking place in what many have called the “Silicon Valley of Drones,” offers the most open airspace in the country, vast tracts of farmland, infrastructure to test on and the nation’s first unmanned aircraft degree program.

The Commercial UAV Show – Africa—August 23-24, Johannesburg, South Africa

China Commercial UAV—August 25, Shenzhen, China



The Commercial UAV Show Asia—September 1-2, Singapore

InterDrone: The International Drone Conference and Exposition—September 7-9, Las Vegas

→  Second Women in Drones Event Planned for InterDrone

Drone Experience—September 16-17, Nantes, France

UASympEx—September 18-19, Hamburg, Germany

ExpoDrónica—September 22-23, Zaragoza, Spain

Commercial UAVs—September 27-29, Royal on the Park, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

DronItaly—September 30-October 1, ModenaFiere, Modena



USI Conference San Francisco—October 3-5, CA

→  First Age of Drone Expo—October 7-8, Dortmund, Germany

INTERGEO Co-Hosts German UAS Event—October 11 to 13, Hamburg, Germany. The “interaerial SOLUTIONS Expo. Forum. Flight Zone for UAS”- A showcase for manufacturers, UAS users and operators, accessories, software and end-to-end solutions will be co-hosted at INTERGEO

The Commercial UAV Show—October 19-20, London

The GeoConnect ShowCo-located with The Commercial UAV Show (above)—October 19-20, London

Precision Entertainment, Conference for Hollywood film and television influencers—October 26-27, Hollywood, CA

Commercial UAV Expo—October 31–November 2, Las Vegas



Drones, Data X Conference—November 3-5, Ireland

→  NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM)—November 8-10, Syracuse, NY

Drone World Expo: The Defining Event for the Commercial Applications of UAS Technology—November 15-16, San Jose, CA


USCEI Unmanned Systems Conference & Exhibition India—November 17-18, New Delhi, India



National Drone Show – December 7-8, Washington, DC

International Drone Expo & Business Conference – December 9-10, Los Angeles, CA


To Be Announced & After 2016

F3Expo is the world’s first drone technology and lifestyle event for all ages and skill levels.

→  Hartford UAV Challenge –  “We plan on having some UAV events in Westport within the next year and hopefully something at the 7th annual Westport Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, April 22, 2017,”


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