Lawsuits Challenge FAA Drone Ban

Groups argue government policy impedes their activities.

Commercial Drone

Commercial Drone

Several groups comprised of research universities, commercial drone operators and model aircraft hobbyists have filed federal lawsuits challenging the FAA over its rules relating to unmanned aerial vehicles.

Three lawsuits filed on Friday ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review the validity of a June directive issued by the FAA, which the agency says is an attempt to clarify current model aircraft regulations.

The lawsuits were filed on behalf of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, which represents more than 170,000 model aircraft hobbyists; the Council on Governmental Relations, an association of 188 research universities; and several commercial drone and model aircraft interests. Among them are UAS America, a fund that invests in the commercial drone industry; SkyPan International Inc., an aerial photography company; FPV Manuals LLC, a company that sells video systems for unmanned aircraft operators; and an association representing commercial drone operators.

The groups argue that the government policy unfairly hinders their activities. The FAA has been working on commercial drone rules for several years, but final regulations aren't due for many months or perhaps years.

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