News Media Join Fight Against FAA Commercial Drone Ban

May 6 2014, 9:23pm CDT | by

A drone operator fighting an FAA fine of $10,000 has gotten some very important new friends.  Arguing that the FAA’s drone ban affects the “public’s First Amendment interest in the free flow of information”, more than a dozen newspaper and magazine publishers, broadcast and cable television companies, wire services, website operators and nonprofit journalists’ associations filed a friend-of-the-court brief today with the National Transportation Safety Board in a closely watched FAA-case involving commercial operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle or drone.  The NTSB is reviewing an appeal filed by the FAA to an administrative judge’s decision that the FAA cannot prohibit commercial drone operations because it has not properly enacted rules to make their operations illegal.  The media coalition urged the NTSB to affirm the decision reversing the FAA’s enforcement action and to dismiss similar enforcement actions until the FAA has “properly enacted and promulgated” regulations for the operation of small UAVs.

The list of news media organizations include the Associated Press, New York Times, McClatchy, Hearst, Cox, National Press Photographers Association, National Press Club, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and others.  The thrust of their argument is a familiar one to followers of the FAA’s case against Raphael Pirker, a drone operator fined $10,000 by the FAA for allegedly operating a drone over the University of Virginia campus in a careless or reckless manner.  The media coalition assert that since 2007, the FAA has applied an overly broad policy prohibiting the unlicensed commercial use of UAVs through “ad hoc administrative actions rather than through properly enacted and promulgated federal regulation.” 

In addition, the brief claims that the FAA’s ad hoc cease-and-desist orders against drone operators has had “an impermissible chilling effect on the First Amendment newsgathering rights of journalists” and deprived citizens of the benefits of  freedom of speech and freedom of the press. 

I hope that this latest legal attack on the FAA’s failure to properly promulgate regulations affecting commercial drone operations will result in the FAA expediting rulemaking to allow at least some commercial operations by small UAVs.  The FAA’s failure to act has resulted in the drone industry in the US lagging behind other countries.  It’s hard to understand why our government would not want to be in the forefront of this new and exciting technology.

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Ebola virus detected in semen three months after symptoms end
Geneva, Nov 28 (IANS/EFE) The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned Friday that the semen of men recovering from Ebola can contain the deadly virus up to three months after the symptoms disappear.
 
 
Hitachi evinces interest in developing Andhra ports
Hyderabad, Nov 28 (IANS) Japanese multinational conglomerate Hitachi has shown interest in developing ports in Andhra Pradesh.
 
 
Ebola test results now in 15 minutes!
London, Nov 28 (IANS) A 15-minute blood and saliva test for Ebola is to be tried in Guinea.
 
 
Japanese scientists develop hybrid silk using spider genes
Tokyo, Nov 28 (IANS/EFE) Japanese scientists have developed through genetic engineering using genes from spiders and silkworms a super resistant silk which could be used for textiles as well as in the surgical field, media reported Friday.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Indian Aces win inaugural IPTL tie
Manila, Nov 28 (IANS) The much-awaited inaugural International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) got off to a flying start with the Indian Aces notching an impressive 26-16 first victory against the Singapore Slammers at...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Australian navy's largest ship commissioned
Canberra, Nov 28 (IANS) HMAS Canberra, a 27,000-tonne landing helicopter dock (LHD), was commissioned Friday, providing the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) with one of the world's most capable and sophisticated amphibious...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Sindhu, Prannoy enter Macau Open semis
Macau, Nov 28 (IANS) Indian shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and H.S. Prannoy came out with contrasting wins to enter their respective semi-finals at the $120,000 Macau Open Grand Prix Gold here Friday. While defending champion...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Ebola virus detected in semen three months after symptoms end
Geneva, Nov 28 (IANS/EFE) The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned Friday that the semen of men recovering from Ebola can contain the deadly virus up to three months after the symptoms disappear. Four studies on the...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Syria coordinating with Russia for talks with opposition
Damascus, Nov 28 (IANS) Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Friday that the Syrian government is coordinating with Russia for launching a dialogue with the Syrian opposition. In an interview with the pan-...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Two killed in Egypt clashes
Cairo, Nov 28 (IANS) Two people were killed Friday in clashes between Egyptian police and Islamist protestors in the capital Cairo. Two protestors were shot dead during the demonstrations in Matariya district and a...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Ferguson protests expose human rights abuse in US: North Korea
Pyong Yang, Nov 28 (IANS) North Korea Friday lashed out at the US human rights record, saying the ongoing mass protests against racial discrimination exposed severe human rights abuse in the US. Protests have taken...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
US plans to release more detainees from Guantanamo Bay
Washington, Nov 28 (IANS) The Pentagon is preparing to release more prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba, in the coming weeks, official sources in the US have revealed. According to officials,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Bhullar, Lahiri in fray for Indonesia Open title
Jakarta, Nov 28 (IANS) Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar will be looking to defend the $750,000 Indonesia Open title against compatriot Anirban Lahiri and several others in the annual Asian Tour event at the Damai Indah...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
British court awards woman 337 mn pounds in divorce case
London, Nov 28 (IANS) Following a bitter battle, the American wife of a London financier has been awarded 337 million pounds ($529 million) by a high court judge in the largest settlement a woman has received so far in...
Read more on Politics Balla