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Update: Court Says FAA Doesn’t Have Oversight of Commercial UASs

Friday, March 7th 2014
By Adena Schutzberg

The FAA has appealed the decision which stays the decision. That means legally, things stay the same as before the decision until the National Technology Safety Board makes a decision..

--- original post 3/6/14 ----

National Transportation Safety Board Administrative Law Judge Patrick Geraghty decided a case (pdf) on Thursday concluding the FAA had no basis for the commercial drone ban because there were no formal laws to that effect. The case  of Pirker v. Huerta, involved Swiss drone pilot who filmed a commercial in Virginia and was fined $10,000 by the FAA. The pilot was the only person the FAA has fined and Pirker fought back. The judge dismissed the FAA’s fine.

Exactly what this decision means, that is if in fact it's now a free for all on commercial drones, is not exactly clear. The FAA has yet to comment on the decision. Any appeal would go the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Interestingly, just today the Wall Street Journal suggested the FAA was looking to find solutions to open the skies on a case by case basis.

- Politico

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