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FAA Releases Commercial Drone Regulations

On June 22, 2016 by Schnader

On Tuesday, the FAA issued its long-awaited commercial drone regulations allowing for a wide range of unmanned aircraft operations without further FAA approval. These regulations are contained in new 14 C.F.R. Part 107 and will take effect sixty days after publication in the Federal Register.

While the regulations were largely as expected, there are several provisions that are worth noting. For example, new Part 107 does not contain any requirement that an operator of unmanned aircraft carry liability insurance. This is in contrast to other countries such as Canada where liability insurance of $100,000 is required. As a practical matter, however, those engaging in the commercial use of drones likely will be required to carry liability insurance by their customers in an amount appropriate for the operation. Low risk operations such as use by real estate brokers or remote aerial photography may require relatively low limits while higher risk operations such as closed-set filming may require higher liability coverage. There currently are a number of insurers offering coverage for UAS operations, with others expected to join suit in the near future.

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