David Adams and Camille Khodadad presented at the Chicago Area Business Aviation Association’s (CABAA) annual October meeting “Drone Attack.”
The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) is evaluating the risks of drones’ widespread use, especially as retailers like Wal-Mart and Amazon consider using drones as a way to deliver their merchandise. As the holiday season approaches and gift givers consider recreational drones, the FAA estimates an additional 1.0 million drones could be given this season and subsequently operated by persons with no training or aviation experience. Registration of all drones is coming according to the FAA.
David and Camille, both pilots as well as attorneys, noted the FAA’s concern that drones will mingle with manned airplanes in the National Air Space and raise a wide range of legal issues such as product liability claims against an operator. With increased use of drones for agriculture and routine commercial and military ventures, there is fear that drones will endanger commercial flights, both air carrier and charter, as well as private airplanes. Equally alarming is the potential for criminal sanctions being issued for unlawful drone use, which vary by jurisdiction, but can be punishable by jail time or fines. Their presentation noted the recent civil penalty levied by the FAA against a Chicago-based operator in the amount of $1.9 million.
As pilots, David and Camille counsel clients on aviation-related matters in jurisdictions across the United States and in Europe.