Public Law

Updates on Public Law in Massachusetts from Anderson & Kreiger LLP


D.C. Circuit Adds another Layer to Federal Drone Regulation

State and local governments and airport proprietors trying to follow FAA’s regulation of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, now have one more wrinkle to keep track of: on Friday, May 19, the D.C. Circuit issued a decision invalidating FAA’s requirement that non-commercial, “hobby” users of drones register their devices with FAA. Although the decision leaves intact FAA’s Part 107 regulations regarding commercial drones, it adds another complication (and a potentially bigger hole to fill) for state and local government entities wondering whether to step into the breach to regulate the burgeoning field of private drone use. Further clarity, however, should be coming, as FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee is still on pace to provide further recommendations to FAA on state and local drone regulation this Fall.  Further, industry groups disappointed with the decision are likely to push Congress or the FAA to find a way to bring non-commercial drones into the regulatory fold.

Image Credit: Andrew Turner

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Mina S. Makarious – Partner

Mina represents clients on municipal, environmental, land use, and airport matters.

Please contact him at (617) 621-6525 or

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