The FAA announced that has passed the 1,000 mark for 333 Exemptions that have been granted. AUVSI has also issued a report on the first 500 exemptions granted by the FAA. It is a great read for anyone interested in civil UAS, but particularly those who are thinking of applying for an exemption. It details the industries, uses, and locations of companies who have received an exemption.
In Great Britain, the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network (CITiZAN) is using UAS to survey England’s 5,600 miles of coastline and erosion document damage to archaeological sites. May sites, from WWII “pillboxes” to Roman buildings, are at risk due to tidal erosion and winter storms. CITiZAN is funded by a number of entities and their website includes an interactive map of sites.
In news relating to those who oppose the use of UAS, a Kentucky man was arrested after shooting a drone out of the sky. He claims the drone was over his backyard where he had an expectation of privacy and spying on his sunbathing daughter. He was arrested on firearms related charges and might see a civil suit for the damage to the UAS. In California, a small claims court awarded the owner of a home-built hexcopter UAS $850 after it was shot down by a private citizen. This isn’t to say that the shooter will always be in the wrong, and the FAA hasn’t prosecuted anyone for federal crimes relating to shooting at aircraft. The law is still unsettled and varies by state – only time will tell what will happen. Invasion of privacy and trespass are particularly unsettled when it comes to UAS using airspace above private property.