One Step forward in the Commonwealth of VA, Two Steps Back on Capitol Hill

A new UAS runway opened in Virginia – with the Governor attending and controlling a UAS! Governor McAuliffe: “I have witnessed first-hand the impact that the UAS industry will have on the future of transportation and our lives will change as we know it. You will be able to do just what I did today – hop in a plane, press a button and the machine takes you where you want to go!”  Governor McAuliffe – we’ll be taking about your experience in my Drone Law class today at George Mason Law!
The Trump administration is reportedly advocating to include language in the 2018 NDAA relating to drones.  The provision would allow law enforcement to “track, hack and destroy any type of drone over domestic soil with a new exception to laws governing surveillance, computer privacy and aircraft protection.”  Allegedly, government agencies would have to protect “privacy, civil rights and civil liberties” in doing so.  But we don’t necessarily know what privacy and civil rights exist in regard to UAS usage.
Other news:
A waterproof drone.  For those terrified of crashing into water and the inevitable consequences…
A summary of how UAS were used at the Boston Marathon.  These were tethered UAS, but it sounds like they were used very effectively – props to the BAA and Massachusetts authorities for ingenuity and forward-thinking!  Last year, it was a No Drone Zone (and still is for all but the organizers and law enforcement!)
AUVSI wasn’t particularly happy with the DC. Cir’s ruling I wrote about last week.
And a drone crashing into a baseball game.  Remember, no UAS around major league sporting events!  Both because of Part 107 requirements (limiting flight over people) and general aviation airspace restrictions!