Greg Walden Comments on Potential Regulation of Commercial Drones

August 9, 2018

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McGuireWoods Consulting senior advisor Greg Walden, aviation counsel to the Small UAV Coalition and a former FAA chief counsel, commented in an Aug. 9 Aviation Week Network article on the potential effect of a proposed amendment to the Senate’s Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill.  

U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is expected to offer an amendment that would allow state and local governments to regulate commercial unmanned aircraft system (UAS or drone) delivery operations. Ten groups representing a cross-section of the U.S. aviation industry have written a letter opposing the amendment. They argue that the amendment walks back the standard set by the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, which prevents most state and local economic regulation of the airline industry, including UAS.

If adopted, the amendment would “discourage investment and innovation in technologies that will support UAS applications beyond delivery, including precision agriculture, infrastructure inspection and humanitarian missions,” said Walden, also a partner in the McGuireWoods law firm.