Drone/UAS Practice Group - Part 107 Waivers, Public COAs, Business Services, and FAA Enforcement Defense
Antonelli Law provides services relating to the airspace, business, and data aspects of unmanned aircraft systems (drones). One of the first drone law practices in the country, DJI selected us for their Professional User Referral Program and many of our clients are leaders in their respective industries. We crafted successful Section 333 petitions beginning in 2014, and obtained some of the very first Part 107 night waiver approvals in August 2016. We constantly work to remain on the cutting edge of what has become known as "drone law" and look forward to the future growth of the UAS industry.
Part 107 Waivers & Airspace Authorizations
Many companies contacts us about their interest in obtaining Part 107 "waivers" for their UAS operations, especially for BVLOS, over people, and nighttime operations. Antonelli Law has the experience and expertise to help companies develop the safety case to satisfy the FAA's regulatory demands for a Section 107.200/107.205 Certificate of Waiver.
Because the FAA seeks to only approve operations they believe are of a "professional" nature, we provide Part 107 waiver services that are thorough. While reasonable in price, our fees are not the absolute cheapest. We believe it is in our clients' interests to provide the FAA with solid documentation relating to the nature of the proposed operations; a detailed safety risk assessment; and detailed risk mitigation plan.
Some of the advantages of building a solid case to present to the FAA are:
- The best chance of approval the first time
- Using the materials we develop as evidence of insurability to their insurance carrier and broker.
While we do not guarantee FAA approval or insurabililty, we believe our work product will give our clients the best chances of success at obtaining FAA approval and obtaining insurance coverage.
Our fees are determined by the level of complexity of your operations and the documentation you have already developed. The most economical fees are for companies that already have established aviation departments and operations manuals. For start-up companies or companies that are new to aviation (yes, drones are considered aviation to the FAA) more work is required and therefore our fees will be higher. The highest fees are for operations that are the most complicated and/or are requesting the most scrutinized proposed operations such as flights over people and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).
Legal Fees - Part 107 Waiver Petitions
In accordance with the above, in order to give you an idea of what legal fees may be required for certain Part 107 waivers, the following are estimated ranges of fees for each type of waiver petition:
- $500 - $1,750
- $5,000 - $15,000+
Note: BVLOS is the most difficult of all the Part 107 waivers to predict in terms of the amount of work and cost involved. This is due to ever-changing FAA policies. It is entirely possible depending on the nature of your proposed BVLOS operations that the legal fees could go far beyond $15,000. We would work closely with you to best gauge the level of work for your BVLOS proposal both at the beginning and on an ongoing basis.
National security concerns are believed to be the reason for delays in the FAA granting Part 107 waivers for flights over people and for the failure to release a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for flights over people.
What is the Cost of a Nighttime 107 waiver?
Our legal fee is from $500 to 1,500
What is the Cost of a BLOS 107 Waiver?
The legal fee varies depending on your proposed operations. A ballpark estimate including:
- Assistance with developing your concept of operations and risk assessment
- Assisting as liaison with your testing at an FAA test site
- The actual BLOS waiver request
would be in the $10,000 to $15,000 range and could be much more depending, again, on your proposed operations.
We are also assisting public agencies gain FAA approval for flight operations, which may be had either through the public COA process or through Part 107.
Business, Data, TOS and Privacy
In addition to Part 107 waivers, we provide advice and business documents including service agreements, terms of service, and privacy policies for drone companies; trademark registrations, NDAs, and litigation services.
FAA Enforcement Defense
Finally, we provide FAA enforcement defense. If you receive a letter or telephone call from the FAA regarding your aviation activities call us before you contact the FAA. We also provide legal assistance to those receiving tickets under the Chicago Drone Ordinance and other localities.
We have provided high quality UAS legal services since 2014 and are leaders in the field. Our background in aviation, technology, and litigation provides value to clients - whether they are multi-national corporations or UAS start-ups.
Export Controls, ITAR, EAR
If your company employs or does business with foreign nationals, or deals with international commerce, you must make your self and your company aware of the urgent need to be in compliance with US export controls. You may need to deal with
These are "strict liability" criminal offenses that do not recognize good intentions as an excuse for export control violations. In fact, you may be held criminally liable for the actions of those you do business with. This is a complex area with certain areas falling within the purview of the Departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury. See for example these background materials on export controls from the Department of State (link).
We can help you with your US export control compliance needs.
For an overview of drone law listen to this April 2016 interview of the firm's Principal Jeffrey Antonelli by sUASNews.
Part 107 FAQ:
Do I Need to Be A Licensed Pilot?
Under Part 107, a new Remote Pilot Certificate is required which does not require flight school. Instead, a written aeronautical test must be taken. Traditional Part 61 airmen may take an online course provided by the FAA. Under Section 333, the person operating the drone must be a traditional Part 61 airman.
How Can We Comply With Part 107? Where Do We Take the Remote Pilot Aeronautical Test?
Here are important documents related to the new Part 107 for small drones:
- Summary of Part 107
- Part 107 itself
- AC 107-2
- Beyond the Basics – Waivers and Public Agencies
- Become a Part 107 Remote Pilot
- Knowledge Testing Centers
The FAA has confirmed that the Knowledge Testing Centers will be ready for applicants to take the required remote pilot initial aeronautical knowledge test on the date part 107 becomes effective in late August 2016.
What conditions of Part 107 can we obtain a Certificate of Waiver for?
Section 107.205 lists the regulations under Part 107 that are subject to waiver through Section 107.200:
- 107.25 – Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft. However, no waiver of this provision will be issued to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire.
- 107.29 – Daylight operation.
- 107.31 – Visual line of sight aircraft operation. However, no waiver of this provision will be issued to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire.
- 107.33 – Visual observer.
- 107.35 – Operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems.
- 107.37(a) – Yielding the right of way.
- 107.39 – Operation over people.
- 107.41 – Operation in certain airspace.
- 107.51 – Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft
For a free initial consultation about petitioning the FAA for Certificate of Waivers under Part 107, Section 333, or other questions use our simple contact form or contact Jeffrey Antonelli at Jeffrey@Antonelli-Law.com or call us at (312) 201-8310.
Our passion for leading and learning about UAS is second to none.
What Does Hiring Antonelli Law Cost?
Our fee for many Part 107 Waivers is $500 to $1,500. Special circumstances may warrant a higher fee.
Why Use an Attorney?
Time, accuracy, relationship. We save you time, and the work product will be done correctly. Dealing with a complicated regulatory environment can be stressful and mistakes cause delays. In addition, you begin a relationship with experienced attorneys you can turn to for a variety of business and aviation related questions.
As attorneys we have a fiduciary obligation to you, the client. Non-attorney consultants do not. We look out for you.
We Are More Than Just Seasoned Attorneys.
The head of the Drone/UAS Practice Group, Jeffrey Antonelli, has operated drones for years as a hobbyist and currently flies the DJI Inspire. We are well-versed in the utility of many UAVs with respect to their capabilities and suitability for particular industries. One of Jeffrey’s hobbyist drone photos was published in AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems magazine in a two page spread. Jeffrey is often sought out by national and local media on drone law matters.
Attorney Kate Fletcher is a pilot for one of the world’s largest airlines. Attorney Mark Del Bianco is an expert on data privacy and federal rulemaking. Aviation consultant Douglas Marshall is one of the top UAS advisors in the country.
What other UAS services does the group offer?
We offer a wide variety of services and expertise to help clients grow their UAS businesses. Our professionals can provide advice and representation on federal regulatory matters, state and local regulatory issues, and commercial projects. In addition, we have experience with consumer privacy and data security matters.
What federal regulatory issues exist once a business has a Part 107 remote pilot certificate, or a Section 333 exemption?
The need for regulatory assistance doesn’t stop once a client has a Part 107 remote pilot certificate or a Section 333 exemption. We help with business issues, FAA enforcement defense, and Certificates of Waiver or Authorization (COAs) to enable unique and profitable UAS operations.
How can state and local regulation affect UAS businesses?
The FAA’s failure to enact federal drone regulations in a timely manner has left a legal void that numerous state and local governments are rushing to fill. Unfortunately, drafters of these state and local regulations are frequently driven by fear and dread of drones, so too often the result is harmful (and often unconstitutional or illegal) restrictions on beneficial uses of drones. You can see a list of state and local drone laws here and the FAA’s position on these laws here.
Every UAS services business needs to be aware of the existing and pending regulations in the states and localities in which it is operating or considering operations. We provide clients with analyses of the effect of existing and proposed laws and, if necessary, representation in challenging laws on constitutional or federal preemption grounds.
What types of commercial projects does the group support?
The group has wide experience in drafting and negotiating commercial agreements for clients in the UAS and related industries, including telecommunications and mobile application development. Among recent commercial projects we’ve worked on are:
- purchase agreements for existing UAS services businesses (USB)
- independent contractor agreements between USBs and (i) pilots, (ii) visual observers and (iii) data analysis engineers
- template USB/customer agreements
- joint venture agreements for UAS manufacturers and USBs
- terms of service and privacy policies for UAS consulting and flight services businesses
Who Has Hired Antonelli Law for UAS?
Above It All Aerial Solutions LLC
Aerial Inspection Resources
Aerial Inventory LLC
Angle of Attack
Arrow Aerial Precision LLC
Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc.
Digital Magic Productions
Hover Effect LLC
Indiana Aerial Solutions
Kovar & Associates
LA Drones LLC
Leading Edge Technologies
Major Telecommunications Company*
Nixon Engineering Solutions
North Georgia Drones
NWB Environmental Services
Sky Eye Solutions
Snowy Owl Productions LLC
Tough Stump Technologies LLC
UA TacSolutions LLC
Volo Pervidi LLC
Vortex UAS LLC
*Partial Client List Due to Confidentiality
National Client Roster – Map
Section 333 FAQ:
Do I Need A Section 333 Grant of Exemption?
f you want to operate commercially as a service, the short answer is yes. For other uses like R&D, research, or law enforcement see this page from the FAA and click on the appropriate category.
Antonelli Law Drone/UAS Practice Group
The Drone/UAS Practice Group at Antonelli Law is a group of attorneys with deep knowledge of law, technology, privacy, and aviation. Our federal practice relating to the rapidly developing commercial “drone”/Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry allows us to serve clients nationwide. In addition, our attorneys are licensed in numerous states from California to New York and in between.
- Jeffrey Antonelli, an unmanned aircraft pilot with 15 year’s experience in litigation, general counsel, insurance defense and technology
- Mark Del Bianco, more than three decades of federal administrative law, antitrust, and technology expertise
- Kate Fletcher, an active commercial pilot with the world’s largest airline as well as attorney
- Douglas Marshall, aviation consultant, chairs the ASTM F38.02.01 Task Group on Standards for Operations Over People, and serves as a United States delegate to ISO TC 20/SC 16, UAS Subcommittee
- Melissa Brabender, associate attorney, accomplished federal litigator and counselor
- Amelia Niemi, associate attorney, graduate of esteemed Intellectual Property program concentration at DePaul College of Law
- Michael Tafil, UAS law clerk, student in JD/LLM in Int’l Aviation Law
Research and support staff include research assistant , an engineering student, and law clerks to keep the Drone/UAS Practice Group stay current with produce supporting research for the DroneLawsBlog as well as our Survey of State Drone Laws.
Whether it is corporate work, privacy concerns, or you want to get a handle on what the FAA is doing and what your company is allowed to do, you will feel comfortable calling a lawyer at Antonelli Law.
Attorney Katie (“Kate”) D. Fletcher is Of Counsel to Antonelli Law’s Drone/UAS Practice Group. Fletcher is an attorney and 737 pilot with one of the world’s largest airlines, with more than 10,000 hours of flight experience. She is Type-Rated in the Saab 340, Citation CE-500, DC-9, and Boeing 737, 757 and 767. Fletcher’s aviation experience includes traffic watch in the San Francisco Bay Area, Air Ambulance, flight instruction, and piloting major domestic and international-bound aircraft. She graduated from the University of Warwick with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Economics, and later attended law school at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She graduated cum laude with a J.D. and an L.L.M. in Taxation.
Attorney Mark Del Bianco is Special Counsel to Antonelli Law’s Drone/UAV Practice Group. Mr. Del Bianco has substantial federal administrative experience, having represented clients in rulemakings and enforcement proceedings (or court reviews) at the DOJ, ITC, FCC, FDA, CPSC, and NHTSA. He has litigation experience ranging from state trial courts to case briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, and in recent years has litigated the constitutionality of state laws at the intersection of technology and privacy. He also provides transactional and regulatory assistance to a wide array of clients, including fiber networks, satellite service providers, business owners, application developers and cloud services providers. Prior to starting his own practice in 2003, Del Bianco was an attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice and at both large and small firms in Washington D.C., including more than a decade at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP.
Firm principal Jeffrey Antonelli has been general counsel to technology companies and a litigator for more than 15 years. Jeffrey began flying radio controlled aircraft when he turned 40 (a childhood wish) which led to his following “drone” development including first-person viewing (FPV) flight and cinematography. Jeffrey leverages his experience in business, litigation, intellectual property, insurance law, and employment law to help clients make their way through the exciting but perilous legal and FAA regulatory waters of drone/UAV law.
What Can a Drone Manufacturer or Distributor Get From Antonelli Law?
We can help protect your investment in UAS by:
– Lobbying at the state or federal level
– Preemption litigation
- Challenging proposed regulations at agency level or in court
- Filing suit in federal court to invalidate or circumscribe state or local laws
– Drafting template contracts
- Consulting agreements
- Services agreements
– Develop privacy policies and implementation, including cloud services
– Intellectual property protection and litigation
What Can a Drone User Get From Antonelli Law?
– Defense of investigatory and enforcement actions
– Challenges to warrantless government use of drones to detect regulatory violations
– Challenging proposed regulations at agency level or in court
Analysis of state and local statutes, including federal preemption issues
Some of Our Public Advocacy
Everyone who has an interest in the safe integration of UAS into the national airspace – academics, business people, technologists, hobbyists – has a duty to advocate their views with Congress. Here are a few examples of our efforts:
CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT OF DRONES/UAS
"Whether we call them UASs, UAVs, or drones, these aircraft are an exciting new development in the aviation industry. But they also raise some serious safety and privacy concerns – that we need to address before the FAA licenses these vehicles for broad use in our national airspace."
- Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology
The doctrine of federal preemption will likely displace traditional laws when the FAA regulation is specific enough. Legal advice is needed for uncertainties such as : Would use of a drone by the Chicago Police Department to scan the lakefront area for gang activity violate the privacy rights of sunbathers? This may depend more than Illinois' law on drones, but on the forthcoming FAA sUAS regulations.
The ability to remotely observe areas otherwise inaccessible due to cost, noise, or physical danger make drones - also called unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs - a remarkable technology. However, privacy concerns as well as the possible danger of uncontrolled UAVs, such as loss of signal causing personal injury or property damage, make this a new area for the application of existing laws as well as the opportunity for new laws to be crafted.
The future opportunities in the United States seem to be both in the small drone category, those 55 pounds and under for very wide commercial and hobbyist applications, as well as the large drone category for limited, highly specialized commercial and law enforcement use. Both categories come under the UAS acronym for Unmanned Aerial System.
The 2013 FAA Annual UAS Roadmap describes the technical and regulatory challenges for UAS use in the national airspace. We expect much more stringent licensing requirements by the FAA for the large drone (UAS) category, quite similar to commercial aviation requirements due to the larger potential for crash impact in terms of property damage and loss of life.
Drone Laws Blog
DroneLawsBlog.com is the Antonelli Law vehicle for sharing news, insights, and updates to the drone/UAV industry. Check back often for news regarding the swiftly changing state of the law and the Drone/UAS Practice Group of the firm.
What is a Drone? Is it Like the Predator Used by the Military?
There are many types of drones, with many ranging from small quadcopters less than three feet across with a GoPro camera controlled by a radio control hobbyist, to the Trimble UX5, a five foot wide autonomous drone capable of flying, filming, and landing by itself due to stabilization software, gyros, and pre-programmed GPS waypoints. Much larger drones used by the military include the Navy Triton MQ-4C Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and General Atomic's Predator.
UAS - Unmanned Aircraft System
UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Click here for the 2014 Press Release of the Drone/UAS Practice Group at Antonelli Law