How the FAA is Getting it Right on Unmanned Aircraft

by David A. Cain, Esq. Reprinted with permission of the author. Originally appeared in Times of San Diego on February 19, 2015. What place do Unmanned Aerial Systems (“UAS”, commonly—if imprecisely—referred to as “drones”) have a place in our American skies? If you own or operate a small UAS, do you know where you can …

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Unmanned Aircraft in the National Airspace System

From the Wild West to the National Airspace System: Roadmap for Integration of Unmanned Aircraft into the National Airspace System

By David Cain, J.D.1

  • I. History of Aviation – Unde Vinimus
  • A. Unmanned Aviation
  • i. Early Unmanned Efforts: From Tethered Flight to World War I
  • ii. The Golden Age: Unmanned Flight from World War I to World War II
  • iii. From Radioplanes to Rockets: Unmanned Advancement in World War II
  • iv. Beyond the New Horizon: Unmanned Flight from World War II to Present
  • B. Regulatory History of Manned Aviation
  • i. Over the Channel and Through the War: Blériot to the Air Commerce Act
  • ii. The Aero Bramble Bush: Air Safety, Air Commerce, and the CAA
  • iii. The First Giant Leap: World War II and the Coming of the Jet Age
  • iv. Case on Point: The FAA and National Airspace Integration of Jet Aircraft
  • C. National Airspace System – The Rise and Fall of Latency
  • II. Current UAS Regulatory Landscape – Ubi Sumus
  • A. Recent Unmanned Regulation Timeline
  • B. RTCA Special Committee 203
  • C. Unmanned as Exceptions to the Rule
  • III. Roadmap for Regulatory Change – Quo Vadimus
  • IV. Conclusion – Quo Potuimus Vadere

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