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Aviation & Aerospace Law: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) (Essay Sample)


Aviation & Aerospace Law
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)


Aviation & Aerospace Law
Author’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
Aviation & Aerospace Law
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) is one of the growing technologies introduced in the aviation system. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed efforts meant to expand the integration of unmanned aircraft. The role of the FAA is to engage an incremental approach to ensuring the safety of UAS systems. This research paper gives a descriptive overview of the regulatory requirements of the current FAA framework to control the operating environment for UAS systems.
FAA Regulatory Requirements
There are in place FAA regulatory requirements that govern the operation of UAS on a full range of services. Some enforcement procedures need implementation into the framework. Certification procedures are necessary for the industry. Airworthiness standards require regulation and these covers Commuter Category Airplanes (CCA), Acrobatic, Utility, and Normal standards. Airworthiness standards are also regulated on Transport Category Airplanes (TCA) and Aircraft Engines (Rango & Laliberte, 2010). Some requirements extend to the need for Exhaust Emission Requirements and Fuel Venting for Turbines of the Airplane. Airworthiness standards are also provided for propellers. Regulations for maintenance of the aircraft involves those that relates to alteration, rebuilding, and preventive maintenance. Identifications are also appropriate including the need for registration marking, certification for Airmen, general flight rules, and operating requirements (Watts, Ambrosia & Hinkley, 2012).
Airspace and Altitude Restrictions
The maximum altitude which the UAS system is restricted is that which pertains to the testing of the aircraft. The aircraft can only be flown at a maximum altitude following the time of testing of such a system in the airspace. Additionally, there are restrictions imposed in flying the aircraft in the sky. No one is allowed to operate an aircraft in the airspace (controlled airspace) unless a test is conducted under the Instrument Flight Regulations (IFR) regulations. The operation of the plane in controlled airspace is only allowed if a test has been administered for a period not less than 24 months following the completion of the inspection (Dalamagkidis, Valavanis & Piegl, 2008).
Visual Observer Qualifications (VO)
The role of the VO is to enable observation of the air traffic with the intention of helping the operation observe safety standards. The establishment of safety requirements is on the maintenance of safe distance that is required with other air traffics. Crew qualification is another essential element, and this touches on certificates, licenses, experience, and other qualifications for the VO. Additionally, there is alcohol and drug policy that restricts the consumption of such products under the local regulatory authorities (Dalamagkidis, Valavanis & Piegl, 2008).
Line-of-Sight Limitations
The UAS has introduced limitations to the “visual line of sight” on small flights. These restrictions apply both to the Visual Observer (VO) and the operator. There is recognition of the FAA that a small operation by the UAS may employ the use of “multiple visual observers” in expanding the bounds of the circle emanating from “visual line of sight” requirements. Under set standards, the visual observer or the operator must be able to observe some key requirements (Rango & Laliberte, 2010). These requirements are the identification of knowledge on the location of the small UAS. There is the provision for determination of the direction and attitude of the UAS. There is the observation of the health hazards pertaining to the airspace, and the need to control the life of another (Watts, Ambrosia & Hinkley, 2012).
There are some limitations imposed on the operator and VO due to a simultaneous control of multiple UAS. The existing rules state that no person can be in operation of VO on more than one UAS at one time. The objective of this regulatory approach is to reduce the risk imposed to people or property. There are situations where there can be a multiple UAS operation. Such a situation calls for appropriate authorization to ensure that a segregation plan exists. The presence of a separation plan is to ensure that there is control of any simultaneously lost link. The de-confliction plan may be drawn for the purpose of offsetting altitude and horizontal operation through the use of independent Lost Link Points (LLPs) (Watts, Ambrosia & Hinkley, 2012).
Penalties for Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Violation
Penalties are imposed following the violations of terms as set out in the FAR. These include the defense and indemnity. The operator is supposed to indemnify the purchaser, operators, and other agents against claims arising from the violation of FAR guidelines. Such penalties are imposed following the breach of the agreement, willful misconduct, or any infringement of law by the operator. Claims covered include losses, liabilities, all settlements, court costs, judgments and other litigations that arise from such claims (Watts, Ambrosia & Hinkley, 2012).
Federal Agency and UAS
Blue Eyes, Inc company is responsible for notifying the Federal Agency of its involvement in requiring the use and application of UAS technology in its work. The role of the Federal Agency and FAA is to govern the use of small UAS that operates within the 55lb units. All operators must seek approval from the Federal Agency while undertaking any operation as per the requirement under “section 333 of the 2012” modernization of the FAA and Reform Act. The company must be ready to adhere to extensive federal regulations and other agreements before launching the UAS program (Cavoukian, 2012).
Cases of Incidents or Accidents
Any accident of incident faced by the company requires immediate notification. The operator of the aircraft must file a report within ten days following the occurrence of an accident. The FAA must examine the safety issues following the cause of an accident. Questions discussed involve looking at the appropriateness of regulations, the service history, and maintenance practice for the aircraft (Cavoukian, 2012).
Existing Laws on UAS in Major States
There exists state regulation involving the use and application of UAS in performing various missions. The mission of Blue Eyes, Inc include that of precision mapping, and major contracting for environmental agencies and these requires the use of UAS systems. State regulations exist in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho (Finn & Wright, 2012).
Alaska state regulations are contained in the “Alaska House Bill No, 255.” The Bill relates to the need for using UAS in capturing images. The use of UAS in Alaska is provided in AS 18.65.900- 18.65.909. A law enforcement agency is not allowed to use UAS unless under special considerations. A law enforcement agency must provide the following requirements for it to be granted permission to use UAS. Obtain authorization for the FAA, allow operation of UAS to be entrusted to trained pilots, and to ensure public use of the system under UAS (Finn & Wright, 2012).
Washington state regulations are contained in the “Washington House Bill No. 2789.” The Act relates to the use and application of technology-enhanced surveillance for the use by the government. Penalties are provided to limit against misuse of the Act by illegal means. Oregon is another state whose regulations are contained in the “Oregon House Bill No. 2354 and 4066.” The Bill relates to the use of UAS. The state can conduct such drills in establishing the unmanned research, science, and commercialization. Another state is Idaho whose regulations are held in the “Idaho Senate Bill No. 1134.” The use of UAS is permitted in emergency response to safety, rescue operations, and search related works (Finn & Wright, 2012).
Liabilities of Blue Eyes, Inc
Blue Eyes, Inc is liable for injuries that may be caused by accidents of UAS systems. Operators and manufacturers of UAS are also prone to potential liabilities. Product liability claims are present in cases of UAS system on manufacturers and designers. In most cases, product liability involves manufacturers, pilots, and passenger pilots. Liability claims can be brought about by other aircraft on those people who are on the ground (Rango & Laliberte, 2010). The claim may be that there was a fault caused by the manufacturer leading to a collision or crash. Strict liability may apply where the wrath of the law is felt by design claims and defective manufacture. Bystanders may be compensated with the assumption that the degree of injury was "reasonably foreseeable" (Cavoukian, 2012).
Liabilities From The Employees, Violation of FAR, and Ultra-hazardous Activities
A situation may arise leading to errors of maintenance by an emp...
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