Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Legal Issues re: use of drones in U.S.

Legal Issues re: use of drones in U.S.

Ratings: (0)|Views: 24|Likes:
Published by KING 5 News
Congressional Research Service
Congressional Research Service

More info:

Published by: KING 5 News on Jan 31, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

01/31/2013

pdf

text

original

 
CRS Report for Congress
 Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace:Selected Legal Issues
Alissa M. Dolan
Legislative Attorney
Richard M. Thompson II
Legislative Attorney January 30, 2013
Congressional Research Service
7-5700www.crs.govR42940
 
Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal IssuesCongressional Research Service
Summary
Under the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, P.L. 112-95, Congress has tasked theFederal Aviation Administration (FAA) with integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UASs),sometimes referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, into the national airspacesystem by September 2015. Although the text of this act places safety as a predominant concern,it fails to establish how the FAA should resolve significant, and up to this point, largelyunanswered legal questions.For instance, several legal interests are implicated by drone flight over or near private property.Might such a flight constitute a trespass? A nuisance? If conducted by the government, aconstitutional taking? In the past, the Latin maxim
cujus est solum ejus est usque ad coelum
(for whoever owns the soil owns to the heavens) was sufficient to resolve many of these types of questions, but the proliferation of air flight in the 20
th
century has made this propositionuntenable. Instead, modern jurisprudence concerning air travel is significantly more nuanced, andoften more confusing. Some courts have relied on the federal definition of “navigable airspace” todetermine which flights could constitute a trespass. Others employ a nuisance theory to ask whether an overhead flight causes a substantial impairment of the use and enjoyment of one’s property. Additionally, courts have struggled to determine when an overhead flight constitutes agovernment taking under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.With the ability to house surveillance sensors such as high-powered cameras and thermal-imagingdevices, some argue that drone surveillance poses a significant threat to the privacy of Americancitizens. Because the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizuresapplies only to acts by government officials, surveillance by private actors such as the paparazzi,a commercial enterprise, or one’s neighbor is instead regulated, if at all, by state and federalstatutes and judicial decisions. Yet, however strong this interest in privacy may be, there areinstances where the public’s First Amendment rights to
 gather 
and
receive
news might outweighan individual’s interest in being let alone.Additionally, there are a host of related legal issues that may arise with this introduction of dronesin U.S. skies. These include whether a property owner may protect his property from atrespassing drone; how stalking, harassment, and other criminal laws should be applied to actscommitted with the use of drones; and to what extent federal aviation law could preempt futurestate law.Because drone use will occur largely in federal airspace, Congress has the authority or can permitvarious federal agencies to set federal policy on drone use in American skies. This may includethe appropriate level of individual privacy protection, the balancing of property interests with theeconomic needs of private entities, and the appropriate safety standards required.
 
Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal IssuesCongressional Research Service
Contents
Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1
 
Development of Aviation Law and Regulations .............................................................................. 1
 
Current FAA Regulations of Navigable Airspace ...................................................................... 2
 
Fixed-Wing Aircraft ............................................................................................................ 2
 
Helicopters .......................................................................................................................... 3
 
Current FAA Regulation of Drones ........................................................................................... 3
 
Public and Commercial Operators ...................................................................................... 3
 
Recreational Users............................................................................................................... 4
 
Safe Minimum Flying Altitude ........................................................................................... 4
 
Airspace and Property Rights .......................................................................................................... 4
 
United States v. Causby
............................................................................................................. 4
 
Post-
Causby
Theories of Airspace Ownership .......................................................................... 6
 
Trespass and Nuisance Claims Against Private Actors ............................................................. 8
 
Potential Liability Arising from Civilian Drone Use ................................................................. 9
 
Privacy ........................................................................................................................................... 10
 
Early Privacy Jurisprudence .................................................................................................... 11
 
Privacy Torts ............................................................................................................................ 12
 
First Amendment and Newsgathering Activities ..................................................................... 15
 
Congressional Response .......................................................................................................... 17
 
Related Legal Issues ...................................................................................................................... 20
 
Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................... 22
 
Contacts
Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 22
 

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->