Monday, July 27, 2015


“"I'm convincing my friends and neighbors and anyone who will listen to my evangelical message locally that this is something that can exponentially grow over time.  This is as much of an opportunity as the Internet when it first started.”
Jack Kennedy, a seventh-generation Wise County resident who is also the Clerk of the 30th Judicial Court of Virginia, at the first government-approved drone delivery by  an unmanned aerial vehicle that successfully dropped medical supplies to a health clinic in rural southwest Virginia on July 17, 2015. 

            Greetings!  Welcome to the Drone Law Blog of Robert E. Kelly, Esq.

            This is a remarkable and revolutionary time in the development of the aviation industry.   It truly is the dawn of a new era of technology that has the potential to revolutionize air traffic not only across the United States of America but around the world. 

            The mission of this blog is to explore the federal and state regulatory environment concerning small UAS (which are more commonly known as “drones”) and provide analysis regarding the rules to be promulgated for the small UAS service.   This blog will address the federal efforts to create new rules for small UAS and also address state legislation that tackles small UAS regulation.  I am particularly interested in the interplay – if not conflict – between federal and local authorities as to who will have the final say on new rules regulating drones.  (The Federal Pre-Emption pages of this blog will address these issues.)

         I will also focus scrutiny on the issues of privacy and the safeguarding of the civil rights not only for drone users but also for those persons who will be affected by the increased popularity of drone in the near future. 
(One drone expert has hypothecated that sometime in the near future there would be one drone for every person in the United States.  See Dudes With Drones, The Atlantic Magazine, November 2014, at page 1. Or the link here
. Time will tell.)

            I filed extensive comments addressing these issues and more in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in Docket No. FAA-2015-0150 on April 24, 2015.  This is the FAA rulemaking proposing to amend its regulations to adopt specific rules to allow the operation and certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems of small unmanned aircraft systems in the National Airspace System.  It is this rulemaking that will open the doors for commercial operation by drones in the United States and revolutionize the commercial airspace in America.  My comments will be discussed in greater detail in other sections of this blog 

            As for my background, I have several decades of experience in the area of administrative law representing clients before Federal agencies like the FAA in Washington, D.C., as well as state regulatory agencies across the United States.  See a more detailed curriculum vitae in the REK Bio page.

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