Conflicts Galore Between Local And FAA Drone Rules
” Late last month, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit brought against a Kentucky man who shot a drone out of the sky when it allegedly flew over his property in 2015. The man, who used a shotgun to take out the drone, later dubbed himself the “Drone Slayer.”
The drone operator, who filed the lawsuit in 2016, argued that his DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter, flying at an altitude of some 200 feet, was in federally protected airspace and was in no way trespassing based on the Federal Aviation Administration’s rules and even the trespassing laws of his state, which according to his suit prohibit a person from intruding, not a drone.”
” Why didn’t the federal court back him up? In short, it wasn’t because it thought this drone operator was incorrect; it was because it didn’t deem the matter important enough to make a decision that might influence the delicate balance between federal and states’ rights. And one of the justifications for that conclusion was that the FAA hadn’t involved itself in the incident.
Why not? An FAA spokesperson answers simply: “The FAA does not intervene in civil litigation to which the FAA is not a party,” adding that it would file an amicus brief if asked to do so by the court. Still, that doesn’t really explain why the FAA took no enforcement action against the guy wielding the shotgun. After all, the FAA has been loudly asserting its authority over drones flying in federally protected airspace, which it’s been claiming extends down to the level of the grass.”