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Drone Laws Still Up In The Air

file photo (credit: Getty Images/AFP)

file photo (credit: Getty Images/AFP)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Beer delivery. By drone. What a world!

Lakemaid Beer Company, maker of the Fisherman’s Beer had a problem: how to deliver its sought-after product to the consumers who wanted it – but were ice fishing in remote ice cabins? Answer: delivery by drone, which it wanted to test – until the FAA put the kibosh on its plan saying that flying a commercial drone is illegal, as it did when it fined a journalist for flying a drone with a camera to shoot a promotional video.

But, now that a Judge at the National Transportation Safety Board, which hears appeals of FAA enforcement actions, tossed out that fine saying that the regulation was too broad and unenforceable, it’s given some hope to the likes of Amazon, which also wants to start testing delivery drones for its products.

The problem for now is that the law hasn’t caught up with technology, so while the FAA may have the authority to create regulations specific to unmanned aerial vehicles (aka, drones) it hasn’t done so yet. It is expected to craft those regulations by the end of this year, and when it does, you better hope it has a beer delivery provision.

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