Patrick Neale Consumer and Business Lawyer Blog

Friday, December 2, 2016

Do You Drone? 5 Things Business People Should Know

What’s that noise?  What is that?  Drones are everywhere these days. From the battlefield to package delivery to indoor racing, it seems like you can’t turn around without hearing something about them. They are everyone’s hot holiday gift and talked about for every use. So, what can drones mean for your business and what are the legal ramifications of using them commercially?


Drones are Exploding

The business of drones is experiencing explosive growth in the US and around the world. Over $200,000,000 worth of drones were sold in the US last year, representing over 2.5 million sold in 2016, 1.9 million for hobbyists and 600,000 for commercial use. Features such as 4K cameras, GPS and Bluetooth continue to expand their capabilities from just a fun way to look at the neighborhood into serious tools.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) believes that 2017 will be the biggest year yet for drone usage by businesses. Businesses use them for everything from scanning power lines, to construction job review to rooftop inspections for insurance claims.


Drones are Regulated by the Federal Government and Florida

The FAA regulations require that anyone using a drone for commercial purposes must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate (RPC) from the FAA and operate the drone under the rules they set out. A drone is defined as an aircraft under the FAA statutes and regulations. Further, all drones, whether used for commercial or as a Model Aircraft must be registered with the FAA.  In addition, Florida regulations are derivative of those which regulate regular aircraft.


Drones may also be Regulated Locally.  Check before you fly.

Some local communities have also passed drone regulations. The one closest to Naples which has adopted a drone ordinance is Bonita Springs. The Bonita Springs ordinance specifically regulates special events and allows the use of drones to photograph the event. It also requires anyone who is going to use city lands for drone operations to obtain consent of the parks and recreation director.


Get the Benefits and Stay Out of Trouble

If you are using a drone for any commercial purpose in your business, it needs to be operated by a person with an RPC and be operated in conformity with the operational restrictions set out Federally and locally.


What is a commercial operation? The FAA views it as anything done under the auspices of a business. Realtors photographing properties. Contractors inspecting a jobsite.  You get the idea.

Drones will continue to find more uses. You need to comply with the various levels of regulation of their operation.


Stay Legal

Our office can help you to be an informed drone operator.

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Patrick Neale & Associates serves clients throughout Southwest Florida and has office locations in Naples and Marco Island.

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| Phone: 239-642-1485
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| Phone: 239-642-1485
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| Phone: 239-642-1485

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© 2015 Patrick Neale & Associates | Disclaimer
5470 Bryson Court, Suite 103, Naples, FL 34109
950 North Collier Blvd., 4th Floor, Marco Island, FL 34145 (hours by appointment)
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 9440, Naples, FL 34101
Phone: 239-642-1485 | Fax: 239-642-1487
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