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FAA And Skypan Reach Agreement On Unmanned Aircraft Enforcement Cases
 
 
January 17, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration today announced a comprehensive settlement agreement with SkyPan International, Inc., of Chicago.

The agreement resolves enforcement cases that alleged the company operated unmanned aircraft (UAS) in congested airspace over New York City and Chicago, and violated airspace regulations and aircraft operating rules.

Under the terms of the agreement, SkyPan will pay a $200,000 civil penalty. The company also agrees to pay an additional $150,000 if it violates Federal Aviation Regulations in the next year, and $150,000 more if it fails to comply with the terms of the settlement agreement.

SkyPan also agrees to work with the FAA to release three public service announcements in the next 12 months to support the FAA’s public outreach campaigns that encourage drone operators to learn and comply with UAS regulations.
 
The agreement settles enforcement cases involving a $1.9 million civil penalty that the FAA proposed against SkyPan International, Inc. of Chicago in October 2015. It is the largest civil penalty the agency has proposed against a UAS operator.

Back in October 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued largest civil penalty against a UAS operator. The the $1.9 million civil penalty against SkyPan International were do to flight UAS operations between March 21, 2012, and Dec. 15, 2014.

The FAA had alleged that the company conducted 65 unauthorized commercial UAS flights over various locations in New York City and Chicago. The flights involved aerial photography. Of those, 43 flew in the highly restricted New York Class B airspace.

“Flying unmanned aircraft in violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations is illegal and can be dangerous,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We have the safest airspace in the world, and everyone who uses it must understand and observe our comprehensive set of rules and regulations.”
 

 

SkyPan operated the 43 flights in the New York Class B airspace without receiving an air traffic control clearance to access it, the FAA had alleged. Additionally, the agency alleged the aircraft was not equipped with a two-way radio, transponder, and altitude-reporting equipment. The FAA had further alleged that on all 65 flights, the aircraft lacked an airworthiness certificate and effective registration, and SkyPan did not have a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization for the operations.

 

 
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