Chicago Tribune

Drone Operator Hit With Record Fine

Oct 7, 2015  •  Post A Comment

A record fine of almost $2 million has been issued against a company that flew drones in downtown Chicago and New York without permission, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Federal Aviation Administration proposed a fine of $1.9 million against the Chicago-based aerial photography firm SkyPan International.

The story reports: “SkyPan International — which provides dramatic aerial photography to dozens of high-end property developers and architects, including the Trump Organization — endangered life and property when it flew 64 unauthorized flights in New York and one just north of Chicago’s Loop between March 2012 and December 2014, the FAA alleges.”

The report adds: “Its drone was not registered with the FAA, did not have a certificate of airworthiness, and lacked the two-way radio, transponder and altitude-reporting equipment required by the law for commercial use of drones, the FAA said.”

A spokesman for the company declined to comment, but the subject of drone safety remains a hot one, with an FAA representative set to appear before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today to discuss the topic.

The article notes: “The rapid growth of the drone industry has caught the government unaware: In 2010 the FAA predicted the U.S. would have 15,000 drones in use by 2020, a number now sold every month, with up to 1 million now expected to be sold during the 2015 holiday season.”

federal aviation administration-FAA

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