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Commercial drone legality on hold as FAA appeals court ruling

Commercial drone legality on hold as FAA appeals court ruling

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Unsurprisingly the Federal Aviation Administration disagrees with the decision by an administrative law judge yesterday to lift a six-year-old ban on the commercial use of small drones. Citing safety, the FAA today said it's appealing the decision, a move that puts legality on hold as the issue once again goes under review.

Waiting on the NTSB's board

"The FAA is appealing the decision of an NTSB Administrative Law Judge to the full National Transportation Safety Board, which has the effect of staying the decision until the Board rules," the FAA said in a statement today. "The agency is concerned that this decision could impact the safe operation of the national airspace system and the safety of people and property on the ground."

The original decision by administrative law judge Patrick Geraghty came amid the dismissal of a $10,000 fine from the FAA against Raphael Parker. That fine was given to Parker for filming on the University of Virginia campus as part of a project to take aerial photos and videos using the drone, something that was strictly prohibited by the agency's 2007 ban. Parker's lawyers argued that the FAA failed to give the public time to comment on the policy before it was issued. The FAA has long said it's reviewing its commercial use policies and plans to offer revisions sometime next year.