FAA Preemption Issue with State & Local sUAS Regulations – 

The following is a summary of a drone Blog from Anotonelli Law titled “FAA PUNTS ON THE PREEMPTION ISSUE IN PART 107 by attorney Mark Del Bianco.


Their excellent Drone Blogs can be viewed in their entirety at http://dronelawsblog.com/ FAA’s Part 107 final rule for commercial small UAS/drones does not address the issue of federal preemption of state and local drone regulations.

Without preemption provision, state and local governments continue to attempt to regulate sUAS operations, resulting in potentially conflicting rules and hampering industry development. These conflicts will lead to litigation costs and burden commercial and hobbyist sUAS users. Under the federal Administrative Procedure Act, the FAA had a duty to respond to the preemption comments.

What did the FAA do? It punted, concluding “that specific regulatory text addressing preemption is not required in the final rule.” It went on to state that Preemption issues involving sUAS necessitate a case-specific analysis that is not appropriate in a rule of general applicability. Additionally, certain legal aspects concerning sUAS use may be best addressed at the State or local level. 

The FAA’s lack of action has resulted in the proliferation of state and local antidrone laws. These anti-drone laws will and have conflicted with federal law and Constitutional protections. There have been few challenges because at first those most affected are hobbyists and small businesses, who don’t have the financial resources to fund litigation. Even when legal challenges are brought by large companies or organizations it will be a nightmare to challenge the numerous state and local laws in effect.


We need to get Congress to clarify the scope of federal preemption relating to sUAS operations in the NAS and provide the FAA with clear directives of federal preemptive authority and enforcement act.

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