On February 19, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone-owners’ registry went into full effect. Remarkably, it is now a federal felony to fly a drone weighing more than 0.55 pounds – including any drone owned prior to implementation of the new rule – without first registering as a drone pilot and paying a fee to the FAA.

The FAA has justified its rapid regulatory action by pointing to largely hypothetical harms brought on by the proliferation of consumer drones. Others maintain that this view distorts the true impact of drones by ignoring or downplaying their benefits, and that the dangers drones pose are mischaracterized as being truly novel, when in fact this is not the case. And, while the FAA claims it can preempt nearly any state or local drone law, opponents point out that drones are no reason to jettison the institution of federalism.

Are drones actually the threatening new technology they have often been presented to be? Do we need new criminal laws and regulations to deal with drone-related threats to individuals’ privacy and property interests, or do sufficient remedies already exist in both the civil and criminal law? Is there room for state and local governments to act in the drone space? Join us for a panel discussion of these crucial questions, featuring an attorney and drone enthusiast currently suing the FAA, a representative from one of the largest commercial drone manufacturers, and two policy experts. Register here at the Heritage Foundation website.


April 28, 2016
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.


Allison Auditorium, The Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave., N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002


John Taylor
Maryland Attorney

Corey Owens

Head of North American Public Policy, DJI Technology

Marc Scribner

Research Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Michael Sargent

Research Associate, The Heritage Foundation


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