The use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”) has spread from military to commercial and government implementations in a variety of sectors leading to legal questions concerning Federal Aviation Regulations, Privacy Rights, and Airspace Property Rights. Moreover, the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (Part 107) provides requirements for operating drones weighing less than 55 pounds and relaxes some of the requirements of the former Section 333 exemptions. However, if and when government regulators attempt to use drones for inspection and investigation purposes, these questions become problems and expand to include Fourth Amendment and inspection participation rights. Certain agencies like EPA have used drones already to monitor air quality under specific circumstances. The take-away for attendees will be how drones are regulated, used, and what issues are likely to arise if used in governmental compliance and investigation contexts.
Karen Johnston is a Member of Jackson Kelly PLLC, resident in the Denver office. She handles all aspects of the defense of safety and health cases involving both MSHA-regulated and OSHA-regulated facilities as part of the firm’s nationwide workplace safety and health practice group. Karen counsels mine operators and general industry employers with respect to prevention and avoidance of liability under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act, as well as the Safe Explosives Act. She also handles all aspects of the defense of enforcement actions arising under those statutes, including both administrative and civil litigation, representing employers and individuals. In addition to providing legal advice and counsel to all sectors of the mining industry, Karen conducts seminars and training sessions on enforcement and discrimination topics under various state and federal safety and health statutes.
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