The FAA is appealing a judge’s ruling that the agency does not have regulatory authority of the commercial use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
The agency is appealing Huerta v. Pirker, which involvers UAS enthusiast Raphael Pirker, who was fined $10,000 by the FAA for using a RiteWing Zephyr II aircraft to film promotional videos for the University of Virginia Medical Center. FAA officials claim the flight violated the FAA’s regulation of the commercial use of UAS because it was operated near a crowded street and within 100 feet of an active heliport at UVA.
Pirker appealed the original fine to Patrick Geraghty, an administrative law judge with the National Transportation Safety Board, who ruled that Pirker was not in violation of Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR).
"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 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 agency said in a statement.