Yesterday, a dismissal was issued by NTSB Administrative Law Judge Patrick Geraghty in favor of the first individual to be ticketed by the Federal Aviation Administration for commecial drone usage. It was a landmark ruling, one the FAA has not taken lightly. As of today, the administration has hit back with an appeal.
The issue stems from a legal spat with Raphael Pirker, with the FAA attempting to fine him $10,000 for using a drone during the filming of a commercial for the University of Virginia. Pirker’s lawyer argued that not regulations are in place against model aircraft.
The judge ultimately sided with Pirker and his lawyer, ruling that the FAA has failed to file any sort of “enforceable Federal Acquisition Regulation regulatory rule governing model aircraft operation”. The legal issue is far from over, however, with the administration disagreeing with the ruling.
Said the FAA in a statement: “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.”