Looking at Legal Issues Surrounding Civilian Drone Aircraft

Few recent legal issues have captured the popular imagination the way that those surrounding drones have. Stories about the military use of drones have dominated the media in recent years, but there are actually a variety of private civilian uses for unmanned aerial vehicle technology.

Legislators are now starting to develop legal frameworks that provide guidelines for these vehicles. New proposed guidelines are sometimes controversial. Those who may not understand how new rules influence them have been encouraged to seek legal assistance from professional experts. Even casual observers might want to take a few moments to better examine the issues that shape these guidelines.

General Civil Aviation Authority Rules

The General Civil Aviation Authority is the primary regulatory body in the United Arab Emirates. Agents from this organization have begun drafting a series of new rules that are a decent example of what drone guidelines might soon look like around the world.

The regulations will more than likely specify height and area limits. They’re expected to restrict drone use nearly any populated area, and to prevent them from being flown too close to airports. Licenses will probably be granted in a variety of classes depending on the intent of the user. Classes will probably also depend heavily on the weight of the drone in question.

Weight limits for low-capacity drones will most likely be set around 25 kilograms. Lawmakers will probably place mid-capacity units in a category between 25 and 150 kilograms. Heavier units will have to be placed into a more advanced weight class. Organizations licensing heavy drones will be expected to pay higher fees than those receiving licenses to fly smaller ones.

Medical Usage of Drones

Some feel that these kinds of discussions have left out the fact that many experts feel that drones might be very useful in a variety of medical and rescue operations. International legal analyst Shahram Shirkhani mentioned several examples when this topic came up in a recent discussion.

A Texas-based design firm called Argodesign recently proposed an ambulance drone that’s about the size of a small car. It features a quadcopter design that has a smaller footprint than a regular helicopter, which means that it could theoretically land in tighter areas than a full-sized helicopter might. The drone could be automatically piloted from an airfield straight to an accident site.

A Dutch graduate student by the name of Alec Momont also recently worked on a prototype ambulance drone at Delft University of Technology. The drone is based around a three-rotor design. It could possibly deliver critical care to save those who are suffering from medical conditions like cardiac arrest. It could theoretically reduce emergency response times down to a mere tenth of what they’re currently at.

Analysis of Proposals

Legal analysts have urged lawmakers to consider these types of proposals before setting up licensing frameworks. Writing regulatory motions in too broad of a fashion could make it far too easy to use drone technology. Making regulations too onerous could possibly prevent new lifesaving medical technology from reaching the market.

Arizona Business Leaders Oppose Dark Money

Many leading figures in the business world are taking a stand in Arizona to oppose what they characterize as the prevalence of "dark money" in state and federal politics. To this end, a number of them have banded together to form what they describe as an "independent political group" in order to oppose candidates that they believe have benefited unfairly from shadowy campaign contributions.

Better Leaders For Arizona

Better Leaders For Arizona is the group that many leading figures in the state have formed in order to do battle against "dark money". In particular, the group is currently making headlines in its first major campaign against candidate Doug Ducey, who is the leading rival in the Republican Party against current gubernatorial candidate Christine Jones.

The group has recently revealed that it is being bankrolled by Bob Parsons. Parsons is a well known and influential member of the Arizona Republican Party, and is also internationally recognized as the founder of GoDaddy. Parsons has long had a reputation for putting his money where his mouth is, and his recent very public sponsorship of Better Leaders For Arizona is ample proof of his commitment to the Western state's political, social, and financial welfare.

Fighting Against Dark Money Candidates

"Dark money" is defined as contributions made to candidates by persons representing (or hiding behind) the facade of shadowy corporations or organizations, some of whom may exist only on paper. As of 2015, Parsons and others have gone on record as donating more than a million dollars to Better Leaders For Arizona, and the trend has inspired others to follow suit.

Supporting Christine Jones For Governor

Better Leaders For America has very publicly thrown its support to Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Jones, who seems to be gaining ground as the front runner in the days leading up to the Arizona state election. Parsons and Jones have, in fact, shared a long private and political association that dates back to the days when Jones was employed by Parsons as senior legal counsel on behalf of GoDaddy.

Dark Money And Ducey

Meanwhile, Republican Party challenger Doug Ducey has been called out for accepting numerous contributions from unnamed sources. Many of these contributions qualify eminently as "dark money", according to the definition publicly promulgated by groups such as Better Leaders For Arizona.

As a result of this legal but "shady" activity, Jones and other Republican Party leaders in the state of Arizona have called on Ducey to show transparency and reveal the sources of his numerous campaign contributions.

The Foibles Of Doug Ducey

As a result, Ducey has come increasingly under fire in recent months for accepting contributions from such nebulous sources. However, Ducey is also being sharply criticized by sources within his own party for other perceived liabilities. These include a shocking 30 percent failure rate among franchises of Cold Stone Creamery under the leadership of Ducey.

Meanwhile, Ducey has also been called to account for numerous traffic violations, as well as the persistent rumors of delinquency in paying his property taxes. Some of the latter allegations apparently date back as far as 2008.

So far, both candidates have been very vocal in disparaging each others' qualifications for office, but have stopped short of charging each other with any quantifiable wrongdoing. The upcoming Arizona campaign promises to be a very tense and passionate affair.