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Drone Use in the Energy Industry: Federal, State, and Local Regulation and Enforcement, Privacy Concerns, Liability

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
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Conducted on Thursday, March 22, 2018

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide counsel on the use of drones in the energy industry. The panel will examine federal regulation and enforcement, and the interplay with state and local regulation and enforcement. The panel will also discuss other legal implications, such as privacy and liability risks and the new federal pilot program.


The use of drones continues to grow in the energy industry. Drones save time and money conducting essential tasks. Drones can accurately inspect and monitor oil and gas pipelines and oil wells, and survey large property site lines. Drones can also check wind turbine farms and solar farms and conduct integrity surveys of power and utility lines.

In Nov. 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOT) established the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program. Through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT announced the new pilot program to encourage state, local and tribal governments, in partnership with UAS operators and other private sector stakeholders, to conduct advanced operations safely and with public support in affected communities.

In addition to the cost and time savings, increases in worker safety, and other benefits of using drones, counsel to energy companies must understand the federal, state and local regulation and enforcement of drone use as well as the potential legal implications, including privacy issues, trespass and liability risks.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses the regulation of drones and FAA enforcement. The panel will examine how state and local governments are addressing the use of drones, liability issues and privacy issues. The presenters will also discuss the FAA’s new pilot program.



  1. Regulation of drones and FAA enforcement
  2. State and local regulation of drones and the interplay with federal regulation
  3. Liability issues
  4. Privacy issues
  5. FAA/DOT pilot program


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How is the FAA regulating and enforcing drone use? What is the interplay with state and local drone regulations?
  • What are the potential challenges facing energy companies that are using or considering drones?
  • How does the new pilot program change the playing field for drone use?


Lightfoot, Thaddeus
Thaddeus R. Lightfoot

Dorsey & Whitney

Mr. Lightfoot has represented clients in numerous private party environmental litigation matters and governmental...  |  Read More

Suzan, Kenneth
Kenneth D. Suzan

Of Counsel
Barnes & Thornburg

Mr. Suzan advises clients on FAA regulatory and compliance issues pertaining to UAVs or drones. He has prepared Section...  |  Read More

Yoel, David
David Yoel

Founder and CEO
American Aerospace Technologies

Mr. Yoel has 35 years combined experience in space systems, industrial manufacturing, remote sensing and aviation. As a...  |  Read More

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