Municipal Regulation and Use of Drones: Navigating FAA Rules, State Laws, and Preemption Issues

Leveraging Opportunities and Overcoming Challenges of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Thursday, August 23, 2018

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, July 27, 2018

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar for local government counsel will explore issues facing municipalities due to increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—or drones. The panel will discuss current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations regarding drones, preemption issues that local governments must navigate, the use of drones by local governments, and local regulation of drones to further safety, privacy or proprietary interests.


The use of drones and other UAVs for commercial and recreational purposes continues to increase at a rapid pace. Drones have a variety of applications, from disaster site inspection to film production, to Amazon’s publicized desire to use drones to deliver packages.

As drone activity increases, some law firms are launching drone practices to advise clients on a host of issues, including technology, insurance, privacy, products liability and regulatory compliance. Forty-five states have considered more than 150 drone-re­lated bills since 2015, and 26 states passed drone-regulating legislation in the last two years.

UAVs present challenges and opportunities for municipalities. UAVs have multiple potential municipal uses, including surveillance, emergency response, traffic enforcement, and property inspection. Cities also have an interest in regulating drones to protect the privacy and safety of residents.

Regulation of UAVs falls under the authority of the FAA, which regulates U.S. airspace. The FAA recently released long-awaited rules that require registration of drones, restrict their size, and limit how high and fast they can fly, making it easier to become a commercial drone operator.

The FAA estimates the new rule will result in 600,000 unmanned aircraft being used commercially in the first year. However, the new rule recognizes the authority of states and municipalities to regulate other aspects of drone operation.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses issues facing municipalities in light of the increased use of UAVs. The panel will outline long-standing and new FAA regulations and rules regarding drones, general preemption issues local governments must navigate, the use of drones by local governments, and local regulation of drones to further safety, privacy or proprietary interests.



  1. Overview of drone technology and uses
  2. Review of FAA laws, regulations and new “Part 107”
  3. Municipal regulatory issues arising from drone use
  4. Opportunities for municipal use of drones
  5. Preemption issues


The panel will review these and other noteworthy issues:

  • What types of local UAV regulations are most vulnerable to FAA preemption?
  • What risk management issues are raised by municipal use of drones?
  • What privacy rights are implicated by municipal use of drones?
  • How can municipalities use existing laws to regulate drones, such as zoning regulations to restrict drone takeoff and landing sites?
  • What impact will the FAA’s new drone rules have on the ability of municipalities to regulate local drone use?


Barr, Andrew
Andrew Barr


Mr. Barr focuses his practice on the aviation industry and product liability matters. He also maintains an active...  |  Read More

Price, Derke
Derke J. Price

Equity Partner
Ancel Glink Diamond Bush DiCianni & Krafthefer

Mr. Price represents municipalities, park districts, school districts, townships, libraries & special...  |  Read More

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