My name is paul and joining me. As always, the editor in chief of dronelife.com miss miriam mcnabb miriam how you doing i am doing excellent im almost over my jet lag and feeling good, so jet lag. I know that you were at one of the drone shows in amsterdam last week. I think you were actually the only person that i know in the industry that was actually over there. What were some takeaways from that particular conference? What did you find interesting or new Music amsterdam drone week is actually a fantastic conference to go to if you can get to it um. You know. Certainly, amsterdam come on amsterdam, but but in addition, the amsterdam droneway conference is very interesting because its held in conjunction with the high level conference on drones and essa, of course, is the european aviation safety agency association. Sorry – and they are the ones responsible for publishing europe wide in harmony, uh guidelines, and so they are the regulating body for drone regulations and to be able to have the opportunity to kind of meet all of those people from all over europe, but also to sit In on those discussions and panels is really fascinating, so um a great show, i covered it. There was a lot a lot going on, so we were turning out a lot of content. You can check it out on drone life, but a lot of urban air mobility. Stuff, a lot of smart cities.

You know city managers there talking about how to integrate drones into the airspace usbace, which is coming up deadline in january of 2023 and, of course, all of this oriented around um common guidelines. The soraa guidelines, which really says this is a risk based uh approach for drone regulation, so great stuff, highly recommend. If anybody wants to have an excuse to get over to europe next year, its a great conference, well thats, good to know and in regards to regulations. That brings us to our first piece of news. It looks like one of the most restrictive drone laws ever written by the state of texas. Shocker uh has actually been repealed in federal court. Now you know. A lot of students had always asked us about this miriam and we believed it was unenforceable to start because it violated federal regulations but whats the story here so um. This is a story. You know we have a great feature: writer, jim mcgill, who is a texas resident and a drone enthusiast hes been really following this all along chapter 423 of the texas government code, which was a very restrictive drone law. It was really kind of based on everybodys fears about drones. You know that its impinging on private property that its impinging on your privacy, so there were a lot of limitations on your ability to fly over private property to take images. If you were anywhere near private property and so forth, and and on march 28th, uh u.

s district court judge says this is unconstitutional and also just cant be enforced, which i know that you have said before. You know this cant be being forced and i think, however, having it officially struck down, is really important, because whether or not it can be enforced and whether they can impose fines or impose limitations, they can is different to whether or not you can really be harassed. For just working in the area, you know if either citizens or police are sort of vaguely aware of the law and they they kind of um choose to harass people while theyre working. That also is very limiting. So the law was challenged by the national press. Photographers association, texas, press association, three texas photojournalists, so they they were arguing uh that you know using drones to collect images for news gathering is part of your first amendment rights and they certainly won on that argument. But along the way and recommend you both read the rule which is linked in the article and read the article for the details, um, you know there were a lot of other problems with this law, so hopefully the fact that the judge was really clear. You know hey theres, a lot of issues with this beyond sort of first amendment rights will prevent other states from trying to do something similar. Its also interesting, considering that, like the highest density of drone pilots, uh per capita is in frisco texas, outside of dallas, and we know so.

Many ranchers and farmers use drones themselves, so it was kind of like uh. It was kind of like a law that didnt make sense, because oh well, if you use it over here, thats fine. But if you fight anywhere else, no thats, not okay, wasnt. This related at one point to drones, flying over like pig farms or for peta, or something like that. I dont know about that um exactly, but you know this is for one thing, this is kind of an old law and it speaks to sort of the need to really be careful about how you phrase things and how you word things because uh this, i think, Started in 2013, maybe and then was amended in 2017, but you know critical infrastructure. You cant fly over critical infrastructure. Well, when somebodys writing that theyre thinking, i dont want you flying over prisons, because you know theres going to be illegal activity, but they dont think like hey water treatment facilities, natural gas infrastructure were flying over there all the time. This is a huge valuable. You know legitimate commercial application for drones, so thats just not appropriate to use the word critical infrastructure actually as im scanning through here. It did say that they did amend it to include animal feeding operations, not sure what the maybe it was something with peta, but um. Certainly to say you cant fly drones over oil and gas drilling sites is not something beneficial for oil and gas companies.

Do you feel, like this law stood its ground for so long because it predated the faa, creating part 107 and officially claiming uh authority over the airspace, because this law was in what 13 or 14 2013 um yeah? I think that it did, and i also think um, that this is another point that ive sort of made frequently. I i think that lawmakers really need to be very careful about rushing to uh enact regulations, because it takes an awful lot longer to take them down than it does to put them up. Yeah i couldnt agree. More could not agree more and in todays day and age, where everything is so media driven and politicized theres. This rush to create an action which negates research and investigation and making good decisions, and so i couldnt agree with you more that we need more of our lawmakers to be researching what already exists in order to make good uh laws moving forward. You know and we need our entire drone community to remember. Like you know, we all have to really work to educate people, because we think were there were not there, you know were not there. We need to keep educating 100 speaking of educating. The faa has had a recent change, as many of you know, on the news show we discuss steve dixon the current administrator resigning from his current post. Many years early, it looks like the faa has appointed a new acting administrator and it seems like he even has a safety background, but miriam the question really is, is how is he different from steve, and what do you expect from this Music so its hard to Say i mean he hasnt had a chance to uh to do anything right, its its april 5th, so hes been um the appointee for five days now.

Um. So interesting, though, that this gentleman billy nolan uh, billy nolan, was currently the associate administrator for aviation safety at the faa, and now he is stepping into the role as acting faa administrator, while the biden harris administration searches for a nominee and uh. I think the good thing about this is that he was not well from the perspective of the drone industry. I guess um, you know it. Doesnt seem like mr nolan has that same kind of coming right out of being a commercial airline executive responsible for stock price. You know he did have, of course, um positions in the commercial airline industry, but he held those positions as a safety executive, uh, so kind of a different background, different way of looking at the airspace. Hopefully, mr nolan is open to the idea of drone integration uh. We will see how that goes, but um a different background and well well see how it works. You know, i do think that, as you know, in the article i wrote, i hark back to the commercial drone alliance, who wrote a letter to the the biden administration. Saying: hey, look when you choose an administrator, please you know you need to choose somebody who is forward thinking who is into innovation in the skies and understands all these things and pointed out. You know hey a lot of the things that the current administration has put forth, as goals can really be materially, assisted by the use of commercial drones and – and you should take that into consideration so so well see what happens.

You know five days in well its a little too soon to to judge but um. You know mr nolan will um certainly have a big job in front of him and uh well see what effect it has for the drone industry yeah. It will be interesting. I think the faa is sending a clear message here to at least the airlines, like you had mentioned, that were moving away from someone kind of business focused to someones safety focus and in the wake of that 737 800 uh crashing a couple weeks ago in china. I think its becoming even more relevant and even more important – i think you know like, as you had kind of foreshadowed, uh, that its going to be critical to have someone whos safety focused, but not so. Safety focused that they eliminate opportunities for drone pilots as a whole. Since mr nolan is the acting administrator, um is how long will his tenor actually be? Will it be to 2024? I actually am not sure about that um. I think you know the acting administrator. The administrator has to be uh, ratified or or whatever you call it by the senate, so he cannot be the permanent administrator without going through uh the same process as other candidates. So right now you know the biden harris administration is looking for candidates and those will have to go through a review process and then they will have to be uh appointed by uh president biden and then approved by the senate.

So whether mr nolans name will be in the mix for that or whether this is a a temporary position and hes not interested in being appointed for the five year term, uh i dont know you should also mention that the deputy administrator bradley mims will also have Sort of an expanded, uh role, so he had served at the faa under the clinton administration as uh president and ceo of the conference of minority transportation officials. But he has been the faa deputy administrator during the biden, harris administration, and so he will also take on an expanded role very interesting how two people are taking on the role of one person. It goes to show that that might be a stressful position. Um. I think it is a stressful position. I think there are still you know. We have the administrator or the deputy administrator, but i think uh yeah boy, yeah boy. They have a lot on their plate, they sure do. They sure do well. Itll be interesting to see what stems uh from this new acting administrator and mr nolan. The drone industry welcomes you and asks for your help and consideration and to put yourself in our shoes when making objective decisions. Um that said, uh as normally miriam. You would say it wouldnt be a drone live news show without some drone delivery. Well, ive got good news and bad news. Um good news is, it seems, like drone. Delivery is literally taking flight uh in texas.

The bad news is, is that its coming from chilis and you wont be able to get your quesadilla burger from applebees, but anyway whats the story here, miriam Music, you never know it. Could it could be so really um interesting stuff did texas, texas, texas, you know so i uh, i i dont, know whats. The timing of this. Did the drone law have anything to do with the delivery pro? Who knows who knows so wing, as we all know, did a successful trial in christenburg virginia? They are now engaging in commercial drone delivery operations in dallas fort worth. It will begin in two days on in april 7th, and they are working in partnership with walgreens, so they will be delivering things from walgreens, also um easy vet. You can get your prescription medications for your for your dogs by drone delivery, uh or or your other pets with the texas health system. They could deliver you a first aid kit to wherever you are when you crash your bicycle and uh. Additionally, i think blue bell. Creameries for ice cream, so that sounds good too, but they are working in the suburbs of dallas fort worth. At the same time, flytrax has also engaged in a commercial drone delivery operations, and the reason i keep saying the word commercial is because i think this is really really interesting if you think back a few years to the way that those laws evolved wing was actually.

I believe the first part 135 carrier that that got licensed by the faa to be a uh unmanned aircraft carrier airline or some something like that. I forget what it is part 135, which allowed them to engage in commercial drone operations. Drone operations for profit flytrax achieves the same thing by working with kaze aviation. Quasi aviation is a private jet. An aircraft company that also has their 1 135 has all of those certifications. So we are not talking about testing here, were not talking about an faa program or a research project, or anything like this were talking about doing drone deliveries for commercial purposes, just um straight up, uh business. So that is really a big step forward. If you think about it, this is a huge step forward for sure. So flytrax is the one that has partnered with the chilis bar and grill. I think it is a chain of restaurants, so they have numerous restaurants. I dont, i dont know that we have them all out here in new england. I think we have some of them, but i think they said there was like included in that was like maggianos or something which i think ive seen before, but im not sure that we have one here in tiny old little albuquerque so um. But i have to say i would much prefer a quesadilla burger from applebees over chilis just saying thats me, but you cant get it by drone. No, no, and with the current rate of success at doordash, i would prefer the drone delivery, at least in my personal experience.

I dont know about all of you out there um, but that said miriam. Thank you very much uh for joining me today. Thank you for educating all of us on whats going on around the world, and i will say it is very interesting to see this drone delivery taking place right after this federal court shut down a state regulation, so uh very interesting indeed not sure if theres anything There but uh its its a coincidence, to say the least and whos to say too that because texas does have a strong, uh drone industry, it really does so because texas does have a strong drone industry and wing wanted to work there and fly trucks wanted to Work there and the dfw um, you know airspace authorities were okay with that uh. You know, maybe that helped too, but i think ultimately it was a poorly written regulation, so yeah for sure for sure well miriam. Thank you again for joining me. Um. As always, do appreciate it and thank you to everyone out there who listens and supports the show, and thank you to everyone who is also a drone you, member thats, going to do it for us today in this episode of drone. Live views.

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