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May 25, 2017

Today, we're talking drones on the podcast with my friend and Extension Ag Law Specialist at the University of Maryland, Paul Goeringer.  Although neither of us own a drone ourselves, Paul and I have both given numerous presentations and answered countless questions from folks planning to use drones and those who are concerned about how drone use may impact their privacy.

Paul grew up on a farm in Western Oklahoma, obtained his degree in Ag Economics at Oklahoma State University (Go Pokes!), his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law, and his LLM from the University of Arkansas.  Then, he headed to the East Coast where he accepted his position at the University of Maryland.

We kick the drone talk off with looking at what steps an operator needs to take before flying his or her drone.  This includes registering the drone with the FAA before the first flight obtaining the remote pilot airman certificate and reviewing and complying with all FAA regulations.  

Next, we turned to privacy issues and the frequently asked question of "can I just shoot it if it flies over my property."  As we explain, the law is not settled on this issue, and there may be serious consequences to shooting down a drone, including civil and criminal penalties, and potentially charges of shooting down a federally regulated aircraft.  We discuss legal options if a drone is creating an issue for you. We also mention the Texas Privacy Act, which governs drone use in Texas.  

On a related note, I asked Paul what law he would like to see changed, and he says he wishes there were more up-to-date privacy laws to deal with changing technology.  Unlike Texas, Maryland does not have a drone statute and their privacy laws were written in the 1970's with the technology from that time in mind.  He'd like to see these laws updated to fit better with the reality of today.

We wrap things up with two restaurant recommendations for the next time you find yourself on the East Coast.  He recommends El Taco Rico in Greenbelt, Maryland (order the chicken quesadilla) and the Federalist Pig BBQ in Washington, DC (brisket all the way!)


Contact info for Paul Goeringer


(Twitter)  @aglawpaul




Links to topics mentioned on the show

- Information on drone registration 

- My blog on FAA drone regulations

- FAA Drone Regulations

- FAA Testing Centers

- FAA test prep materials

- My blog on drones and privacy

- My blog on the Texas privacy act