The law firm Hunton & Williams LLP recently announced the formation of a multidisciplinary Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Unit to assist clients with the legal complexities associated with the developing regulatory framework pertaining to commercial UAS, commonly known as drones, including issues related to regulations and the rule-making process of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (such as Section 333 guidance), the National Transportation Safety Board, and other state and federal agencies.
The company said its UAS Integration Unit, part of a larger Unmanned Systems Group, is composed of business, litigation, and regulatory professionals who will monitor and participate in the development of regulatory programs for UAS and other unmanned systems. The use of these emerging technologies draws on areas of the law in which Hunton & Williams has significant proficiency, such as aviation, environmental, government relations, insurance, maritime, patent, privacy and data protection, product liability, property and land rights, risk management, technology and transportation. Since its establishment more than a century ago, Hunton & Williams has grown to 800 lawyers serving clients from 19 offices worldwide.
The UAS Integration Unit is being launched in light of the emerging regulatory environment regarding UAS and the broad scope of potential commercial uses for the firm's clients. The UAS Integration Unit’s current initiatives include collaborating with clients to develop internal working groups to include representatives from legal, new technologies, risk management, privacy and security and aviation departments; and participation in joint efforts of industry, trade groups and government to clarify rules regarding the operation of UAS and related systems.