Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

Credit Hours: 2

This is a survey course designed to provide students with an overview of the many Constitutional and other legal considerations relevant to the development, manufacture, and use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (“UAS”). The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) regulates the use of UAS in the National Airspace System (“NAS”), so the first part of the course will explore the Administrative Procedures Act and the FAA’s implementation of federal aviation law—both regulations of general applicability and those specifically applicable to UAS. It will also look at Constitutional issues, specifically Preemption, and discuss the proper boundary between the states’ authority to regulate under their Police Powers and the Federal Government’s Commerce Clause authority. The course will also explore assorted civil and criminal issues such as invasion of privacy and trespass, Freedom of the Press, the Fourth Amendment, UAS insurance, and cyber security. The second part of the course will focus on a number of typical issues that a UAS practice group will face, including government contracting and the False Claims Act, subcontracts with the government, and also at export regulations under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the Export Administration Regulations, and the Office of Foreign Asset Controls. The goal is to help students understand the purposes of the different agencies, how to classify products made or used by their clients, how to advise regarding an effective export compliance program, how to investigate and report export violations, and how to work with agencies when case law guidance is lacking. The course will also look at the ethics of and international laws governing military use of UAS and conclude with a comprehensive roundtable-style discussion.