The law firm Bousquet Holstein PLLC recently announced the formation of its new practice group focusing on the legal issues concerning the commercial and recreational use of small, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), (more commonly known to the public as “Drones”). The acronym UAS stands for “Unmanned Aircraft Systems” which is a common term in the industry to describe the broader interplay between UAVs and flight management and safety systems. Small UAVs are typically 55lbs. or less and can be remote controlled aircraft (e.g. flown by a pilot at a ground control station) or flown autonomously using pre-programmed flight plans or more complex dynamic automation systems. In recent years, the technological development in the industry has sparked a growing demand for UAVs, specifically for commercial and recreational use. However, with this expansion of the industry comes a wide range of legal and regulatory issues that individuals and businesses must consider.
The new practice group is comprised of a number of attorneys who have significant experience in business, administrative law and regulatory matters including Aaron Frishman, Eva Wojtalewski, Philip Bousquet, Natalie Hempson, and Joshua Werbeck.
Over the next several years, the UAV/UAS industry is poised to play a significant role in the growth and evolution of commerce not only nationally and globally, but specifically in the Central New York Region. Bousquet Holstein’s UAV/UAS practice group has been formed to work alongside clients to help them successfully navigate the newly developing legal and regulatory framework while seeking out opportunities for expanded commercial use UAVs or UAS technology. The practice group will support clients primarily with FAA registrations, Section 333 exemptions, FAA regulatory compliance matters, risk assessment, and other business and contract-related matters associated with the commercial use of UAVs.
Bousquet Holstein PLLC has also closely followed the developments associated with the recent award to the region through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI). As additional funding through the URI becomes available for grants in CNY, considering nearly $250 Million has been allocated to the UAS industry, Bousquet Holstein is prepared to address clients’ needs as they may seeking to enter or establish businesses in the UAV/UAS industry. State and local incentives received by private sector businesses can have many unanticipated tax consequences that should also be carefully considered in the application process. For applicants seeking URI funding and other incentives, Bousquet Holstein business and tax attorneys can assist with tax planning, entity structuring and capitalization, and ongoing operations tailored to the unique aspects of the UAV industry.