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Another UAV-Related NPRM Up for Comment

New Rule to Fold In, Standardize Falsification Standards and Rules Across Title 14

The FAA has opened another Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to the public, again seeking to flesh out the legal framework surrounding uncrewed aircraft operations.

The FAA seeks to combine the disparate documentation standards, requirements, and regulations into a single unified rule for drone operators whether they operate under Part 91, 107, 137, and the like. The abstract says that the FAA "proposes to amend, restructure, and consolidate the falsification regulations presently located throughout title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations."

The proposed change would harmonize inconsistencies among the various falsification regulations and associated sanctions and consolidate all existing falsification regulations into a general rule for standardization. Finally, it would and (3) ensure that falsification-related conduct not addressed by pertinent current regulations would be covered under the general rule. In addition, this proposal would create a falsification prohibition applicable to the regulations governing Commercial Space Transportation.

While it seems pretty benign on the surface, some commenters have been wary of adding fangs to something that could ultimately do more to penalize honest mistakes or step out of bounds to the regulatory authority granted to the FAA. One commenter took issue with the prospective application of the new rule to BasicMed, which would fall outside the regulatory authority granted to the Administrator. Another commenter frets over the difference between fraudulent and false statements, concerned that unintentionally or unknowingly false statements are penalized just as harshly as premeditated fraudulence. There’s still a while to go in order to weigh in on the matter, since the FAA is accepting comments on the NPRM through April 8, 2024.




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