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FAA slaps drone video firm with record $1.9-million fine

James Trew, @itstrew
October 7, 2015
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It looks like the FAA is getting serious on unauthorized UAV flying. The department's just slapped SkyPan, a Chicago-based aerial video company, with a record $1.9-million dollar fine for violating flying regulations in its home city, and New York. The FAA states that SkyPan engaged in a total of 65 "unauthorized operations" between March and December 2012 -- 43 of them in NYC's highly restricted airspace.

This is the largest fine to be issued by the FAA yet, but it's far from the first time the agency has made it clear that inappropriate use will result in severe consequences -- including jail time. FAA regulations are still being adapted to address the burgeoning number of hobby aircraft taking to the skies -- with two new executives assigned to the task just last month. SkyPan, however, isn't new to aerial photography, explaining in a statement to TechCrunch, that it has 27 years of compliant flying experience, but doesn't reference the 2012 allegations specifically. The firm specializes in city landscapes.

The FAA has given SkyPan 30 days to respond to the claims..

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