Avialex Law Group, LLP offers free Drone Services Agreement template
As the DOT's and FAA's final rules for small unmanned aircraft systems ("operational rules") finally went into affect this week, we here at Michael L. Dworkin and Associates thought it would be helpful to publish a Drone Services Agreement template for our clients (and curious drone operators) to review for educational purposes when considering whether to engage UAS/UAV/Drones in commercial operations.
While each drone operation will be different depending on the specific UAS's complexity and capabilities, the needs of the individual or business utilizing the drone services, and the various airspace limitations involved, there are certain contractual areas that you should, at minimum, make sure to address when negotiating with, or contracting as, a drone operator.
One such area where you should show caution before conducting any UAV operations is privacy. The new operational rules do not specifically deal with privacy issues in the use of drones and the FAA does not regulate how UAS gather data on people or property. It is important that you understand the potential liabilities and risks associated with gathering information through remote sensing technology or photography. Unfortunately, the rules and regulations affecting such operations differ state-to-state, county-to-county, even city-to-city.
Some additional considerations that are not in this template but should be addressed on a case-by-case basis include, but are not limited to: witness waivers; proprietary data licensing; pilot/aircraft requirements; operating rules/manuals; airspace limitations; and accident reporting.
If you have any questions or would like to retain counsel to assist in negotiating your next commercial drone services agreement, please do not hesitate to reach out.
PDF available by emailing John Van Geffen at firstname.lastname@example.org