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FAA Seeks $1.9 Million Fine for Drone Photo Firm's Illegal Flights

The agency said SkyPan conducted 65 unauthorized drone flights in the busy airspace over New York and Chicago.

The Verge

The Federal Aviation Administration finally laid down the legal groundwork for the operation of small drones in February, but as the governmental body showed this week, those laws don’t mean you can just fly unpiloted craft wherever you like. The FAA has proposed its biggest fine ever — $1.9 million — to be levied against aerial photography company SkyPan International for illegal drone flights in the busy airspace above New York and Chicago.

The FAA says that SkyPan conducted 65 unauthorized drone flights over urban areas between March 21st, 2012, and December 15th, 2014. The drones involved allegedly lacked a two-way radio, transponder, altitude-reporting equipment, airworthiness certificates and effective registration, while SkyPan itself failed to get a valid Certificate of Waiver or Authorization for the flights. The FAA says that of the 65 flights, 43 of those flights reportedly took place in New York’s tightly restricted Class B airspace, and took off without receiving air traffic control clearance to do so.

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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.