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2015 Symposium – Drones as Disruption

2015 Symposium

Friday, November 6, 2015
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saxbe Auditorium, Moritz College of Law

Supported by the Aerospace Research Center, the Battelle Center for Science and Technology Policy,  the Center for Interdisciplinary Law and Policy Studies, the College of Engineering, the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, the Moritz College of Law, and the Office of Research at The Ohio State University

The Ohio State Business Law Journal Fall 2015 Symposium

Drones, or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), have arrived. Ranging in size from under a pound to tons, drones carry a host of technologies that enable important work in fields ranging from environmental monitoring to newsgathering, from smart agriculture to law enforcement.

From a regulatory perspective, drones raise immense challenges. They are both information technology and aircraft, and sometimes toys. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has consequently struggled to determine what falls in or outside of its mandate of governing flight safety, and is often (and understandably) blind to important policy questions about such as privacy or freedom of speech.

This conference brings together lawyers, policymakers, and technologists to address how domestic drones as a disruptive technology rupture and bridge existing regulatory frameworks. The goal is both practical and theoretical: to explore how technology drives regulatory development, while at the same time bringing important actors together in the same room to address how the parts fit together—and identify where there are gaps.

Drones as Disruption


November 6, 2015

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Saxbe Auditorium, Moritz College of Law 

Introduction and Welcome

Caroline C. Whitacre, PhDDavid B. Williams, PhDMargot E. Kaminski

Panel I: 9:00-10:15

Drones as Aircraft: The FAA’s Safety Mandate

What aspects of drones should the FAA regulate under its aircraft safety mandate? What counts as “safety”? What doesn’t count?

Brendan Schulman, Anne SwansonJohn Valasek, Jim Williams, Noel Zamot

Moderated by Peter M. Shane of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Coffee Break 10:15-10:45

Panel II: 10:45-12:00

Drones as Opportunities: Data, Research, & Speech

What are the opportunities that drones present? How are these opportunities addressed by the law?

Marc J. Blitz, Thomas Mackie, Nabiha Syed, Matt Waite

Moderated by Dale A. Oesterle of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Lunch break 12:00-1:30, Lunch is provided for registrants.

Panel III: 1:30-2:45

Drones as Threats: Privacy and Property Rights

Drones gather data. What data is necessary for drones to safely function?

What privacy and property-related threats do drones present? How are these threats addressed by the law?

Ella Atkins, A. Michael Froomkin, Stephen E. Henderson, Gregory McNeal, Jay Stanley

Moderated by Liz Woolery of the Open Technology Institute, New America

Coffee Break: 2:45-3:15

Keynote: 3:15-3:45

Mr. André Hentz, Special Advisor to the Under Secretary for Science and Technology at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Panel IV: 3:45-5:00

Drones and the Regulators: Who (Else) Should Regulate What

Drones present a wide variety of policy puzzles. Other than the FAA, who (if anybody) should regulate, and what should they regulate? Or is self-regulation the better option?

Troy A. Rule, Ryan Smith, Kristen Thomasen, Theodore J. Wierzbanowski

Moderated by Konstantin Kakaes of the Open Technology Institute, New America