On Demand Audio

Part 107, Waivers, Exemptions, and Certifications: How to Do the Things You Want to Do

(145 reviews)

Produced on September 19, 2016

Taught by
$ 89 Science & Technology and Aviation In Stock
Get started now

$299 / year - Access to this Course and 1,500+ Lawline courses


Course Information

Time 1h
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Science & Technology Aviation

Course Description

The FAA has finally promulgated its new regulations for the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), more commonly known as "drones."  This new system has opened the skies to commercial drones like never before, and presents exciting new business opportunities. At the same time, however, the FAA has substantially increased the amount it can fine illegal operators. It is important to know what you can and cannot do under the new regulations. In addition, the FAA has implemented a system of waivers, exemptions, and certifications that will allow you to go beyond the basics of the regulations.  

This course, presented by Mark McKinnon, an aviation attorney with over 25 years of experience and co-chair of the Dentons UAS practice group provides an overview of the regulations governing UAS operations in the United States, and what you will need to know to take advantage.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Understand the legal framework governing UAS operation in the National Airspace System under 14 C.F.R. Part 107
  2. Comprehend the current new exemption and waiver processes
  3. Prepare for more advanced UAS operations such as night operations, flight over people, and flight beyond visual line of sight

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Mark E. McKinnon


Mark has worked for over 23 years in all areas of aviation and transportation law, including litigation, appellate, regulatory and other administrative matters. He is a founding member of the firm's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) practice and has written and spoken extensively on UAS and aviation matters. In addition, he is co-editor of the Plane-ly Spoken Blog, which is dedicated to providing up to date news, analysis, and opinion on issues that affect the aviation industry.   

Mark began his career as a law clerk for the Honorable Richard Suhrheinrich on both the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, giving him valuable insights into all aspects of the operations of the federal courts. Mark has extensive appellate and litigation experience in a wide range of areas including foreign and domestic mass disasters, multidistrict litigation, federal aviation regulatory and enforcement actions, insurance coverage, complex commercial litigation involving intellectual property and unfair trade practices, the Federal Tort Claims Act, and government contractor actions.

Mark has also litigated and advised clients on numerous aspects of international air transportation, including the application of the Warsaw Convention, Hague Convention, Montreal Protocols, Montreal Convention, and International Civil Aviation Organization’s International Standards and Recommended Practices.

Mark has assisted a number of clients in their efforts to obtain approval of their commercial UAS operations, including preparation and filing of exemptions and development of Operations Manuals.

Mark has represented clients in cases pending before the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and the District of Columbia Circuits, the United States Supreme Court, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the Florida Court of Appeals, Ohio Court of Appeals, Ohio Supreme Court, Mississippi Supreme Court, and national Transportation safety Board. Mr. McKinnon has also represented clients in a number of international arbitrations, including proceedings in Malaysia, Singapore, and South Africa.


  • In re Air Crash Disaster off Point Mugu, California: Mark worked on all aspects of the litigation arising from the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, including proceedings before the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration. The occurrence of the accident in waters outside state territorial limits, and also outside the scope of the Death on the High Seas Act required application of maritime law to complex aviation accident issues.
  • Crane Co v. Kitzinger: Appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court of a liability and seven figure punitive damage award for an accident involving a maritime elevator on an offshore oil platform. The Court reversed and remanded for a new trial on all issues.
  • 9/11 Litigation: Mark worked on numerous aspects of the litigation arising from the tragic events of September 11, 2001, including representation of several airports involved in the litigation and coverage issues involving several security firms.

Activities and Affiliations


  • Keynote Speaker, "UAS Integration into the National Airspace," Drone Expo Los Angeles, December 2014
  • Speaker, "UAS Regulation and Certification in the US and Foreign Countries," Airline Pilot's Association, Positioning the US Airline Industry for Success, December 2014
  • Speaker, "Lessons Learned from the Concorde Disaster," 2014 Global Foreign Object Damage Prevention Conference, December 2014
  • Panelist, American Association of Airport Executive's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Workshop, Reno, Nevada, November 2014
  • Speaker, "Current UAS Regulatory Landscape," MRO Symposium, September 2014
  • Panelist, "UAS Insurance and Liability Issues," AUVSI Workshop - Getting Airborne with UAS, August 2014
  • Panelist, "FAA Enforcement Actions Against UAS Operators," UAS Symposium. June 2014


Thomas L.

Highly substantive, inciteful presentation. (From another aviation attorney).

Randy B.

Great course and very good overview.

Matthew B.

Excellent coverage of field and presentation.

John K.

Excellent. What about privacy ??

Aparna K.

Mark McKinnon is an excellent speaker. Please offer more CLEs presented by him!

James O.

Excellent presentation.

Joseph M.

Great speaker, really interesting topic

Sean Paul O.

Good practical tips

John F. L.

The relative infancy of the regulatory structure indicates that this topic needs follow-up. However, since there is high interest in this topic, this presentation is informative about what can redone now and and how permission to operate drones might be obtained.

Load More