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Drone Legislation Update: DJI Disabling Drones, Model Aircraft Backstep & More

Lisa Ellman, our contact from drone legislation focused law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge, has let us know of some new developments regarding drone legislation. These include DJI disabling drones in no fly zones, Ellman’s background as a lawyer and former student of President Obama, as well as a couple of upcoming drone related events.
First off, in light of the drone landing on the White House lawn, DJI has decided to “disable all of its devices within a 15.5-mile radius of downtown Washington D.C.”. DJI spokesperson Michael Perry said “We are pushing this out a bit earlier to lead in encouraging responsible flight. With the unmanned aerial systems community growing on a daily basis, we feel it is important to provide pilots additional tools to help them fly safely and responsibly”. The full story can be found at

lisa ellman obama
Lisa Ellman with her former law professor, President Barack Obama

Secondly, McKenna Long & Aldridge’s blog, Planely Spoken Blog, had an update that clarified one of their earlier stories that model aircraft would be regulated alongside the upcoming drone regulations. According to the FAA, this will not be the case, citing a mistake on the website. The full story can be found at, particularly the update at the bottom.
There is also a fantastic piece from Fortune on our contact, Lisa Ellman, and her extensive history in legislation. From her time as a law student of now President Obama’s to her current work with the FAA on properly and fairly regulating drone usage. It’s a great article that grants insight to a fascinating woman on the inside of this hot button issue, and even provides more background on the drone legislation issue as a whole. You can find that story at

Lastly, Ellman informed us of two events coming in the future surrounding drones. The first is the Drone World Expo in San Jose on November 17th and 18th, and they’ve actually begun taking proposals for those who want to speak at the Expo. The second is the 2nd annual L.A. Drone Expo, coming December 11th and 12th, featuring drones, vendors, panels, a “Hackathon” and more.
As always, stay tuned for more drone updates, as well as visit

Written by Jake Fruia

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