Photo of Chris Sundberg

Chris concentrates his practice in commercial contracting and providing guidance on regulatory matters. He has significant experience drafting, negotiating and managing contracts in order to minimize the risk and maximize the value of a company's ongoing business operations. Chris devotes a significant portion of his practice to the representation of clients in the commercial airline and business aviation industries and provides guidance to operators of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

Even with the rapid growth of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones, one of the FAA’s primary rules is that the pilot must maintain visual line of sight with the unmanned aircraft at all times. When waivers were granted for “extended line of sight” operations, visual observers on the ground were still required. Those operational constraints are about to change.

Collaborative projects between private industry and the Universities of Alaska-Fairbanks and Hawaii are transforming dreams into reality for the unmanned aircraft community. These technological accomplishments are laying the foundations to provide vital services to rural and outlying communities through long-distance search and rescue, surveying and telecommunications platforms mounted onboard solar powered drones.

On February 3, 2016, Representatives Bill Schuster of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced H.R. 4441, the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2016 (“AIRR Act”).  The AIRR Act is a six year re-authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) and addresses, for example, reforms to air traffic control, FAA’s certification processes, and funding for airport infrastructure.  The full text of the AIRR Act can be found here, and a summary prepared by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee can be found here.  Importantly, the AIRR Act also contains a number of proposed reforms to facilitate the greater introduction of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”) into the national air-space system. 

On June 17, 2015, United States Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Dean Heller (R-NV), introduced a new piece of legislation, entitled Protecting Individuals From Mass Aerial Surveillance Act of 2015. Specifically, the Act would prohibit Federal entities from using Mobile Aerial-View Devices (“MAVD”), which includes manned and unmanned systems, “to surveil property, persons or their effects, or gather evidence or other information pertaining to known or suspected criminal conduct, or conduct that is in violation of a statute or regulation.” Importantly, the Act contains a number of exceptions – a Federal entity may use a MAVD: