Skip to content


“The Drones Are Coming! Is New York Ready?” New York State Bar Association Journal

September 2014
Joseph M. Hanna

“If many public- and private-sector interests get their way, Amazon’s promotional video of a drone delivering a package to a customer’s doorstep provides an early glimpse at what will soon be the widespread proliferation of drones in our everyday lives,” writes Joseph M. Hanna, a partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group.

“Although the technology of drones – officially, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – has been primarily utilized in the military, technological innovation has broadened the market. The emergence of smaller, cheaper, and more capable UAVs has spawned a seemingly endless array of potential business and other applications, but it has also sparked legislative debates about the pros and cons of drone usage nationally. One of the biggest concerns hovering over lawmakers is striking the right balance between privacy and beneficial UAV usage.”

In this article, which appeared as the cover story in the September 2014 New York State Bar Association Journal, Joe explores the routes that states with drone legislation have taken to find that balance and compares those laws with the UAV bills currently pending in New York. Additionally, the article offers a general overview of the current regulatory landscape and domestic drone usage, suggests ways to improve New York’s proposed policies, and provides case studies to give readers more concrete examples of drone usage and any red flags associated with such usage.