FAA proposes nearly $2 million fine against drone operator
WASHINGTON - The government is proposing a record $1.9 million fine against an aerial photography company for flying drones in crowded New York and Chicago airspace without permission.
The Federal Aviation Administration says SkyPan International Inc. of Chicago operated 65 unauthorized flights between March 2012 and December 2014 in some of the nation's most congested airspace.
More than half the flights took place in heavily restricted areas of New York airspace without air traffic control clearance. Also, the drones weren't equipped with two-way radio, transponder and altitude reporting equipment required of manned aircraft.
SkyPan has 30 days to respond to the FAA.
The fine announcement comes one day before an FAA official is expected to be face tough questioning at a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on safety hazards created by drones.