Communications between FAA and Brunswick, GA police

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States of America.
Tracking # 2014-1394
Est. Completion None
Status
No Responsive Documents

Communications

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

All communications both written and electronic between the FAA's Atlanta office as well as the UAS office and the Brunswick Police Department.

In an email received today, Brunswick police indicated that they received advice on its Parrot AR.Drone: "To answer your specific question, the FAA does not require unmanned vehicles flying up to 500 feet to be approved by them. I confirmed this today with our local FAA Atlanta Office, however they were unable to cite the specific regulation in reference to this. The person who could give me that specific information will not be in the office until tomorrow."

I request expedited processing in light of the potential miscommunication among FAA components on applicable UAS rules and the ensuing confusion that may result if these miscommunications are not rectified, as well as the potential violation of FAA regulation by the Brunswick Police Department, per findings outlined in my article here: http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/the-feds-have-no-idea-whos-flying-drones

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Shawn Musgrave

From: Federal Aviation Administration

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Dr. Taylor,

I request that you reconsider both my fee waiver and expedited processing denial.

For both, I ask you to take into consideration that I am a journalist covering domestic UAVs. I wrote a piece examining the Brunswick, GA police purchase and use of a UAV despite their not having a COA: http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/the-feds-have-no-idea-whos-flying-drones

As I noted in the article, the Brunswick police indicate that the FAA's Atlanta office indicated that they did not need a COA. This is of interest not only for this case but in light of allegations that the FAA has given inconsistent advice to government agencies across the country on UAV standards, licensing requirements and the process for obtaining a COA. Given that law enforcement across the country are increasingly interested in unmanned aerial technology and are obviously uninformed about the licensing requirements, I intend to investigate further the role of the FAA in their education. Furthermore, as these alleged communications happened a few years back, I request expedited processing to head off destruction of any communications according to retention schedules in the intervening time when the FAA completes my request, which in my experience can be several months or more.

Thank you,
Shawn

From: Federal Aviation Administration

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

I request that you reconsider both my fee waiver and expedited processing denial for request 2014-001394.

For both, I ask you to take into consideration that I am a journalist covering domestic UAVs. I wrote a piece examining the Brunswick, GA police purchase and use of a UAV despite their not having a COA: http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/the-feds-have-no-idea-whos-flying-drones

As I noted in the article, the Brunswick police indicate that the FAA's Atlanta office indicated that they did not need a COA. This is of interest not only for this case but in light of allegations that the FAA has given inconsistent advice to government agencies across the country on UAV standards, licensing requirements and the process for obtaining a COA. Given that law enforcement across the country are increasingly interested in unmanned aerial technology and are obviously uninformed about the licensing requirements, I intend to investigate further the role of the FAA in their education. Furthermore, as these alleged communications happened a few years back, I request expedited processing to head off destruction of any communications according to retention schedules in the intervening time when the FAA completes my request, which in my experience can be several months or more.

Thank you,
Shawn

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

I received no answer to my request for fee waiver reconsideration. Please advise as to the status of this request.

Best,
Shawn

From: Federal Aviation Administration

A no responsive documents response.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Nov. 25, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-1394.

Thank you for your help.

From: Lizett G. Culley

Good Afternoon Mr. Musgrave,

This message is in reference to your FOIA 2014-1394, I need a clarification from you regarding your request asking for a copy of all communications "between the FAA's Atlanta office as well as the UAS office and the Brunswick Police Department" related to advice it received on its Parrot AR Drone. Can you please define the particular FAA office in Atlanta for our search since we have several offices in Atlanta?

Thank you for your attention to this message.

Lizett G. Culley
Management Specialist
UAS Integration
Flight Standards Service
Phone 202- 385-4594
Fax 202- 385-4559
e-mail: lizett.culley@faa.gov

It is by believing in roses that one brings them to bloom. —French Proverb

From: Lizett G. Culley

Good Afternoon Mr. Musgrave,

This message is a second attempt to obtain a clarification from you to please define the particular FAA office in Atlanta for our search since we have several offices in Atlanta. I sent you the first message on 2/26/2014, I did not receive a response from you yet.

Also, I want to inform you that since your request is still being processed and will not be completed by the FOIA due date of March 10, 2014. An additional 30 days (weekday) extension from March 24, 2014 is requested to complete your FOIA request. A new due date of May 2, 2014 is requested to complete your FOIA case.

Please reply back and acknowledge to this extension.

Your understanding and cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Lizett G. Culley
Management Specialist
UAS Integration
Flight Standards Service
Phone 202- 385-4594
Fax 202- 385-4559
e-mail: lizett.culley@faa.gov

It is by believing in roses that one brings them to bloom. —French Proverb

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Good Afternoon Mr. Musgrave,

This message is a third attempt to obtain a clarification from you. Please
define the particular FAA office in Atlanta for our search, since we have
several offices in Atlanta. Also, I want to inform you that since your
request is still being processed and will not be completed by the FOIA due
date of March 10, 2014. An additional 30 days (weekday) extension from
April 7, 2014 is requested to complete your FOIA request. A new due date
of May 19, 2014 is requested to complete your FOIA case.

Please reply back and acknowledge to this extension.

Your understanding and cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Lizett G. Culley
Management Specialist
UAS Integration
Flight Standards Service
Phone 202- 267-8098
e-mail: lizett.culley@faa.gov

It is by believing in roses that one brings them to bloom. —French Proverb

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

Apologies -- for some reason the first two messages from Ms. Culley were caught in spam filters.

The Brunswick Police Department indicated that it called an individual from the Atlanta office, but could not indicate which department or individual beyond the fact that it was a female who got in touch. Is there any way to survey FAA Atlanta offices for contact with Brunswick Police Department?

I'm open to suggestions to narrow the FOIA request, by all means.

Best,
Shawn

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Nov. 25, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-1394.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Nov. 25, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-1394.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Nov. 25, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-1394.

Thank you for your help.

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Lizett,

Please contact Mr. Musgrave and give him a status update.

Respectfully,

Derek M. Honda
AFS FOIA Coordinator / AFS Forms Management Officer / AFS Directives
AFS-140 Flight Standards
email: derek.honda@faa.gov
Work: 202-267-4190
Fax: 202-267-7636
https://employees.faa.gov/org/staffoffices/afn/tools_resources/foia_tool_kit/
https://employees.faa.gov/tools_resources/forms
http://www.faa.gov/forms/index.cfm

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Shawn,
Here is a short recap of what you and I said in emails a few months ago. We are spending a lot of extra man hours on a $200 toy that did not work very well to begin with.

RECAP- We both agreed that we were at the end of the road on the information search from this Police Department and the Atlanta Regional Office. This police department will not be in the UAS business for a longtime to come, they can not afford the more expensive UAS vehicles. The $200 UAS would get to an altitude of about 20' and then roll over and crash. The Atlanta FSDO Inspector was given a lesson on UAS operations by the Regional UAS expert. The Brunswick PD was given a verbal lesson on the proper process on how a Law-enforcement COA works. Training first then an operational exercise before the FAA certifies then with an operational COA. They do not want to pursue using this type of aerial vehicle for now.

I have put in a request for the computer folks to recover those emails from our OLD LOTUS NOTES. This will take more man hours to re-cover and will take about three days for the new password, and then I still might not be able to find them since we came to an agreed upon conclusion.

Eddie

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Good Morning Mr. Musgrave,

This message is in reference to your FOIA Request 2014-1394, based on the information that you have received from Inspector Edwin Miller, we will proceed to close your case.

Please acknowledge this message.

Thanks.

Lizett Culley
Management Specialist, AFS-82
Office of UAS Integration
Phone (202) 267-8098

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Good Morning Mr. Musgrave,

This message is in reference to your FOIA Request 2014-1394, I sent you a message on July 21, 2014, that based on the information that you have received from Inspector Edwin Miller, we will proceed to close your case. I have not received a response from you yet.

Please acknowledge this message .

Thanks.

Lizett Culley
Management Specialist, AFS-82
Office of UAS Integration
Phone (202) 267-8098

From: Shawn Musgrave

Ms. Culley -

Apologies for the delay in response. I agree to close this request in light of the FAA's difficulties accessing emails from this period.

Best,
Shawn

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