Court rules FAA can’t regulate recreational drones

If you fly drones for fun, you won’t have to register it with the Federal Aviation Administration. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found the FAA does not have the authority to require drone hobbyists to register their mini aircraft. The ruling says the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 forbids the agency from passing regulations on model aircraft. (U.S. Court of Appeals)

President Donald Trump’s full budget is out today. It...

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  • If you fly drones for fun, you won’t have to register it with the Federal Aviation Administration. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found the FAA does not have the authority to require drone hobbyists to register their mini aircraft. The ruling says the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 forbids the agency from passing regulations on model aircraft. (U.S. Court of Appeals)
  • President Donald Trump’s full budget is out today. It proposes $607 billion in defense and $560 billion  in non-defense discretionary spending. Many of the proposals are similar to the ideas the President outlined in his March blueprint. However it does suggest adding a nationwide paid family leave program, giving mothers and fathers up to six weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child. (Federal News Radio)
  • The budget also includes a boost in Defense spending. But it’s not quite the military buildup the President promised. The proposal is largely a continuation of the Obama administration’s military spending plans. A new analysis from the Center for Strategic and International Studies based on leaked documents, points out the $603 billion budget is just 3 percent larger than the previous administration had planned for the same year. The $18 billion difference will be largely eaten up by a higher than expected military pay raise, and slightly larger Army than the Obama White House had planned for. Research and development would get about a 10 percent boost, but actual weapons procurement would see a small cut. (Federal News Radio)
  • The budget also makes major changes to the federal retirement program. Federal financial experts say changes to the federal retirement system in the President’s full 2018 budget request would have a significant impact on current and future federal employees and retirees. The budget includes increases to employee annuity contributions. It would also get rid of the cost-of-living adjustment for current employees and retirees in the Federal Employee Retirement System. People in the Civil Service Retirement System would see their COLA cut by half a percent. (Federal News Radio)
  • President Donald Trump will ask Congress in his 2018 budget request for $228 million for the central fund to modernize federal technology. Known as the IT Modernization Fund, OMB would use the money as sort of a first-year proof of concept for how agencies would submit business cases to access the money. OMB also is detailing how the interagency board would decide which projects are awarded funding. The administration’s proposal closely follows that of the Modernizing Government Technology or MGT Act working its way through the Senate now. (Federal News Radio)
  • The government exceeded its small business contracting goal in fiscal 2016. According to the Small Business Administration, 24.34 percent or almost $100 billion of total contract funds went to small businesses. The goal set by law in 23 percent. (Small Business Administration)
  • A business group urges a cabinet member to protect his agency’s funding. The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition wants Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to support what it calls a strong international affairs budget. Some 200 owners, managers and association heads sign a letter to Tillerson, calling for a doubling down on U.S. economic leadership. The White House’s 2018 budget proposes $37.6 billion for State and USAID, down more than $10 billion from 2017. (U.S. Global Leadership Coalition)
  • An engineer for a defense contractor pleaded guilty to economic espionage and violating the Arms Export Control Act . The Justice Department said Gregory Justice tried to sell sensitive satellite information to an FBI agent posed as a Russian spy. He faces up to 35 years in prison.
  • About 5,000 airmen a day are visiting a site to help revitalize Air Force squadrons. The Air Force set up a crowdsourcing website to allow airmen to share, comment and vote on ideas to better the military lifestyle. The Air Force has had trouble retaining some of its airmen in the past. The service hopes changes to squadrons can help. (Federal News Radio)

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