According to the Wall Street Journal a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Judge ruled that the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) ban on flying drones (UAVs) is not legally binding. The ruling follows a lawsuit in which the FAA fined a drone operator $10,000 for using a drone to make a commercial for the University of Virginia. The operator fought the fine on the grounds that the FAA has not made an official regulation on model aircraft such as the drone used in this situation.
The judge noted that the FAA has not issued an enforceable Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) regulatory rule governing model aircraft operation and has historically exempted model aircraft from the statutory FAR definitions of aircraft.
March 7 the FAA issued a notice saying that it is appealing the decision to the full National Transportation Safety Board. This has the effect of staying the Judge's decision until the Board rules.