DroneCast introduces advertising by octocopter

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The 19-year-old founder of DroneCast, a Philadelphia-based startup company, drew crowds on the Las Vegas Strip Wednesday, flying an octocopter with a 3-by-12-foot banner promoting his company on the first day of a national media and promotional tour.

There’s only one problem.

Federal government officials say what Singh and DroneCast are doing is illegal. In the case of Wednesday’s flights in front of The Mirage volcano, the unmanned aerial vehicle, an 11-pound, $25,000 craft, was being used commercially and not by a hobbyist.

Officials working with Nevada’s fledgling unmanned aerial systems industry say that makes the flight illegal because it’s in FAA-administered airspace.

Singh disagrees.

“I’ve been advised by my legal counsel that there are no laws restricting this use,” he said. “Those are FAA policies and not enforceable law.”

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