May 28, 2015. Buchalter Nemer’s Aviation and Aerospace Practice Group recently received a landmark Grant of Exemption issued by the Federal Aviation Administration authorizing Mountain High Aviation (MHA) to conduct commercial unmanned aircraft operations in U.S. airspace using drones equipped with extremely sophisticated 3D laser-scanning technology developed by RIEGL LMS. The FAA’s Grant of Exemption was issued in response to MHA’s Petition for Exemption under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which provides a procedure for expedited authorization of commercial operations using unmanned aircraft systems.

MHA is a multifaceted technology company headquartered in the Pacific Northwest that holds an FAA Part 135 Certificate and provides a broad range of remote sensing and aviation solutions to a variety of industries and government agencies.

“MHA is proud to use unmanned aircraft like RIEGL’s RiCOPTER to provide cutting-edge aerial solutions to our clients in the remote sensing, mining, mapping, precision agriculture, real estate, and energy industries,” said Joseph Hovelman, CEO of MHA.

RIEGL LMS is a performance leader in the development of 3D laser scanners and time-of-flight based optical radar systems for airborne, marine, mobile, and terrestrial surveying. The RIEGL RiCOPTER is the first commercially available turnkey lightweight UAV solution ever to employ survey grade LiDAR instrumentation.

“It will be incredible to see what MHA will achieve with RIEGL’s technology in hand,” said Vladimir Kadatskiy, RIEGL USA’s Airborne Systems Segment Manager. “RiCOPTER allows for operations that would have been impossible just a few years ago.”

MHA was represented by attorney Paul Fraidenburgh in Buchalter’s Orange County, California office. Mr. Fraidenburgh has gained a national reputation for his representation of technology clients. He can be reached at (949) 224-6247 or