News Briefs for Oct. 6, 2015

By Tribune News Service

CHICAGO — A Chicago aerial photography firm was hit Tuesday by the Federal Aviation Administration with a record proposed fine of $1.9 million for flying drones in busy downtown Chicago and New York without permission.

SkyPan International — which provides dramatic aerial photography to dozens of high-end property developers and architects, including the Trump Organization — endangered life and property when it flew 64 unauthorized flights in New York and one just north of Chicago’s Loop between March 2012 and December 2014, the FAA alleges.

Its drone was not registered with the FAA, did not have a certificate of airworthiness and lacked the two-way radio, transponder and altitude-reporting equipment required by the law for commercial use of drones, the FAA said.

A spokesman for SkyPan, which on its website says it’s “flight approved” by the FAA, declined to comment on the allegations