A half-dozen companies will soon be able to use drones in movie and television production, thanks to exemptions granted on Thursday by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The FAA granted the companies exemptions from regulations governing general flight rules, pilot certification requirements and maintenance mandates. The companies were able to show federal authorities that the operation of their “unmanned aircraft systems” would not affect public safety, according to the FAA.
“Today’s announcement is a significant milestone in broadening commercial UAS use while ensuring we maintain our world-class safety record in all forms of flight,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “These companies are blazing a trail that others are already following, offering the promise of new advances in agriculture and utility safety and maintenance.”
Receiving exemptions were Astraeus Aerial; Aerial MOB; HeliVideo Productions; Pictorvision Inc.; RC Pro Productions Consulting; and Snaproll Media. Their applications for exemptions were made in conjunction with the Motion Picture Association of America.
A seventh company, Flying-Cam Inc., also applied for an exemption, but the FAA requested additional information from the firm.
As a condition of the exemptions, the companies said the drone operators would hold private pilot certificates and that the drones would be kept in sight at all times and operated only within “sterile” areas on sets. The drones also must be inspected prior to each flight, and can only be operated during daylight hours, according to the FAA.
“The applicants submitted UAS flight manuals with detailed safety procedures that were a key factor in our approval of their requests,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said. “We are thoroughly satisfied these operations will not pose a hazard to other aircraft or to people and property on the ground.”