The Federal Aviation Administration is poised to approve exemptions for seven aerial photo and video production companies, allowing them to lawfully operate their unmanned aircraft systems for the purposes of filming movies and television shows.
Both Bloomberg and Reuters quote sources familiar with the matter who say the FAA will let these seven production companies fly their small drones on closed sets. The administration is expected to make the official announcement as early as Thursday.
The seven production companies first petitioned the FAA for exemptions back in June, with the help of the MPAA. The film and television industry had been pushing for this for a long time, but those were the first formal requests. FIlm and TV companies argue that not only are drones a most cost-effective way to achieve aerial shots (as opposed to let's say, a helicopter), but it would allow them to shoot in the US, instead of having to go outside the country to film in areas with more lenient rules regulating unmanned aircraft.
The film industry is just one of many looking to employ UAS these days. You probably already know about Amazon, who recently petitioned the FAA for an exemption from its commercial drone ban. Amazon, of course, is trying to build a fleet of delivery drones – which the company says will one day we as commonplace as mail trucks.
Other industries like precision agriculture, power line and pipeline inspection, and oil and gas flare stack inspection are also pushing into the drone game. In June, the first FAA-approved commercial drone flight over land was handed to AeroVironment’s Puma AE, which BP will use to survey pipelines in Alaska.
Image via VidMuze, YouTube