The Federal Aviation Administration has announced the approval of drone usage for filming. Seven television and film production companies, with the assistance of the MPAA, applied for the waiver earlier this year with approval being granted to six and the approval for the seventh company still under review. These companies will be required to operate under drone-specific rules and guidelines.
The drones must be operated by a team of three; including a trained drone operator, drones can only be used to film on closed sets, are allowed to fly no more than an altitude of 400 feet and can only operate for a maximum of 30 minutes at time. Reality television shows or any other unscripted show will not be allowed to use drones in their filming process and nightime filming is restricted. Astraeus Aerial, Aerial MOB, HeliVideo Productions, Pictorvision Inc., RC Pro Productions Consulting, and Snaproll Media were granted the approval from the FAA after exhibiting their drones are not a threat in any way to public safety.
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stated during a news conference, “I’ve determined that using unmanned aircraft for this purpose does not pose a risk to national airspace users.For that reason, we have given this permission to six aerial photo and video production companies. This is the first step to allowing the film and television industry to use unmanned aircraft systems in our nation’s airspace, and is a milestone in the wider effort to allow unmanned aircraft for many different types of commercial use.”
With the use of drones for filiming being legal in foreign countries and having been used in fast paced action scenes for such films as “Skyfall”, this announcement is viewed as a very important step forward for production companies here in the U.S.