Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced that the Federal Aviation Administration granted regulatory exemptions to six aerial photo and video production companies, which is the first step required for the film and television industry to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the National Airspace. Secretary Foxx made the announcement during a conference call with FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Chris Dodd, chairman and chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., which had submitted petitions to the FAA this June.
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,” said Secretary Foxx. “These companies are blazing a trail that others are already following, offering the promise of new advances in agriculture and utility safety and maintenance.”
“The applicants submitted UAS flight manuals with detailed safety procedures that were a key factor in our approval of their requests,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We are thoroughly satisfied these operations will not pose a hazard to other aircraft or to people and property on the ground.”
The Motion Picture Association of America had filed the exemption requests on behalf of six members: Astraeus Aerial, Aerial MOB LLC, HelVideo Productions LLC, Pictorivision In, RC Pro Productions Consulting LLC dab Vortex Aerial, and Snaprol Media LLC.
The application from Flying-Cam, Inc., a seventh aerial video company that also filed for exemptions is still under review by the FAA, pending additional information. The FAA states that it is working closely with the company to obtain the information it needs.
As to the question of whether news services and tourism companies will follow next, the FAA has made a statement to any interested parties.
The FAA encourages other industry associations to work with interested parties to develop safety manuals and standard operating procedures that will help facilitate similar petitions.
As of today, the agency is considering 40 requests for exemptions from other commercial entities.
You can view the FAA’s exemption grants at: http://www.faa.gov/uas/legislative_programs/section_333/
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