Paving the way for more drone usage, the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has finally consented to give permission to use drones to a select six companies. And no, none of them are Google or Amazon. Instead, they're companies involved in movie and television production.
This is exciting news as, despite FAA still not having proper legislation in place, it isn't preventing companies from getting a legal seal of approval to use drones. Certainly this does open doors for companies, big and small, who are interested in drones.
Our new overlords come
The current list of companies are names we perhaps don't recognise but are known figures to insiders in the industry:
- Aerial MOB LLC
- Astraeus Aerial
- HeliVideo Productions LLC
- Pictorvision Inc.
- Vortex Aerial
- Snaproll Media LLC
There are caveats, though. The drones can only be used in a very restricted area of no higher than 400 feet. Usage duration must also not exceed 30 minutes and nighttime operation is prohibited.
Fortunately, too, drones will not be allowed on reality shows or unscripted events. The FAA did previously announce that specific industries would more likely be given leeway, such as filmmaking, crop monitoring and power-plant inspections.
Flying-Cam Inc is expected to be the seventh company to receive approval. It had previously used drones in filmmaking rather extensively, even winning an Academy Award in 2014 for developing a filmmaking drone.
In the wake of these approvals, other companies of different industries are likely to apply for exemptions. Amazon's earlier plans for delivery drones were previously stymied by FAA objection but that could possibly change.
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