FAA Considers Drone Exemption For Aerial Video Filming – MPAA
Seven MPAA member aerial photo and video production companies have asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for regulatory exemptions that would allow the film and television industry to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS aka Drones or RC helicopters) with FAA approval for the first time.
Aerial MOB LLC
HeliVideo Productions LLC
Snaproll Media LLC
The FAA did not say if they would grant the exemptions, just that they were requested.
The Motion Picture Association of America facilitated the exemption requests on behalf of their membership. The firms that filed the petitions are all independent aerial cinematography professionals who collectively developed the exemption requests as a requirement to satisfy the safety and public interest concerns of the FAA, MPAA and the public at large.
Three other industries have also made such requests, including precision agriculture, power line and pipeline inspection, and oil and gas flare stack inspection.
They are asking for the FAA to grant exemptions from regulations that address general flight rules, pilot certificate requirements, manuals, maintenance and equipment mandates. According to the FAA, they are also asking for relief from airworthiness certification requirements as allowed under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. Under that section of the law, certain airworthiness requirements can be waived to let specific UAS fly safely in narrowly-defined, controlled, low-risk situations.
The agency says that to receive the exemptions, the firms must show that their UAS operations will not adversely affect safety, or provide at least an equal level of safety to the rules from which they seek the exemption. They would also need to show why granting the exemption would be in the public interest.
At the moment, only so-called public entities such as law enforcement and firefighting have access to such waivers, though commercial operations may be authorized on a "case-by-case" basis. Without a waiver, commercial flight requires a certified aircraft, a licensed pilot and operating approval, says the FAA.
Backgrounder on issues mentioned in this video:
RC Helicopter Aerial Photography Legal Issues In USA