Cinematic Aerospace Deploys Drone to Film Documentary at JFK Airport

This marks the first time an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has been deployed at the New York airport.

For the first time, a drone was deployed to collect imagery at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Cinematic Aerospace recently flew an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) over the TWA Flight Center to capture footage for an upcoming documentary on the construction of the new TWA hotel, according to a news release. The documentary will also cover the history of the airport terminal.

UAS Pilot-in-Command Christian Tucci and Visual Observer Kyle Hurley completed five flights with a DJI Inspire 2. The system flew at a maximum altitude of 200 feet while maneuvering in various arcs over the TWA terminal building, which was designed by architect Eero Saarinen in 1962.

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All flights were conducted with continuous visual line-of-sight of the drone. It was operated without a tether and completed its mission in the approved flight area at JFK.

To ensure a safe and successful mission, the company had multiple meetings with JFK airport managers, airport authority, law enforcement, the Federal Aviation Administration, JFK Air Traffic Control, Risk Management Teams, JetBlue, and the documentary production crew.

The surrounding airport environment was not shut down for the filming. Before the flight day, the crew tested for radio and communications interference, visited the construction site and Air Traffic Control Tower, and planned out shots with Director Peter Rosen, of Peter Rosen Productions.

“Drones have been permitted for use in Class B controlled airspace in the United States a few very limited times before, but never untethered at an airport like JFK within the busy New York/New Jersey Terminal Area,” Cinematic Aerospace Co-founder David Windmiller said. “It was an absolute pleasure working with all the relevant agencies to make this flight a reality, something we weren’t sure initially would happen this soon in the UAS industry.”

The drone will film the area again in 2019 when the TWA Hotel is complete.