Two More Firms Approved to Operate Unmanned Aircraft

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UAS-shot image, YouTube

The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday granted two companies exemptions from current rules, allowing them to use unmanned aircraft for filming and photography in the United States.

AeroCine, LLC of New York City and Burnz Eye View, Inc. of San Diego got the go-ahead on Jan. 23 to offer commercial services using unmanned aerial systems or UAS, more commonly known as drones.

Though government entities, including law enforcement and public universities, are allowed to fly drones with certain restrictions, for-profit operations remain broadly prohibited. Congress gave the FAA the power set aside the restrictions under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. It allows limited operations while aviation regulators work out the permanent rules for integrating unmanned aircraft into the national airspace. As of Jan 23 a total of 295 firms have requested such exemptions. So far sixteen requests have been granted.

AeroCine is a high-definition cinematography company that has gained unmanned flight experience on film projects outside of the U.S. According to the company’s exemption request it obtained footage of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor site in Russia for research purposes. The New York City-based firm also shot footage of culturally important locations within Dubai, Sweden and Slovenia and is in discussions to acquire feature film footage in such countries as Egypt and Mexico. The exemption allows the firm to film with a Hammer X12 aircraft made by Kopterworx.

Burnz Eye View, Inc. plans to use a Phantom 2 model UAS made by DJI to provide photos supporting for real estate sales and for the inspection of infrastructure and similar projects.

“These new exemptions highlight just how many companies and industries are looking to UAS to do their jobs better, faster and more efficiently,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. “In these cases, UAS will help provide exciting new perspectives for the real estate and film industries.”