FAA Busts Myths on Aerial Drone Use

Posted March 3rd, 2014 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

Photographers are using quadcopters like this DJI Phantom to produce videos for their business. The FAA just wrote a memo explaining that this use of drones is strictly prohibited as of early 2015.

As a professional photographer and a private pilot, I watch the laws very closely surrounding the usage of remote controlled aircraft for aerial photography. The big trend in the photo world right now is using quadcopters, hexacopters and octacopters as aerial platforms for shooting commercial video. Shooting photos or videos for your own private purposes from a drone are ok under the law, but shooting videos commercially is another story. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) just released a strongly worded memo on using drones for commercial purposes and they don’t mince words. Commercial use of unmanned aircraft requires special permits and to date, there has only been one permit granted. One!

Here’s a link to the memo:

FAA Clarification on Commercial Drone Use

Later in 2015, the FAA will issue a rule set to govern commercial use of small drones (under 55 pounds). Until then, if you are a professional photographer using drones commercially, you are exposing yourself to potential litigation from the US government. It might be wise to hold off on that commercial project for a few months until the rules are published.


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