FAA Gives 6 Companies Permission To Fly Drones In Populated Areas

FAA Lets Filmmakers Use Drones In Populated Areas

Drones have become very popular among filmmakers of all budget levels, but are still currently banned for commercial use. The Washington Post is reporting that today the FAA will announce that they’ve decided to allow several movie making to use the drones in populated areas. 

It is notable that the FAA is specifically granting use of the drones in populated areas. Previously, the only two permits for commercial use drones where given to companies out in the Alaskan wilderness, far away from people. We’ve all seen YouTube videos of people flying and crashing their DJI Phantoms in NYC and other places where an innocent pedestrian or motorist could be injured, so it is understandable why the FAA has been slow to allow it. Even now, the FAA will only be granting a few permits to production firms that were submitted applications in May.
Here are the “rules” that were proposed in the applications:
  • Flights could occur anywhere in the country over private or controlled access property
  • Drones would stay at least 100 feet away from people not part of production
  • Camera bearing drones would weigh less that 55 lbs
  • Drones would not fly faster than 57 mph
  • Drones would not fly higher than 400 feet (to ensure they do not interfere with aircrafts)

If you’re wondering who the companies whose applications are currently under review they are:

  • Astraeus Aerial 
  • Aerial Mob 
  • Flying-Cam 
  • Snaproll Media 
  • Vortex Aerial
  • Pictorvision
  • HeliVideo Productions

You can read the full Washington Post Story to get more details.

UPDATE 9/25 3:53 PM – The FAA has given permission to 6 of the companies listed above. The also stated some other rules we did not list above such as the drone can not be flown out of the pilot’s sight, the pilot must be licensed, and a fire safety officer and an emergency medical technician must also be present on set in the event of a mishap.