As new drone technologies have arrived and become more affordable for small and medium-sized businesses, the FAA has been trying to play catch-up to ensure that marketing and commerce opportunities do not get wasted yet are conducted safely and by appropriate, qualified individuals. Flying a drone for personal use has been allowed, but the gray area grew as business opportunities started to take shape.
In the past, getting aerial footage of something was much more expensive, and it was often risky, especially when trying to get footage up close. In many ways, a helicopter, for example, just was not feasible nor capable. Today’s smaller unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) like drones allow for more efficient ways to conduct aerial videography and data collection. “We are part of a new era in aviation, and the potential for unmanned aircraft will make it safer and easier to do certain jobs, gather information, and deploy disaster relief,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We look forward to working with the aviation community to support innovation, while maintaining our standards as the safest and most complex airspace in the world.”
The FAA is targeting the new rules to be in effect in August, and businesses will have new options unlike before. No longer will these commercial uses of aerial photography, videography, and data collection be limited to larger organizations that have significant budgets.