News in Brief: Hollywood asks FAA to OK drones

June 19, 2014

Westlaw News in Brief thumbnailSeven companies that specialize in aerial footage for television and motion picture companies have asked the Federal Aviation Administration for approval to use small unmanned aircraft systems, or sUAS, to help film commercial productions.

According to the petitions, the FAA may grant exceptions from certain flight regulations, including pilot certificate requirements and equipment mandates, on a case-by-case basis.

The petitioners say they qualify for exemptions because their proposed operations are as safe as or safer than regulated flights the entertainment industry uses, and they offer significant public benefits.

According to the petitions, conventional film operations use aircraft that weigh around 4,000 pounds, carry combustible fuel, and fly close to actors and buildings.

The proposed sUAS weigh around 55 pounds and carry neither people nor combustible fuel, the petitions say.

They will fly in restricted areas where those nearby have consented to the operations, the petitions say.

The FAA did not indicate in its press release when it would rule on the petitions, which Cooley LLP‘s Jonathan Hill submitted for Flying-Cam Inc.RC Pro Productions Consulting LLC dba Vortex AerialAstraeus Aerial, Snaproll Media LLC, HeliVideo Productions LLC, Pictorvision Inc. and Aerial Mob LLC.!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0352-0001