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FAA approves drone use for filming

The USA’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is to approve the use of small ‘drones’ for use in Hollywood filming projects. The new rules will come in this coming August, and apply to drones weighing less than 55 lbs and are being used commercially, i.e., not by hobbyists.

“The FAA final rules will further enable the film and television industry to incorporate this innovative technology into great storytelling, while expanding opportunities for American workers and small businesses in the creative economy. It is also very gratifying for our industry that filmmakers were able to pave a path for the broader commercial use of unmanned aerial systems,” Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the MPAA, said.

The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) has been pushing for permission to use drones for more than two years and for the FAA to extend the current waiver rules which by and large have seen aerial drone operators work within the draft rules.

The new rules require drone operators to be over 16-years old, and the operator must be a certified pilot with a ‘small Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)’ rating, or be supervised by someone with the rating. The task must stay within ‘line of sight’ operation, and the operator must perform pre-flight visual and operational safety checks, the drone must be fitted with anti-collision lights and flights over unprotected people not participating in the UAS operation are forbidden.

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