Getting a licence to fly an unmanned aerial ‘drone’ during a TV or film production has been a real challenge for US production houses, and those in Europe.
On September 25th the USA’s Federal Aviation Administration ruled that they do not need certificates of airworthiness, and announced that six well-known specialists would be granted a waiver to operate unmanned aircraft, although the six operators are required to closely observe tight health and safety rules.
The restrictions cover the mandatory use of closed sets, and must have a certified ‘pilot’ operating the devices. They are only allowed to fly to 400 feet, and production houses have to inform the FAA of their planned use so that pilots in the area can be alerted. The drones cannot be flown at night.
The ‘closed sets’ rule limits the use of drones to scripted productions, and – at least for the time being – forbids their use in unscripted shows where potentially members of the public could be present.