As the blog has reported earlier, Hollywood has been sky-high about the possibility that the Federal Aviation Administration would grant exemptions for the use of commercial unmanned aircraft systems (aka drones) for movie, television, and video productions. And the FAA made it official recently, allowing six firms to go ahead and to fly the craft — the first time a private companies legally can do so in the United States. The decision has huge implications for a broad range of industries. Some claim the decision opens the FAA floodgates for many companies and industries to seek drone approvals, similar to those granted to Hollywood. The FAA, meantime, has taken shots for dragging its feet by not green-lighting the movie, television, and video production by drone sooner. Many movie makers, including those who put out a James Bond thriller, had taken to shooting with drones in foreign countries (as shown in the clip below). Even as it allowed Hollywood production crews the legal exemption to fly drones, the FAA set down strict safety and compliance rules on shooters, aiming for safety and noninterference with commercial aviation. Fans already are filling up YouTube channels with drone vids but the feds, including national park service officials, have made clear that the craft won’t be allowed to zip, buzz, and fill the air overhead like mosquito swarms — witness the Danish tourist who got stung with a $3,200 fine for failing to comply with Uncle Sam’s rules. By the way, if you’re a cineaste with some immunity to vertiginous viewing, check out the sites and videos from some of the firms granted the FAA exemptions here, here, here, here, and here.
Hollywood’s 1st with legal drones in U.S. skies
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