Breaking News: FAA Announces Approval for Filmmakers

We’ve Been Waiting For This For a Really Long Time

Over four years, to be exact.

Drones are finally coming to Hollywood – the FAA is set to announce approval today for use in film-making and will explain the procedures under which production companies will operate and the aviation rules which they are exempted from.  Most notably, issues of safety and privacy will most certainly be considered.

In May, aerial photography and video production companies (including us!) asked for regulatory exemptions – known as a 333 exemption. This would allow the film and television industry to use drones with FAA approval.

The FAA asked us – along with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) – to develop the guidelines and safety procedures under which we planned to operate. The FAA then reviewed those procedures and are expected to approve the drone-specific rules and standards that will enable filmmakers to be exempt from the current aviation regulations.

All companies involved in the exemption process have extensive flight experience with both manned and unmanned aircraft, suggesting that certification as a pilot of manned aircraft may be a criteria that the FAA believes is important for the operation of unmanned aircraft.

The FAA has received 45 requests for exemptions for companies of all sizes across a range of industries including agriculture, oil and gas, pipeline inspectors and surveyors.

It’s been a very long process and aerial cinematography companies have long since been working to develop internal guidelines. After they filed their request for an exemption, the industry began drafting rules and guidelines with the participation of pilots, lawyers, consultants, aviation experts, studio representatives and experienced cinematography companies.

Vortex Aerial, one of the companies involved in the exemption process, shared some insight.

"We are very proud to be a part of this monumentally historical event. Being the result of over 4 years of industry leader collaboration we can only hope that this most daunting and financially taxing of tasks will finally come to fruition and not be yet another false start for our industry."

We Couldn’t Agree More

We’re extremely excited and can only hope for the best. With the new approval, there’s no limit to the projects we can create and things we can accomplish with HABANA's Drone Division. Come work with us today!