Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or Drones are becoming inexpensive with each passing day and a large number of hobbyists are paying top dollar to get some of the most advanced functionality in these aircraft. However, the use of airspace is an Important matter and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the body which has been tasked with the protection and the regulation of the airspace. The role of FAA is wide and the FAA regulation for drones will have far reaching consequences for not just the habitual drone pilots but also those who use these aircraft systems for professional aerial cinematography.
There are some FAA regulations which every pilot of these aircraft must follow while other FAA regulations or laws on the use of drones are still under discussion. One of the most important and basic rules is that every aircraft which weighs more than 0.55 pounds must be registered with the FAA. There is no approval required for the flight of these aircraft but the registration is mandatory and the flight must be made in the line of sight of the operator. Also, these unmanned aircraft must only be flown outside the populated areas and they shouldn’t get anywhere near the flight path of full-scale aircraft.
FAA has limited the use of these aircraft for commercial business purposes which make it a hindrance for aerial cinematography and professional moviemakers. Also, since these aircraft are only allowed to be used outside the population centers, they cannot be used for aerial photography of the sporting or other large crowd events even by professional drone pilots.
There is a procedure developed by FAA if the professional video makers want to use a drone for commercial purposes. It must be understood that the permission to use the drone for business purpose doesn’t allow it to be used for the coverage of major sporting events as there are solid restrictions in place for the covering of such events. They call this regulation a #333 exemption.
Information regarding the FAA #333 exemption can be found here: www.FAA.gov