ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The FAA has been under considerable pressure to come up with a set of rules for video drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Although flying model remote-control aircraft has been legal and mostly unregulated for years, the rapid sales growth of inexpensive remote-controlled helicopters that can shoot high-quality video has alarmed many who are concerned about privacy, air safety and other reasonable issues.
The FAA recently rolled out rules for professional video/film production, identifying seven companies that are approved to fly video drones for the purpose of video and film production. More about this aspect of video drones can be read in this interesting interview with Tom Hallman, the president of Pictorvision, one of the companies approved by the FAA for video/film drone shooting.
With sales of video drones skyrocketing, the FAA has reached out to law enforcement agencies to help in managing and policing the unlawful use of such devices.Of course, police agencies themselves have many uses for remote-controlled video aircraft, but the FAA is more worried in this case about civilians who fly their drones unsafely and recklessly, violating the privacy of citizens and endangering passersby, wildlife and even aircraft.
For more about the FAA’s guidelines for law enforcement on the use of drones by citizens, read this press release from the FAA: