The movie and TV industry will finally be able to fly drones on set but the FAA has imposed conditions that may make doing so more trouble than it’s worth.
When the producers of the Amazing Race made a version of the reality show in Canada, they used drones to record some of the action. In the U.S., this type of filming is off limits due to a blanket ban by the FAA on commercial drone use — a ban that has long chafed the TV and movie industry.
The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to announce Thursday that it is granting permits to seven movie and television production companies to fly drones …. the permits are expected to come with limitations, including that theunmanned aircraft be used only on closed sets and that they be operated by a three-person team, including a trained drone operator.
These reported restrictions, especially the ones limiting the drones to indoor use, appear heavy-handed given that consumer drones, many of which weigh less than five pounds, are becoming a common piece of technology.
More broadly, the FAA is maintaining its nation-wide ban on commercial drone use as it plods towards new rules for unmanned aircraft. Meanwhile, the drone industry is taking off in Canada and other countries where hundreds of companies are using the technology in industries like farming, filming and real estate.