Judge throws out FAA's ban on commercial use of small drones

Real estate agents, marketing firms appear to have green light to fly small craft up to 400 feet

A ruling by a federal judge has lifted the cloud of potential legal liabilities for commercial operators of small drones, paving the way for broader adoption of drones by businesses including real estate agents, brokers and real estate marketing firms.

National Transportation Safety Board Administrative Law Judge Patrick Geraghty on Thursday dismissed the Federal Aviation Administration's case against the only person it has atttempted to fine for drone use so far, saying FAA policy notices prohibiting commercial operation of drones were not produced through a formal rule-making process.

drones in real estate

Unless and until the FAA drafts policies governing the operation of small drones through a rule-making process that allows for comment, it appears to have no authority to restrict their use at altitudes below 400 feet, Politico reports.

That'll give some breathing room to companies that have been charging for drone services, like Heliscope, which produced drone tours for the Bethesda, Md.-based Wydler Brothers.

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