Technology

Approvals for movies, TV could set stage for Realtor drone flights

40 companies seeking regulatory exemptions while FAA drafts rules for commercial drone flights

Six Hollywood production companies have a green light from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly camera-equipped drones on movie and television sets, paving the way for other interim drone approvals and providing some insight into what formal regulations that are expected to be adopted next year might look like. The six companies granted exemptions for commercial drone flights promised that operators will hold private pilot certificates, and keep their aircraft within the line of sight at all times within restricted areas of movie and television sets. The FAA will also require inspections of the "unmanned aerial vehicles" (UAVs) before each flight, which will be allowed to take place only during the day. “Today’s announcement is a significant milestone in broadening commercial UAV use while ensuring we maintain our world-class safety record in all forms of flight,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. “These companies are blazing a trail that ot...