New FAA rules for drones were recently approved, and the rules may provide more opportunities for broadcasters to get in the game. Emilie de Lozier from my firm offers these thoughts:
Broadcasters, prepare for takeoff later this summer. The Federal Aviation Administration recently finalized rules to broadly permit the commercial operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (“sUAS”) – or drones – provided certain requirements are met. The new rules are in many cases more permissive than the existing regulatory framework, but some potential pitfalls remain. Rest assured, we are here to help you navigate the complexities of this new regime. Below we provide a high-level discussion of the new rules and their effect on broadcasters’ future sUAS operations to support newsgathering.
We previously wrote about the FAA rulemaking to develop these rules here. As a quick refresher, in 2012, Congress directed the FAA to develop a plan for incorporating drones into the national airspace. In the meantime, the FAA created an exemption process pursuant to Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to authorize commercial UAS operations on a case-by-case basis. The FAA has granted more than 5,000 exemption requests to date, including for newsgathering purposes, and thousands of these requests remain pending. (If your petition is among those pending, you should monitor your petition docket for a status update from the FAA in the coming weeks.) The new rules are intended to minimize the need for parties, including broadcasters, to seek such exemptions.
Continue Reading FAA Clears Small Drones for Takeoff: What You Need to Know