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FAA May Approve Use of Drones for Hollywood Filmmaking

The Federal Aviation Administration is considering a proposal to allow production companies to use drones in film and TV production.

Seven aerial photo and video production companies, with the blessing of the MPAA, have asked the FAA for an exemption that would allow for the use of the unmanned aircraft, the agency said on Monday.

“If the exemption requests are granted, there could be tangible economic benefits as the agency begins to address the demand for commercial UAS operations,” the FAA said, referring to the unmanned aerial systems, also known as drones. “However, all the associated safety issues must be carefully considered to make sure any hazards are properly mitigated.”

The FAA said that the firms are asking for exemptions from general flight rules, pilot certificate requirements, manuals, maintenance and equipment mandates, as well as airworthiness certification requirements.

Neil Fried, MPAA senior VP of government and regulatory affairs, said that use of the unmanned aircraft offers the motion picture and television industry “an innovative and safer option for filming. The new tool for storytellers will allow for creative and exciting aerial shots, and it’s the latest in a myriad of new technologies being used by our industry to further enhance the viewer experience.”

The FAA said that other industries have also asked for exemptions, including precision agriculture, power line and pipeline inspection, and oil and gas flare stack inspection.

An FAA spokeswoman said that a decision is expected in a few months.

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