The Federal Aviation Administration has granted two regulatory exemptions for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations, including the first for real estate photography.
The agency gave the exemptions to Douglas Trudeau with Tierra Antigua Realty in Tucson, AZ, and Advanced Aviation Solutions in Spokane, WA. Before these exemption approvals, the FAA had granted 12 exemptions to 11 companies in a variety of industries.
Mr. Trudeau’s exemption authorizes him to fly a Phantom 2 Vision + quadcopter to enhance academic community awareness and augment real estate listing videos. Advanced Aviation Solutions plans to use a fixed-wing eBee Ag UAS to make photographic measurements and perform crop scouting for precision agriculture.
Both applicants also must obtain a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) that ensures the airspace for their proposed operations is safe, and that they have taken proper steps to see and avoid other aircraft. In addition, the COAs will mandate flight rules and timely reporting of any accident or incidents.
Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx found that the UAS in the proposed operations do not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness because they do not pose a threat to national airspace users or national security. Those findings are permitted under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.
In granting the exemptions, the FAA considered the planned operating environments and required certain conditions and limitations to assure the safe operation of these UAS in the National Airspace System. For example, operations require both a pilot and observer, the pilot must have at least an FAA Private Pilot certificate and a current medical certificate, and the UAS must remain within line of sight at all times.
As of this announcement, the FAA has received 214 requests for exemptions from commercial entities.