About a year ago I did a post on an incident where the FAA shutdown Rusty Freeman's real estate UAV photography business in the LA area. Has anything changed in the last year?
I've put a fair amount of time researching what the current laws are regarding the operation of commercial UAVs (also called UASs) and I'm struck with how little clear information is available on this subject. The only two clear data points I have on this subject is Rusty Freeman's case and the case of Daniel Gárate that Nick Winfield, of the New York Times reported in Feb of 2012. Both of these cases of UAV real estate photographers being shutdown were in the LA area but I think the same thing could happen anywhere in the US. Has anyone else out there been shutdown?
Here is a summary of my understanding of the status of commercial UAV regulations in the US as of Jan 2013. Other countries have different regulations:
Summary: If you are using a UAV to shoot video or stills for your real estate clients or even just to promote your own company you're doing so without FAA approval and you're subject to being shutdown and potentially fined. This situation may not be resolved until Sept 2015 or after when the results of FAA reauthorization act are implemented.