June 25–Recently, seven aerial photo and video production companies asked the FAA for regulatory exemptions that would allow the film and television industry to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) with FAA approval for the first time. >See FAA Press Release
Because these requests may set a precedent for future commercial UAS exemptions, the agency is asking the public to weigh in on whether to grant them.
The FAA today published a brief summary of the petition from Astraeus Aerial in the Federal Register. The agency opted to ask for comments only on the Astraeus petition because that company’s request came in first, and the petitions from the other six companies ask for identical exemptions.
Interested parties will have 20 days to send in comments. The FAA will consider the comments and respond to them when drafting the final decision on all seven exemption requests.
The agency expects to publish a broad proposed rule for small UAS (under 55 pounds) later this year. But the rulemaking process can be lengthy, so the FAA has been working for several months to implement the provisions of Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and move forward with UAS integration before proposing the small UAS rule.
Other companies have filed for exemptions to perform precision agriculture, aerial surveying and flare stack inspections.