On February 15, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed rules for unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones, stating that they should be legally allowed to fly in the United States for business purposes.
Up to now, the use of commercial remote controlled aircraft were banned, unless a specific, rare exception is obtained from the FAA, which requires that operators follow a lengthy list of rules.
However, the new proposed rules—applicable for drones weighing under 55 pounds—will restrict commercial drone operators to flights during daylight hours, as well as to heights under 500 feet. Pilots will have to pass a knowledge test first, drones will have to be registered with the FAA, and when flying, pilots will be required to have a visual line of sight with the drone, or be in contact with someone who does.
“The proposed rules announced today for the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles are good news for property owners and REALTORS® who desire to embrace cutting-edge technology to enhance the process of buying and selling real estate with images gathered by unmanned aerial vehicles,” says National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron, who applauds the proposed rule, believing it “would allow for safe commercial use of UAV technology by the real estate industry for the purposes of marketing real estate.”
“NAR plans to submit comments to the agency and will continue to work with our members to educate them about the future safe, responsible and legal uses of UAVs,” says Polychron. “However, until the final rule is published, NAR discourages Realtors® from using UAV photography or video for commercial purposes without an FAA exemption.”