Archive for the ‘Drones & Hollywood’ Category


The Small UAV Coalition advocates for law and policy changes to permit the operation of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) beyond the line-of-sight, with varying degrees of autonomy, for commercial, consumer, recreational and philanthropic purposes.  Our members, including leading consumer and technology companies such as Airware, Amazon Prime Air, DJI Innovations, Google[x], GoPro, Parrot, and 3DR, believe that U.S. leadership in the research, development, and production of unmanned aerial vehicles will benefit consumers in all walks of life. We believe that, working together, we will be able to remove unnecessary policy or regulatory hurdles that impede small UAV development, sales, job creation, and services. For more information about the Small UAV coalition, check out their website:!


The FAA will approve Hollywood’s request to use drones for filming, government and industry sources familiar with the process have told Forbes. On Thursday afternoon the FAA will announce its decision, and explain the procedures under which production companies will operate and the aviation rules which they are exempted from, the sources say.

In May, seven aerial photo and video production companies asked for regulatory exemptions (known as a 333 exemption) that would allow the film and television industry to use drones with FAA approval. Those seven companies and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), were asked by the FAA to develop the guidelines and safety procedures under which they planned to operate. The FAA reviewed those procedures and is expected to approve the drone-specific rules and standards that will enable Hollywood to be exempt from existing aviation regulations.

The process was an onerous one that began more than four years ago with aerial cinematography companies working to develop internal guidelines. After filing their request for an exemption, the industry began drafting rules and guidelines, with the participation of pilots, lawyers, consultants, unmanned aviation experts, cinematographers, representatives from the studios, and experienced cinematography companies including Aerial Mob, Astraeus Aerial Cinema Systems, Flying-Cam Aerial Systems, Heli Video Productions, PictorVision, Snaproll Media and Vortex Aerial.

A representative from Vortex Aerial, one of the companies involved in the exemption process, said, “We are very proud to be a part of this monumentally historical event. Being the result of over 4 years of industry leader collaboration we can only hope that this most daunting and financially taxing of tasks will finally come to fruition and not be yet another false start for our industry.”

Aerial Mob, one of the aerial cinematography companies involved in the exemption process features this image on their website.

The exemption is expected to specify detailed procedures under which companies may operate. The companies involved expect to release clear safety rules and guidelines that will set the standard for other companies to follow. The exemption allows the companies to fly pursuant to specific rules for the types of flights film productions plan to conduct. By definition, the exemption means that Hollywood will not need to to comply with some of the general flight rules covering pilot certificate requirements, manuals, maintenance and equipment mandates and certain airworthiness certification requirements.

Hollywood is an appropriate industry to be granted one of the first exemptions, said Tony Carmean of Aerial Mob, because it can address the FAA’s two major concerns: safety and privacy. “Most studio productions take place on closed sites with an established perimeter, ensuring that personnel on those sites are affiliated with the production and are aware of inbound aircraft,” he said. Aerial Mob has worked with clients such as the BBC, Nike, Harvard University and MTV.  The company suspended all operations inside the United States while awaiting FAA approval, oftentimes filming in Mexico, which has a more permissive environment for aerial cinematography.

The companies involved in the exemption process have extensive flight experience with both manned and unmanned aircraft, suggesting that certification as a pilot of manned aircraft may be a criteria that the FAA believes is important for the operation of unmanned aircraft.  To date, the FAA has received 45 requests for exemptions from large and small companies across a range of industries including agriculture, oil and gas, pipeline inspectors and surveyors.  “We have even received an exemption request from a realtor, and a person asking for permission to use a UAS for news gathering,” said FAA spokesman Les Dorr.

Currently, Certificates of Waiver or Authorization are available to public entities that want to fly drones in civil airspace.  The FAA says that commercial operations are authorized on a case-by-case basis. Such operations require a certified aircraft, a licensed pilot and operating approval. The exemption process under Section 333 provides an additional avenue for commercial UAS operations.


Join us for UAV Day at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego, California on Sunday, October 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and meet local experts in this new and ever-diversifying field of technology. In conjunction with our exhibition, On the Fly: Technology Takes Off, the Fleet is celebrating San Diego’s innovative UAV and multi-rotor community by inviting local organizations to join us for UAV Day. They will display small multi-rotor aircraft, custom and commercial UAVs and autonomous RC planes and helicopters for hobbyists. Most will also bring videos with information about their creations, their organizations and UAV technology and its myriad applications.

You may even take home your own quadcopter! All attendees can enter to win an AR.Drone2.0, the one-of-a kind quadcopter developed by French company Parrot featured in our exhibit. Parrot AR.Drone2.0 are very robust and stable, can be controlled by Wi-Fi using a smartphone or a tablet and are equipped with an embedded high-definition camera enabling video and photo recording and sharing.


A quadrotor in action.

There will be brief lectures for interested visitors on the history and development of unmanned aircraft history and its civil integration, current FAA restrictions on commercial usages for UAVs and the positive applications being developed for UAVs and quadcopters.  Join in a workshop on unmanned technology, take a pilot lesson on a quad simulator and see how they function in an interactive mini wind tunnel.

In conjunction with the lectures, catch a new documentary making the rounds of film festival,s now titled Civilian DronesSearch and Rescue, based on a Texas man who has been doing recovery work with multi-rotors in the desert for the past ten years. The Air Law Institute is sponsoring a group of kids from an Old Town engineering scholarship program, who plan on building a scale model of NASA’s Ikhana unmanned aircraft. And don’t miss the clown and ghost quads, just in time for Halloween! Many of the multi-rotors and related products will be available for sale as well.

Participants thus far include AUVSI San Diego, Air Law institute, Innovative Designs, Dr. Eric Frost, 3D Robotics, San Diego Wind Tunnel, Isis Copter, Go Professional Cases, MultiRotor Systems and San Diego Drone User Group.

All activities are free with Fleet gallery admission.