The Federal Aviation Administration has announced exemptions for the use of drone flight by six companies for use in filming for television and movie production. The announcement of allowing these drones (or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)) to take flight came during an open telephone conference on Thursday by U.S. DOT Secretary Foxx, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Chris Dodd, chairman and chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.

The leading component in this important announcement is the qualification that such drones “do not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness based on a finding they do not pose a threat to national airspace users or national security,” according to an FAA press release.

“Today’s announcement is a significant milestone in broadening commercial UAS use while ensuring we maintain our world-class safety record in all forms of flight.” –Sec. Foxx

Broadly speaking, the FAA implements its authority under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) to authorize safe, civil operations of drones based on a series of factors including the drone’s:
–  size,
– weight,
– speed,
– operational capability,
– proximity to airports,
– proximity to populated areas,
– operation within visual line of sight creating a hazard to users of the national airspace system or the public, and
– pose a threat to national security.

The goal? Allow drones to fly under very certain conditions and safety measures. Do they meet the examination of the factors above, and would an exemption from airworthiness certification be in the public interest.

“The applicants submitted UAS flight manuals with detailed safety procedures that were a key factor in our approval of their requests.” — FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

As of today, the agency is considering 40 requests for exemptions from other commercial entities.
You can view the FAA’s exemption grants at
For more information on the FAA and UAS, go to

Meanwhile… in Germany…

DHL Beats Amazon, Google to First Planned Drone Delivery via Bloomberg
“Deutsche Post AG, Europe’s largest postal service, is about to begin deliveries of medication and other urgent goods to the island of Juist [Germany] using unmanned helicopters.” Love it!


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