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Why you still can’t use a drone for your real estate business

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Drone flying in the air

02/24/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken a long-awaited step toward allowing commercial drones, you still can’t use a drone, or hire someone else to fly a drone, for your real estate business.

Why not? 
The FAA’s recent guidelines are draft rules, which mean they are open for public comments and may undergo revisions before being officially adopted regulations. The FAA’s prior direction on using drones for commercial purposes—which encompasses your real estate activities—still stands: A business must request permission from the FAA, and each request is considered and granted on a case-by-case basis.

But what about that one REALTOR®?
In addition to 23 other exemptions it has given for other commercial uses, the FAA has granted permission to one REALTOR®, in Arizona, to use a drone to capture aerial photographs of his listings. The REALTOR® must acquire a private pilot’s license, a third-class airman medical certificate, and meet several other conditions, including flying the drone between three and seven minutes per flight, and keeping the drone below 300 feet.

What do the proposed rules say?
The proposed rules limit the weight and speed of a drone, as well as the altitude at which it can fly. They also ban flying drones at night and near airports, and require the operator to have pilot certification and keep the drone in sight at all times. See an overview of the proposed rules on the FAA’s website.

How can I encourage the FAA to let agents fly drones?
You can provide comments on the proposed regulations on regulations.gov until April 24. In the meantime, NAR supports regulations that allow REALTORS® to use drones safely. However, it still discourages REALTORS® against flying them until the proposed rules are finalized, which could take some time.

Get an in-depth look at drones in "Are drones the next big thing in real estate?" from the August 2014 issue of Texas REALTOR® magazine.

Categories: Business tips
Tags: drones, industry news

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on texasrealestate.com. Any legal or other information found here, on texasrealestate.com, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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