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