In a major decision made today by the Federal Aviation Administration, drones will now be free to fly over U.S. soil as long as they have authorization.
No, they're not the kind of drones that carry missiles and bombs, but rather, they carry cameras.
Up to now, camera-carrying drones have not been authorized to fly over Hollywood productions in the United States, though they have in almost every other country. Now, according to Deadline, the FAA has approved the limited use of camera drones as camera platforms for film and TV productions.
The Motion Picture Association of America chairman, Chris Dodd, commented on the new regulations.
"[The new regulations are ] a victory for audiences everywhere as it gives filmmakers yet another way to push creative boundaries and create the kinds of scenes and shots we could only imagine just a few years ago. Our industry has a history of successfully using this innovative technology overseas — making movies like 'Skyfall' and 'Transformers: Age Of Extinction,' to name a couple — and we are proud to now be on the leading edge of its safe commercial use here at home."
Chris Dodd went on to say that allowing producers to use camera drones also "encourages more movie and TV production in the U.S." and "supports job creation and revenue growth around the country."
However, the new regulations may reduce job opportunities for helicopter and fixed-wing pilots that had previously profited from work in the industry as drones are much easier -- and cheaper -- to use.
At present, there are six aerial photo companies that have been granted permission to use camera drones on film and TV productions. The new regulations outlined by the FAA and the Department of Transportation opens the door for many others to follow suit.
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx talked about the new regulations in a press conference, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"I've determined that using unmanned aircraft for this purpose does not pose a risk to national airspace users. For that reason, we have given this permission to six aerial photo and video production companies. This is the first step to allowing the film and television industry to use unmanned aircraft systems in our nation's airspace, and is a milestone in the wider effort to allow unmanned aircraft for many different types of commercial use."
Chris Dodd was head over heals in response to the new ruling. "This is a big deal for us and an important day for the industry."
[Image via drone-camera]