FAA Grants More UAS Exemptions


The FAA is still not saying when it will release its proposed rules for unmanned aircraft systems, but on Tuesday, the agency granted two more exemptions to allow UAS operations, including the first for real estate photography. The agency gave the exemptions to Douglas Trudeau, of Tierra Antigua Realty in Tucson, Arizona, and to Advanced Aviation Solutions in Spokane, Washington. The exemptions authorize Trudeau to fly a Phantom 2 Vision + quadcopter to create aerial videos for real estate listings in Tucson, and allow the Spokane operators to fly a fixed-wing eBee Ag UAS to make photographic measurements and perform crop scouting for precision agriculture.

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx concluded that the UAS in the proposed operations don’t need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness because they don’t pose a threat to national airspace users or national security. The FAA said it will require “certain conditions and limitations” to ensure the UAS are operated safely. For example, all operations require both a pilot and observer, the pilot must have at least an FAA private pilot certificate and a current medical certificate, and the UAS must remain within line of sight at all times. The FAA noted that it has received 214 requests for exemptions from commercial entities.