FAA gives Hollywood yellow light for drone operation

Six drone operators for movies and TV won't have to do things on the down low anymore, now that the FAA has granted them special permission to legally film aerial shots. While the agency still hasn't come up with a set of official rules for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), it has deemed the companies' drones safe enough (read: not a threat to national security). In return, though, these operators (listed after the break) must keep the drones within line of sight at all times and far from areas that threaten people's privacy. Also, they must inspect their drones before each flight, and they're prohibited from flying them at night. Still not a bad deal, considering most other industries are still waiting for the FAA's blessing, though it's unclear how they'll be affected by the agency's next traffic control system that's not exactly fit for drones.

The six lucky operators are:

  • Astraeus Aerial

  • Aerial MOB, LLC

  • HeliVideo Productions, LLC

  • Pictorvision Inc

  • RC Pro Productions Consulting, LLC dba Vortex Aerial

  • Snaproll Media, LLC

Flying-Cam, whose drone is pictured above and who did the aerial shots for Skyfall, almost became seventh in the list. Unfortunately, the FAA wants more information from the company before it gets the coveted stamp of approval.[Image credit: Flying-Cam]