In the last 12 months I have seen a number of new unmanned aerial vehicles (also known as drones) entering the market with the ability to capture video or photos. It has been something that I have been quite interested in and have intently researched buying one. However my latest findings have convinced me to wait a few more years before I make a purchase as now I realize they are illegal and the FAA can issue large fines and even shut you down if you are caught operating one for your business. Read on to learn more.
One of the most popular uses for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) has been for real estate photography. They use the UAV's as an inexpensive alternative to chartering a helicopter to photograph high profile buildings and properties. However, according to the Photography for Real Estate website using these UAV's is actually illegal and can cost you a fine and even risk being shut down. These rules will change in a few years as Congress did sign a bill into law mandating opening air space to unmanned drones on September 30, 2015. If you are thinking about incorporating UAV's into your business it might do you well to wait a few more years. I have a feeling by then you will see a lot of manufacturers entering the market offering UAV's thereby driving down the price substantially. Also by waiting you can avoid being shut down like California photographer Daniel Gárate experienced.
In order to operate the drones, outside of doing it as solo a hobbyist, one needs to have a Certificate of Authorization from the FAA. This site lists everyone who has one of these COA's and is able to operate a drone for commercial or industrial use legally.
To find out more about the use of UAV's in your work check out the article posted on the Photography for Real Estate website.